The Pittsburgh Steelers had a busy offseason, replacing a big chunk of their 2022 roster via the draft, free agency and trades. While it may have been busy, it certainly wasn’t unproductive, as Pittsburgh’s offseason has generated rave reviews from many outlets. Add Sports Illustrated to the list, as they gave the Steelers a B+ and believe they put themselves in postseason content with the moves.
After recapping Pittsburgh’s move, Matt Verderame offered hope that the Steelers could make a playoff push.
“Considering how well-coached Pittsburgh is, along with its relatively friendly schedule, the Steelers are well positioned to make a run at the postseason if quarterback Kenny Pickett can step up. As a rookie, Pickett struggled, throwing for only 300 yards once in 12 starts, and that was in a 38-3 loss to the Bills. With receivers Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Robinson, along with tight ends Pat Freiermuth and Washington, there’s little excuse not to have a much better year.”
Given the Steelers were on the brink of the postseason last year with Pickett at quarterback, a harder schedule and a weaker roster, it’s not all that shocking to think the Steelers could be back in the postseason. The argument that Pickett only threw for 300 yards once is a dumb one when you consider how the Steelers won games last year. They ran the ball, controlled the clock, and Pickett made the throws he needed to. He showed he can be clutch, manage games and lead the team to wins. He can be better than that, and a full offseason to prepare as the starter should allow him to take a step forward. But Pickett wasn’t the problem with last year’s team, and the problem certainly wasn’t his lack of 300-yard games.
For the offseason alone though, Pittsburgh very much deserves that B+ grade. They got three players who were all near-first-round talents in Broderick Jones, Joey Porter Jr., and Darnell Washington, added one of the best guards in free agency with Isaac Seumalo and added valuable depth with Nate Herbig, Breidon Fehoko and Armon Watts, along with drafting Keeanu Benton, Nate Herbig and Cory Trice Jr., as well as Spencer Anderson. Pittsburgh got a lot better this offseason, the first fully run by Omar Khan and assistant general manager Andy Weidl, and they’re going to compete next season.
We’ll see how far the Steelers can go in what should be a very good AFC North, but it would be surprising if they weren’t fighting for the playoffs late in the season. Hopefully, that ends being the case.