2023 Offseason Questions: How Concerned Should Steelers Be On Eve Of Free Agency About Poor NFLPA Report Card?

The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead, they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.

On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.

Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answering, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.

Question: How concerned should the Steelers be about their poor ‘club report card’ on the eve of free agency?

The NFLPA increasingly seems interested in not allowing themselves to be outside of narratives. They have conducted campaigns to address playing surfaces, and this year have inaugurated not only their own All-Pro team but also team ‘report cards’.

From the results of 1300 players questioned about their experiences in various team facilities, the Steelers graded out rather poorly, just 22nd overall. The only category in which players ranked them in the top 10 was in their food service and nutrition.

While players largely had no issues with their travel arrangements or their strength coaches and training staff, few teams had these issues among players, and yet they still ranked 15th or worse, as low as 22nd for their training staff in spite of a B+ grade.

You can go over the rest here where we wrote about it when the report card came out, but the overall impression is that the players view the Steelers as having outdated and antiquated facilities, few luxuries (such as saunas and family accommodations) that they’re accustomed to with other clubs, and staffs that are simply too small.

I don’t know whether or not the team was aware of these reports before they were released, but one wonders what the owners make of their own grades. You obviously don’t want to have a bad report card on the eve of free agency, so any team that got a poor grade now may well be starting to think about ways to upgrade their facilities and generally improve their player experiences.

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