With the Steelers two weeks into pads and two weeks away from opening night in New Jersey, the story lines are in abundance. Although information is still hush hush and hard to come by, there are so many questions surrounding the Steelers and their preparation for the 2020 season. With that offered up, BTSC tries to answer some of those poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.
Are we on point? Only time will tell.
Because of a Covid-19, Ben Roethlisberger will be more rusty than usual at the start of the regular season
Yes, it has typically taken Ben Roethlisberger a few games to get situated in the past couple of seasons. The fact that the veteran quarterback barely plays in the preseason is partly responsible for that rustiness. However, nobody is playing in the preseason this year and Ben has been focusing long and hard on preparing for a return in 2020 and getting on the same page as his young receivers. Look for No. 7 to race out of the gate in 2020.
The Steelers are grooming Diontae Johnson for the role as the team’s top receiver
I actually feel that the Pittsburgh Steelers are already prepared to let JuJu Smith-Schuster walk via free agency in 2021. I don’t think that this is something the team particularly wants to do, but an inevitable and amicable split seems to definitely be on the horizon. No. 19’s rapport with Ben Roethlisberger will still get plenty of balls thrown in his direction, but Ben will definitely be asked to get Diontae Johnson involved as a top option early on. This would be not only to establish the budding superstar into a major threat, but to cushion the blow of a Smith-Schuster departure.
JuJu’s performance in 2020 will only affect the Steelers’ championship hopes, not his payday potential.
While the four-year veteran is very integral to the Lombardi Trophy hopes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s main concern should be winning a championship in 2020 while wearing black and gold. Sure, players have that competitive drive to be at the top of the rankings, but even a subpar season will net him a big contract from a desperate team. The problem is that a desperate team is unlikely to compete for a Super Bowl championship. When Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson signed a 3-year deal with the Bears for $14,000,000 in 2018, he came off of a season in which he caught one pass on Week 1 and sat out the remainder of the season with an injury. GM’s remembered his 1,400 yard season from three seasons before. Basically JuJu is going to get paid based on past glory. But if he wants a ring, he needs to go all-out now.
The almost unprecedented praise for rookies is a smokescreen for teams to focus on a guy that will not suit up.
I’ve heard this fan theory before and I just can’t get on board with it. It’s true that the Steelers don’t typically go out of their way to heap praise on rookies, but news is scarce during quarantine with reporters not getting access to keep us informed. I bet that the Steelers are hyping their young players up on the mic, because we have no preseason games for us to conduct our own personal evaluations as fans.
There will not be fans whatsoever at Heinz Field for the 2020 season.
I think that a hard decision is going to have to made by the Steelers soon in the name of public safety. I do, however, understand the concept of taking it two home games at a time. Of course I don’t blame Art Rooney II for wanting paying customers at Heinz Field. I just don’t think it’s really in the cards. I do think that the Steelers will actually have an advantage on the road against teams that are young and aren’t veteran laden.
Are these statements valid? We will soon see. I, personally, am not endorsing all five of these scenarios, but it’s what my gut tells me will occur. What matters most are your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below.