Spring is the season of new life and renewal.
It is also the season of hope for NFL football fans. Yes, even the Cleveland Browns have renewed hope this time of year. Every team has a perfect record at this point and we, the fans, can only fantasize about what the new season will bring.
Some feel their favorite teams won the free agency feeding frenzy which kicks off the offseason, and look forward to the upcoming season with great anticipation. We in Steeler Nation have never felt this type of jubilation, seeing how the Steelers are never major players in free agency and typically have already signed their key free agents by this point. Rather, Steelers fans are left to peruse the one or two sensible free agent signings the team inevitably receives each offseason and entertain ourselves speculating about what level of solid, if not flashy, performance we can realistically expect from each new player.
This helps us get through the dark abyss that is life without Steelers football.
The next ray of light on the horizon is the NFL Draft, and it has truly become a sight to behold. An event full of pomp and circumstance. By this point of the offseason we are beyond desperate for anything football. If you need confirmation of this desperation look no further than any sports related programming or podcast, but the creme de la creme of this obsession for anything football leading up to the draft is the very existence of the mock draft themselves.
It isn’t just the fact pretty much any individual that has ever put pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard, attempting to convey an opinion pertaining to professional football feels obligated to do one. I get it, it is fun to speculate. But that is just what it is, pure speculation. Meant for fun and friendly debate. However some fans seem to get their bloomers in a bunch and become agitated and insulted over something which is pure projection.
I feel by this point of the offseason many members of Steeler Nation are on edge without their football fix.
Now with the 2018 NFL Draft in our rear view mirror, many fans have been left with mixed emotions. Some fans around the league feel their team won the NFL Draft because some experts bestowed superior grades to their team’s selections. It appears at first glance that the board fell their way and they are ready to celebrate.
That is the best thing about this time of year — every team has that blessed hope.
Cleveland Browns fans are telling anybody that will listen how their years in football purgatory are about to come to an end. They made some strong additions via trade this offseason since no high level free agents in their right minds would sign with them, as they were previously constructed. Then they feel the team had a strong draft and got some key components needed to be competitive moving forward. Baker Mayfield may have been a reach at number one but they were determined to get someone who actually wanted to play for them, and was crazy enough to believe he can reverse the curse.
Nobody knows if the gamble will pay off, but at least they have hope. They had to embrace new ideology to change the culture of their franchise.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a tried and true approach to the offseason as an organization, and fans must keep the faith.
We have so much to be thankful for. The Steelers are a Super Bowl contender and easily one of the most talent laden rosters in the league.
The most exciting part of the upcoming season is the unknown.
Will any of the UDFAs blast onto the scene and earn a spot on the 53-man roster like Mike Hilton last year? There are more than a few interesting candidates.
Can James Washington do his best JuJu Smith-Schuster impersonation and take full advantage of the superior offensive talent surrounding him and utilize his outstanding receiving abilities to exploit opposing defenses?
Will any of the new positional coaches have the positive desired effect comparable to their predecessor Mike Munchak? They certainly have impressive resumes.
Only time will tell.
One things for sure, it will be a wild ride.
Now when is training camp?