The Pittsburgh Steelers lost several players to injury throughout the 2020 season. Players like Bud Dupree have gone to new teams for the upcoming season, but two players who tore ACLs in their knees will return and be expected to have big roles with the team in 2021.
Those players would be inside linebacker Devin Bush and offensive tackle Zach Banner.
Both Bush and Banner are expected to have massive roles with the Steelers this season. Bush is going to be resuming his role as the main cog on the interior of the defense, and Banner will finally get an opportunity to hold the right tackle position he won prior to the 2020 season.
The crux of this article is based on a difficult question for fans to answer, and that is who will have a bigger impact for the team in 2021?
Making the case for Bush, his absence last year was definitely noticeable. Robert Spillane filled in nicely, but he isn’t near the athlete of Bush. The return of Bush won’t just have a Top 10 draft pick returning to the starting lineup, but will allow the likes of Spillane, Vince Williams, Ulysees Gilbert III and rookie Buddy Johnson to fill roles which aren’t going to require a ton of snaps played. On top of that, it still stands how Williams, when paired with an athletic linebacker, can still be a tremendous piece of the defensive puzzle.
Bush returning to the lineup has a tremendous impact not just on the inside linebacker position, but also the entire defense. He’s that good.
With Banner, as the Steelers go through an overhaul of the offensive line, Banner’s experience, although not as a starter is valuable. In an offseason when the Steelers saw Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler leave via free agency, Maurkice Pouncey retire and Chukwuma Okorafor slide from right tackle to left tackle, experience comes at a premium.
Getting into specifics, many question Banner’s overall ability as a starting tackle, but if you are wondering about his skill set it resides as a run blocker. Question Banner’s pass blocking, and it would be warranted. The majority of his experience with the Steelers has been as a blocking tight end. Banner is just what the doctor ordered for Pittsburgh’s abysmal running game. Judgement will have to be held for Banner’s ability to protect Ben Roethlisberger.
Regardless, Banner will be a huge part of the offense in 2021.
With all that said, the time now comes for you, the reader, to predict who will have the bigger impact on the Steelers in 2021? Will it be Bush’s return to the linebacker position, or Banner anchoring the right side of the offensive line? Let us know what you think in the poll below, and be sure to explain your vote in the comment section below!
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the regular season.
Who will have the bigger impact in 2021 for the Steelers?
This poll is closed
ILB Devin Bush
RT Zach Banner