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Adam Schein: ‘Don’t Sleep On The Steelers,’ Believes Team Will Win At Least Nine Games

From a change in general manager to a brand new quarterback room following the retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers saw an offseason with an unusual degree of change. As such, league-wide expectations have tempered, and the team is widely regarded as a non-playoff threat. This is especially the case given the competitiveness within the AFC North. Adam Schein of NFL.com weighed in a Wednesday article. In doing so, he stated that fans should “not sleep on the Steelers” as one of his last-minute predictions.

“Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Mike Tomlin has never posted a losing season,” Schein said justifying his prediction on the Steelers. “Ok, just because that stat’s cited ad nauseam doesn’t make it any less impressive. Tomlin is entering Year 16 as Pittsburgh’s head coach, and he’s yet to finish a campaign below .500. It’s not going to happen in 2022, either.”

Indeed, Tomlin’s remarkable achievement of not having a losing season is cited ad nauseam. Continuing this will be challenging in 2022, a challenge that Tomlin all but embraced. That said, Tomlin’s past records do not offer much in the way of predicting the 2022 season. Steelers Nation is not one to be satisfied with winning seasons that do not yield playoff success, which the team has had a lack of in recent years.

As is natural with this sport, the 2022 Steelers’ success will be heavily contingent upon the quality of quarterback play. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will begin the season with the tall task of playing against the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals on the road Sunday. A win on Sunday is sure to raise league-wide expectations for the team. The team made several key additions and changes, shoring up the offensive line and hiring Pat Meyer as the team’s offensive line coach. Additionally, the team shored up the front seven and secondary, also hiring Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator. Schein goes on to delve into the team’s quarterbacks and talent on the roster.

“Mitch Trubisky represents an upgrade over last year’s version of Ben Roethlisberger,” Schein continued. “(For that matter, so does Kenny Pickett) Trubisky getting his PhD is quarterbacking last season in Buffalo was a blessing after the mess he experienced in Chicago. The receiving corps, with promising rookie George Pickens joining the fray, is better. Najee Harris is a rare specimen in today’s game: a true three-down, bell-cow back. And the defense will bounce back in 2022, especially with free-agent signee Myles Jack bringing everything together at linebacker. I don’t know if this team will hit the postseason, but I do know one thing: Tomlin’s non-losing streak will continue, as Pittsburgh will win at least nine games”

Trubisky’s time in Buffalo indeed appears to have made a difference in his confidence. The quarterback has received praise for his leadership from former Buffalo teammates and coaches as well as Steelers players, a big improvement from his time in Chicago. As for rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, he showed poise and chemistry with teammates in the preseason. At the very least, it’s reasonable to expect a jump in quarterback play from 2021.

On the other side of the ball, the Steelers have made several additions to shore up positions of need. That is, the team added defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, defensive end DeMarvin Leal, cornerback Levi Wallace, to name a few. As Schein mentions, the addition of linebacker Myles Jack is significant, as it shores up a position that the team struggled at in 2021.

The Steelers made the playoffs in 2021 despite undeniably subpar offensive play. The argument that an upgrade in quarterback play, as well as an improved defense, will result in the team exceeding expectations is an easy one to make. After all, if Tomlin can push a team with a bottom-ranked run offense, poor quarterback play, and bottom-ranked run defense to the playoffs, why would he not do so with an arguably improved team?

Of course, context matters. The AFC North and AFC as a whole have arguably improved immensely. Division rival and Week 1 opponent Cincinnati Bengals shored up their offensive line. Moreover, the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns made key additions in the offseason, and are unlikely to be pushovers for the Steelers. Not to mention, the AFC is filled with quarterback talent in the likes of Buffalo Bills Josh Allen, Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert, and Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes II to name a few.

As of now, nine wins is a hard predication to argue against.

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