The Pittsburgh Steelers took care of business at home against the Cleveland Browns in the regular season finale, winning by a final score of 28-14. While the Steelers won against Cleveland and The Buffalo Bills defeated the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins defeated the New York Jets, sending Miami to the playoffs as the seventh seed in the AFC, thus ending the Steelers’ season. Pittsburgh finishes the season with a 9-8 record, having gone 7-2 since the team’s bye week, but falls just short of qualifying for a playoff spot.
When Tomlin was asked about what the next step is for this team and their evolution as a hopeful playoff contender, Tomlin was pretty blunt regarding this team’s outlook for the next several months following playoff elimination.
“You know, it comes to a screeching halt,” Tomlin said to the media Sunday during his post-game press conference which aired on the team’s YouTube channel. “This offseason thing… I don’t know that I’ve pondered that. I was preparing for the potential of next week. So, I don’t have any answer to that as I sit here.”
Mike Tomlin is right. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ outlook for this season has come to a dead end. The 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers are now over and done with. While we can look forward to what the 2023 version of this time may bring to the table, it wouldn’t be fair to do so knowing how much different this team will look over the course of the offseason.
Players including Terrell Edmunds, Devin Bush, Cam Sutton, Larry Ogunjobi, Tyson Alualu, Chris Wormley, and more are scheduled to hit free agency with some of them undoubtedly not returning. Other players could be at-risk of becoming cap casualties, thus ending their tenure with the team unless they come back on more team-friendly deals. Players on the outside will be brought in via free agency and the NFL Draft to supplement the losses on the roster while also improving various weaknesses the team dealt with throughout the season in hopes of strengthening the team to be a better overall roster to compete in 2023.
Tomlin admitted that he wasn’t thinking about the possibility of the offseason coming into play for the Steelers as his team had a realistic chance of making the playoffs and playing next weekend. However, that is no longer the case as Miami’s win over the Jets ended that possibility. This team will look vastly different in the coming months, but Tomlin can take pride in the fact that his team finished strong down the stretch with various veterans and young players showing resiliency as the team came together to avoid Tomlin having his first losing season as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.