The Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team in the AFC North who actually has an unsettled quarterback room, at least theoretically. While it does get mentioned in those procedural articles about training camp battles, however, it’s far from the topic that is setting the division ablaze.
Indeed, considering how significant the upcoming training camp is for the Steelers and the future of the team, we’re sure hearing an awful lot about what Joe Burrow is saying about current events, what Deshaun Watson is not saying about what he has done in the past, and where Lamar Jackson is and why he’s not sitting down to be handed hundreds of millions of dollars.
“You know who doesn’t mind it? The Pittsburgh Steelers”, Rich Eisen said yesterday on the fittingly titled Rich Eisen Show, when discussing yesterday’s new contract and how relatively few ripples it made. “I think they love this. Absolutely love it”.
Personally, I’m not sure it’s ever really a good thing to be talked about. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, either, but there isn’t much to gain when you’re being put in the spotlight during the sports news cycle. It’s just more potential for distraction, which is even less advantageous when you’re dealing with an offseason of changes.
Even as the Steelers adjust to a lot of newness, however, they still hold the same expectations as ever, which is winning. They believe that they have made moves this offseason that put them in the position to succeed both now and in the future. The fall and winter will, of course, prove whether or not they were right, but at least they can go about putting their plans together with relative anonymity from the national media.
“Lying in wait, flying under the radar, signing Minkah Fitzpatrick to the richest deal in the history of safeties and everybody’s like, ‘Yeah, well what about Deshaun Watson?’”, said Eisen. “’What about the Bills? They’re the team everybody’s paying attention to. What about the Tennessee Titans making that trade on draft night?’ Honestly, more being talked about than the Pittsburgh Steelers is really weird”.
The quarterback position is obviously the biggest question mark in Pittsburgh right now, whether it will be Mitch Trubisky starting or the rookie first-round draft pick, Kenny Pickett. Eisen is putting his money down on Pickett being the guy on opening day.
But there’s also plenty of change on defense, though not all of it positive. Although he technically didn’t play last year, they now know they won’t have Stephon Tuitt going forward. But they did add Myles Jack and Levi Wallace and DeMarvin Leal, while expecting growth from younger players like Isaiahh Loudermilk and Buddy Johnson.