Arthur Moats: Steelers Still ‘Another Year Or Two Away’ From Competing With Top Teams

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ stated goal every season is to win the Super Bowl that year. Whether you want to call it the standard or not, it makes little difference. That’s what they attempt to do every year. They don’t go in for rebuilding years, not by design, by intention.

So what is 2023? On the outside, who expects them to compete this upcoming season? They did finish last year on a 7-2 run and may have found their quarterback of the future. The team as a whole was on the upswing on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. So are they ready for that next step? Not so fast, says former Steeler Arthur Moats.

In all seriousness, I still feel like we are another year or two away”, he said on 93.7 The Fan with Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller. “Right now, when you look at the foundation, do we have pieces? Yeah. Do we have a quarterback? Do we have a running back? We got receivers? Yeah”.

But he said that what we don’t know is just who they are yet. Do we know that Kenny Pickett is going to be an elite quarterback? Do we know that Najee Harris is going to be an elite running back? Do we know that George Pickens is going to be an elite wide receiver? Players comparable to those on the top teams in the league?

Moats doesn’t think so. I don’t think many Steelers fans would disagree, either. There’s still a lot that we don’t know about these players and others. T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick on the other side of the ball have the highest level of confidence behind them, Cameron Heyward sitting third only because of the shadow of Father Time. But that side of the ball is more proven than the offense.

“I love our defense when healthy over Cincinnati’s defense, so I already feel like we have them there”, Moats said. “But I feel like, offensively, that’s the difference. Our pieces are still trying to prove that they can be those caliber of players…That’s the difference when you talk about why they click and why they get out of some of these stadiums the way they do”.

“I feel like for us, next year is gonna be a big chance for us to really identify who those people are”, he added.

Virtually anything good pointed out about the second half of the Steelers’ 2022 season is immediately countered by pointing to the quality of competition that they faced. Now, teams like the Falcons, Colts and Saints don’t compare to the Eagles, Bills and Dolphins (particularly the Dolphins as they were playing at the time), but I think it’s a disservice to end the discussion there.

With that being said, the final nine games hardly stand as concrete proof that this is a Super Bowl-worthy team heading into 2023. The odds are Moats is right that they’re not going to end up being in the running. But the beauty is that they will get the opportunity to state their case for themselves once it’s time to line up and play and voices like my own become irrelevant.

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