The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Will either Anthony Miller or Steven Sims factor into the wide receiver equation this year?
Over the course of the past week, the Steelers have watched 60 percent of the wide receiver room that that brought into the 2021 season sign elsewhere, and that includes one of their starters, JuJu Smith-Schuster, who took his talents to KC.
They still retain Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool as their top two wideouts, but the only other wide receiver who finished the year on the 53-man roster is Cody White. The Steelers added Gunner Olszewski in free agency, but he was brought in for his return abilities. His potential offensive role is unknown, and not preferred.
But there are two veteran wide receivers who spent most of the year on the practice squad. Steven Sims and Anthony Miller both had some production in prior stops before finding their way to Pittsburgh over the course of the 2021 season.
They didn’t get an opportunity to contribute last year, but could at least one of them emerge as a meaningful depth player, at least a number four guy? Both are slot-capable, and could at least be a number two slot option, somebody who could play in a four-wide look, if they could ever convince themselves to take Najee Harris or Pat Freiermuth off the field.
It goes without saying that the Steelers have to address the wide receiver position, and they’re bound to draft at least one player, maybe even two if draft resources allow for it—which is unlikely. And they do have a good track record for rookie wide receivers being able to produce. But it’s worth at least taking note that Sims and Miller are in that room, as well, and that they were signed to contracts after the season.
Then again, so was Deon Cain.