Head Coach: Mike Tomlin
The Steelers defied the odds for 3 months in 2020, riding an elite defense to an 11-0 start, but the fact that the offense was actually pretty bad finally caught up to them, with 5 losses in the last 6 games, including an embarrasing loss to the Browns and a quick Wild Card exit.
2021 Draft Picks
1-24 RB Najee Harris, Alabama
2-55 TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
3-87 C Kendrick Green, Illinois
4-128 T Dan Moore, Texas A&M
4-140 LB Budd Johnson, Texas A&M
5-156 DE Isaiahh Loudermilk, Wisconsin 156
6-216 LB Quincy Roche, Miami
7-245 DB Tre Norwood, Oklahoma
7-254 P Pressley Harvin, Georgia Tech
Another solid draft for the Steelers. Harris is the prototypical Steelers back, and should start week one. Freiermuth was a steal at #55. They did well in the later rounds as well, landing 3 or 4 probable eventual starters.
Key Pick Ups
Joe Haeg, OT- (From Buccaneers)
The cap was a burden; there really wasn’t any money to spend other than trying to sign their own players.
James Conner – RB (to Cardinals)
Bud Dupree – LB (to Titans)
Mike Hilton – CB (to Bengals)
Maurkice Pouncey – C (retired)
Alejandro Villanueva – RT (to Ravens)
Steven Nelson – CB (FA)
The Steelers took quite a few hits in free agency, especially on D and on the O line.
Offensive Coordinator: Matt Canada
2020 Points Scored: 416 (12th)
Steelers fans probably won’t want to hear this, but Big Ben is now just another former great who held on for too long. He started the season well, but by the end of the year he was just another below average NFL QB. It would be different if this was a classic Steelers team… pound the ball behind a great line, great receivers on the outside… but this isn’t that team. The WR group is average at best, and the running game will lean on a rookie. As sad as it is, a healthy Roethlisberger may find himself on the bench this year, and his backups aren’t exactly promising.
Defensive Coordinator: Keith Butler
2020 Points Allowed: 312 (3rd)
The D won’t be as dominant as it was in 2020. The line will still be devastating, and should keep them in most games. But the inability… and lack of cap space….. to re-sign everyone… hurt. Still a top 10 unit, but not good enough to carry the team over 17 games.
The Steelers special teams were average last year. There’s competition at every spot other than kicker, so this will be an unknown heading into 2021.
If Things Go Well
If the defense can stay at the elite level we saw in 2020, and Harris settles in and puts up rookie of the year level numbers, and… and this is the biggest if… if Big Ben has one last run in the tank… this might be a wild card team.
If They Don’t
If none of those things happen, this could be the worst Steelers season in decades.
The only real question is how ugly the Big Ben situation gets. And with either Dwayne Haskins or Mason Rudolph waiting in the wings… that D will be all for naught in 2021.
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Categories: NFL Schedule