The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, now into the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.
There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the regular season. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.
Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.
There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: What one thing must go right for the Steelers to exit Cincinnati with a victory today?
It’s that time, folks. It’s the regular season opener. You know, real football, where at the end of the game, it actually matters what the score is. And the Steelers open their schedule with a doozy, paying a visit to the team that beat them twice last year, the defending AFC champions, the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals are decided favorites over the visiting team as they look to pick up where they left off last season, building off of a high-powered passing game now bolstered by a nearly completely remade offensive line consisting of four new starters—three veterans and a rookie.
So what must the Steelers absolutely do, or not do, in order to achieve victory this afternoon? What is the one thing more than any other that must go right for them—aside from scoring more points, for the smartasses out there—to pull out a win?
There is a lot of newness on the offensive side of the ball, to state the obvious. A new quarterback. New offensive linemen with a new position coach. A new starting wide receiver, as well. The defense has some key new starters spanning all three levels. All of these new pieces have to work in harmony.
Meanwhile, their opponent’s strength at wide receiver will test this secondary, with Cameron Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Levi Wallace tasked with keeping Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd at bay.
And Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard matched up with Dan Moore Jr. and Chukwuma Okorafor is not exactly one that I would put in the Steelers’ column as being favored. There is some hope that the interior offensive line can have success, but you have to be worried about those tackles.