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—some already decided, some not.
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 was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.
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: How many snaps will Larry Ogunjobi play for the Steelers this season?
Driven largely by the fact that he was signed after minicamp, there are a lot of things that we don’t know about the Steelers’ intentions about Larry Ogunjobi that we might otherwise know. The fact that they are paying him $8 million this year is a pretty strong indication, though, that they hope to get a lot out of him.
But another variable we don’t quite know about is his foot. Ogunjobi ended last season with a foot injury for the Cincinnati Bengals, and he had surgery on it in the offseason. The injury even resulted in him losing out on a lucrative three-year contract he initially agreed to in free agency that was…let’s say, worth more than $8 million per.
We don’t know that he will be ready to go, or ready to go at full strength, on opening day. He doesn’t know that, either. The team doesn’t know that. And we don’t know what kind of time he’ll miss and how that might affect his role, at least early on.
And so we really don’t quite know just what to expect from Ogunjobi over the course of the entire season in terms of his contributions. But let’s start with intentions. Ogunjobi has generally been a 70-75 percent of the snaps guy. But he’s played in 4-3 fronts.
How does that translate—and where—in the Steelers’ front? Is he going to be playing up and down the line? Should we expect him, under ideal health circumstances, to be playing in the ballpark of 800-900 snaps?