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The 2019 Steelers are still playing, nobody needs to talk 2020 right now

BTSC writers Tony Defeo and Bryan Anthony Davis offer differing opinions on whether or not fans should focus on 2019, instead of already pondering the starters for 2020.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have really had a major turnover since sitting at 1-4 on September 30th. They’ve done it with guys that barely anybody heard of back in August like Devlin Hodges, Deon Cain and Kerrith Whyte. With the development of players that seem like they have a future in Pittsburgh, many wonder who will be playing and starting next year for the Steelers. The Steeler Hangover’s Tony Defeo and Bryan Anthony Davis, have differing viewpoints on the following subject. Join them as they slug it out in text below.

The 2019 Steelers are still playing, so nobody needs to talk 2020 right now.

Tony Defeo’s Point

“Just wait until Ben comes back next year. With this elite defense? Are you kidding me? I predict the Steelers will be Super Bowl contenders in 2020. You just wait!”

That quote (well, not that exact quote) is similar to many I’ve heard and read this year, what with the Steelers defense playing at a Super Bowl-level but without a Super Bowl-winning quarterback—Ben Roethlisberger—around to help the team truly benefit from it.

The future is going to be great with Ben and this defense

Wait a minute, what about Bud?

Should they try hard to sign Bud Dupree next year, you know, so as to keep this Super Bowl-level defense fully-intact for the inevitable Super Bowl run the Steelers will go on in 2020 with Roethlisberger back and doing his elite best?

Maybe they should just franchise Bud. But if they do, will he sulk and/or holdout like that no good Le’Veon Bell?

What about free-agency? What are their needs? Should they go out and try to find another pass-rusher to take Bud’s place?

Back to Ben. I think they should seriously think about keeping Deon Cain around for next year. If he can build some chemistry with Big Ben at training camp in the summer, Cain could be a real find. What about Kerrith Whyte Jr., like Cain, a potential diamond in the rough the Steelers plucked off of another team’s practice squad? With James Conner clearly injury-prone (the proverbial China Doll), I think Whyte could challenge for some real playing time in 2020 and ultimately become the team’s top running back.

Wait a minute, what if Ben isn’t at 100 percent next year? Or what if he is, but Devlin “Duck” Hodges, the undrafted rookie quarterback from Samford that has taken Steeler Nation by storm, continues to evolve and get better by the start of training camp? Does Pittsburgh do the unthinkable?

All of those questions I just asked? All of those scenarios I presented? Forget about them. Pretend that I’m Michael Scott from The Office. Pretend you’re the one kid from Ryan Howard’s business class. Pretend that I just “borrowed” your textbook titled, “What the Steelers Need To Do In 2020." Pretend that I started tearing pages out of it. What good is that textbook to you now? That’s right, it’s useless.

Same with your current thoughts and worries about the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers.

I can’t believe you could be so preoccupied with a future season, when the current one has been so magical.

The Steelers are 8-5, when, by all rights, they could and perhaps should be headed for double-digit losses. To echo what was laid out in the introduction, the Steelers have rebounded from a disastrous start that included the season-ending injury to Roethlisberger and a 1-4 record and are now so close to making the playoffs, it would be a shame if they missed them.

Yes, their defense has emerged as an elite unit, but the offense is doing it with spit, wires and a bunch of undrafted free agents.

They are a tremendous story, these 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers. What they are doing will be remembered and respected for a long, long time. The more they win, the better the story gets. If they make the postseason and actually go on a run....I mean, could you just imagine the hysteria?

It’s a credit to the Steelers, from their front office to their coaches to their players, that they didn’t throw in the towel in 2019. They went all in with the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade, even when we thought that was nuts, and now look at them. Look at the great opportunity they have in front of them.

In my not so humble opinion, I think worrying about the 2020 Steelers does a great disservice to the 2019 edition. These guys are out there giving it their all. They’re trying their best to give you what you ultimately want. Are the odds against them? Of course, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your undivided attention.

The offseason is long, and believe me, there will be plenty of time to discuss the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers when the 2019 season is finally put to bed.

In the meantime, let’s go all in on these 2019 Steelers and enjoy them while we still can.

Bryan Anthony Davis’ Counterpoint

Dammit Tony! If you were not going to listen to me, at least listen to the think tank of Buckhingham, Nicks, McVie, McVie and Fleetwood. They first said it in 1977, they reiterated it when Bill Clinton was questing for a seat in the office of the oval and I’m dusting it off now...Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow”?

I fully understand the concept of not looking ahead and I truly believe in what Devlin “Duck” Hodges and the Steelers defense is doing. In fact, I’m fully invested in 2019. It ranks up there with 1984, 1989 and 2002 as one of my favorite over-achieving seasons in Steelers lore. I’m all in and I’m just foolhardy enough to dream about watching this team shock the world and playing in Miami come February as I’m playing tambourine behind Shakira and J-Lo at Halftime.

As awesome as that would be, I’m not placing a bet on the above scenario. I also have to be honest with myself and wonder, as this season shakes out, what things are going to look like next year. Everything we do in life has an effect on the future. So it is natural to think about a scenario in which Duck Hodges flourishes and leads Pittsburgh to a better than expected finish and Ben Roethlisberger returns in full health and better than ever. Of course, we are going to wonder if the Mason Rudolph experience is over or if he can rebound from a disastrous 2019. Will Javon Hargrave and Bud Dupree walk? Will James Conner’s injury history be way too much to not go and look for a feature back? Can the defense sustain this amazing play?

Theses are all things that we can still wonder about while still embracing the glory of today. Who says you can’t multitask?

So...what are your thoughts? Which one of us gets to bask in the glory of being right this week? State your case in the comments section and be sure to vote in the poll. BAD got back to his winning ways last week and is now 9-2 on the season, while TonDef is sporting another “L” on his head. Can Tony get another streak going or will BAD get another streak going? Vote and state your case in the comments.


Do you agree more with Tony Defeo or Bryan Anthony Davis on whether or not fans should focus solely on 2019 and set 2020 aside for now.

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    TonDef is right: Only 2019 matters right now.
    (122 votes)
  • 29%
    BAD is correct: it’s never too early to think about tomorrow.
    (51 votes)
173 votes total Vote Now