Without Ben Roethlisberger, it’s a new era in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will attempt to inch closer to playoff contention after numerous offseason moves.
Improvements: Inside Linebacker
Perhaps the biggest win for the Steelers was signing Brian Flores as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach. After being cut by the Jaguars, Myles Jack joined Pittsburgh. The Steelers’ linebacking duo figures to be Devin Bush and Jack.
2019 1st-round pick Devin Bush🏈
— PFF (@PFF) October 6, 2019
This is a risky duo, thanks to inconsistencies. However, they are uber-athletic with tons of potential. Flores is one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. Pairing him with two young and talented linebackers could be a match made in heaven.
Stayed the Same: Quarterback
Roethlisberger was a shell of his former self in recent seasons. After retiring, Pittsburgh needed a new starter. In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected Kenny Pickett at No. 20. Mitch Trubisky was also added in free agency.
Will Pickett or Trubisky be a major upgrade? Probably not. Pickett seems NFL ready, but how high is his ceiling? Trubisky was mediocre in Chicago as a starter.
At the bare minimum, the Steelers should have a better down-the-field passing attack. Roethlisberger could not throw deep, which held back the offense. But, Pickett or Trubisky could yield more turnovers. Overall, it seems like a wash at QB.
Got Worse: Defensive Line
Not only did “Big Ben” retire this offseason, but Stephon Tuitt did as well. After injuries and dealing with a tragedy, Tuitt is stepping away from football. For a number of seasons, he was one of the most underrated defensive linemen in football.
Replacing Tuitt will not be easy. Pittsburgh is prepared after he missed the entire 2021 season. Cameron Heyward is a star on the inside and they have good depth with Chris Wormley and Isaiahh Loudermilk.
DeMarvin Leal is the wild card. Pittsburgh selected the former Aggie in the third round of the 2022 draft. Leal was once considered a top 10 prospect but slid after up-and-down play. He is wildly talented and excels at the 3-tech. Leal has the chance to silence all concerns on the defensive line.
Will the Steelers be better in a stacked AFC North? Mediocre QB play looks like the issue yet again. Pittsburgh’s roster has filled nicely, but if the most important position in football can’t perform, good luck making the playoffs.
- Week 1: 9/11 at Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 2: 9/18 vs. Patriots, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 3: 9/22 at Browns (Thursday), 8:15 p.m., Amazon Prime Video
- Week 4: 10/2 vs. Jets, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 5: 10/9 at Bills, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 6: 10/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 7: 10/23 at Dolphins, 8:20 p.m., NBC
- Week 8: 10/30 at Eagles, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10: 11/13 vs. Saints, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 11: 11/20 vs. Bengals, 8:20 p.m., NBC
- Week 12: 11/28 at Colts (Monday), 8:15 p.m., ESPN
- Week 13: 12/4 at Falcons, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 14: 12/11 vs. Ravens, 1 p.m., ET
- Week 15: 12/18 at Panthers, 1 p.m. CBS
- Week 16: 12/24 vs. Raiders (Saturday), 8:15 p.m., NFL Network
- Week 17: 1/1 at Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 18: 1/7 or 8 vs. Browns, TBD, TBD