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ESPN NFL analyst Matt Williamson gives Steelers second-lowest offseason grade in AFC

The Steelers are taking doom-and-gloom from national media types over the departure of Mike Wallace and Keenan Lewis but the AFC North generally received positive marks for their moves this offseason.


ESPN NFL analyst Matt Williamson wasn't impressed with the Steelers' offseason, apparently.

He loved what the rest of the AFC North did, though.

Williamson gave the Steelers a 'C' overall grade, the second-lowest grade in the AFC, just ahead of Oakland's 'C-."

Writes Williamson (as transcribed by ESPN's Jamison Hensley):

If Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, Troy Polamalu and the offensive line overall remain reasonably healthy, which is far from a given, Pittsburgh could be quite formidable. If not, and the Steelers get very little production from the young players on this roster, it could be a tough year.

Williamson gave Baltimore an A- (losing seven defensive starters is a positive thing, apparently) and Cleveland a B (it's unclear how the Browns have improved by drafting the defensive player least likely to contribute this season, not addressing their shallow cornerback group and signing one of the Ravens starters who apparently wasn't much of a loss to them).

Cincinnati was given a 'C+,' which is as questionable as Pittsburgh's 'C.' The Steelers losing James Harrison is a tough loss for them, but the Bengals' acquisition of Harrison isn't a great gain.

Not to make too much of these things; for every 'C' a team is given, there's probably an arbitrary 'B' given somewhere. For every team except the Raiders and Jaguars, that is.