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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Less than a month to go edition

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BTSC takes five bold statements surrounding the current state of the team and labels them as Fact or Fiction.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With the Pittsburgh Steelers set to arrive for Training Camp in less than a month, the narrative of the ‘19 campaign continues with speculation and excitement galore. BTSC anticipates big storylines and issues bold statements regarding each one of them. Let’s take a look and deem them as fact or fiction.

A superstar turn for JuJu Smith-Schuster depends on his WR stable mates and the tight end.

Fact

JuJu is ready to take that step as the main option for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Sure 15 TDs are needed to replace Antonio Brown’s production, but if Vance McDonald at TE and the quartet of Donte Moncrief, James Washington, Ryan Switzer and Dionte Johnson can be threats as credible WR2s and slots...No. 19 will be left alone more to work his magic.

Pro Football Focus’ ranking of the Steelers at number eight in the NFL seems pretty accurate.

Fact

I have no problem with the Steelers being ranked in the top quarter of the NFL. Ranked fourth behind New England, Kansas City and the Chargers seems about right. On the NFC end, I can see the Saints and Rams definitely ahead, but it is a tossup with the Eagles and they might be slightly better than the Bears. Maybe sixth or seventh at best, but eighth works. Frankly, I like them better with chips on their shoulders. I would have been fine seeing them ranked No. 32.

The position of safety will be the weak link in 2019.

Fiction

Sure, it’s very possible. But there also could be a lot of promise with that specific position group. Sean Davis is in his contract year and a talented starter with tons of motivation. Terrell Edmunds was a first round pick that played a lot, but suffered through significant growing pains in 2018, Edmunds could very well make that second-year leap this season. Marcus Allen, Jordan Dangerfield, Drayvon Askew-Henry and P.J. Locke round out the stable and could make an impact. I see this as an improved group as opposed to being a weak link. The weak link could once again be the inside linebacker position if Mark Barron and Devin Bush fail to do as much as expected.

Artie Burns will start in New England Week One at corner for the Steelers.

Fiction

Frankly, I think Artie Burns will be traded right before the cut deadline in September for a seventh-round pick. If not, he could very easily get cut. But if No. 24 is in position to start, it would probably mean either Joe Haden or Steven Nelson gets hurt or that they had horrendous camps. There’s also some promising young and unknown talent. My gut says it’s Boyz II Men time for Artie...the end of the road.

The Isaac Redmen Award will be won by a defensive back.

Fact

First off, the Issac Redmen is a BTSC award for best performance in camp by an undrafted and unknown player. As mentioned before, I think that either safety Drayvon Askew-Henry or P.J. Locke could earn a roster spot with an inspired performance in Latrobe. But there’s a trio of corners in the form of Herb Waters, Marcellus Branch and the guy that I really like, Kameron Kelly, pressing for jobs. There’s some talent here and I’d bet on a DB winning the coveted Redmen.


Will these statements identify more as, to quote Bill Murray as John Winger in Stripes “That’s a fact...Jack!” or will they identify more with the Albert Camus quote “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”? What matters most is your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below.