There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers ousted from the playoffs after enduring a 48-37 pounding at the hands of the Cleveland Browns at home. With four coaches departing the team on Thursday, there will be plenty of changes in Pittsburgh. To quote John Lennon’s No. 1 song from 40 years ago today, It’s (Just like) Starting Over. There is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the 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.
The Steelers offensive line is not about to get the overhaul everybody expects
The line is going to get a new coach after the incumbent, Shaun Sarrett, did not have his contract renewed after two seasons at the helm. There are going to be changes, but will they be as major as a lot of us think? The right side consisting of Chuks Okorafor and David DeCastro are under contract and will be back barring something unexpected. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva has an expired deal and his retirement has been largely expected for a while now. Should the 32-year old veteran (who has been holding down the position since 2015) retire, the spot could go to Okorafor or Zach Banner, should he return from injury and sign a new deal with the team. Kevin Dotson’s outstanding rookie campaign should land him at left tackle, but free agent Matt Feiler held down the spot last year. The thought is that Feiler may not be resigned, but would be moved back to right tackle should he return. Maurkice Pouncey has been rumored to be retiring as well, but he still has a year left on his deal. The nine-time Pro Bowler is expected to be 50/50 regarding his decision and his leaving would leave a huge hole. The Steelers are going to have to bring in more lineman and should be drafting one high. But the bottom line is that this unit will look very different.
The Steelers need to bring in a media/social media consultant for their players
I realize that JuJu Smith-Schuster is a free agent and that his inquiry on Twitch on which uniform he should wear on Friday may foreshadow his 2021 departure, but that it is further proof that No. 19’s mature play on the field does not translate to anything he does through cyberspace. Cleveland continues to use his words as a rallying cry. Billboards with “The Browns is the Browns” words that JuJu doesn’t regret saying was extra fuel that the team didn’t need. Chase Claypool going on TikTok live and saying “Bad loss. But the Browns are going to get clapped next week, so it’s all good” is not good. These comments, on top of everything else, shows that some players, no matter how talented, just don’t understand the damage it does to their team and their own images. They need consulted or a Yoda, but this needs cleaned up going forward.
There’s only one way that Randy Fichtner’s successor will be named quickly
Note: It has been reported that Matt Canada has been named the next offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The following was written before the announcement, but it was proven true by the reported hiring.
I expect the Steelers will take their time to name their next offensive coordinator. They don’t want to rush into a decision in the same manner in which they did when hiring Fichtner in 2018. They will though if they decide that their quarterbacks coach, Matt Canada, is the guy that they covet for the position. Canada was interviewing in Miami for the Dolphins post Thursday. If that’s the guy they want, I’d reckon that they would pull the trigger quick or risk losing him elsewhere. They could do that if they decide on another prospect that is high on another team’s list. But most likely they will take their time to find the perfect fit.
The Steelers need to give Ben Roethlisberger a say in the hiring process
Note: It is not known whether or not Ben Roethlisberger was a part of the decision process in the reported promotion of Matt Canada.
Not at all. Ben has gotten a say before, but appeasing the veteran quarterback should not be a top priority at this stage. Why? His playing days are coming to a conclusion soon. The quarterback still needs to be treated with respect, but Ben can’t have it his way this time around. Fichtner was hired with the job never being posted. That’s what Ben wanted and Randy was merely a puppet for Ben. When No. 7 was injured, Randy’s play calling was inept and the team suffered. Translation, Big Ben was the team’s OC a good bit of the time early on in 2018. The Steelers can ill-afford allowing the decision to be made by a player that may not be here next year.
Omar Khan is definitely going to be the next General Manager for the Steelers
He very well could be next season, but if the cap-ologist of the Steelers gets an offer...he may not wait around for Kevin Colbert to retire. It appears that the long-time GM of the Steelers is staying in Pittsburgh after teams that he has or had ties to have filled their vacancies for the job with Brad Holmes and Scott Fitterer signing on to run the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers respectively. Khan is well-respected for what he does, but eventually his patience will run out. In fact, it could have already run out with reports surfacing that Khan had interviewed with Carolina and was about to sign on as the Houston Texans GM before owner Cal McNair swooped in and instead hired Nick Caserio. Khan will be an NFL GM very soon, but won’t be in Pittsburgh if Kevin Colbert decides to stay longer at the helm.
Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game and listen for more on the player below.