The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.
It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.
Let’s get to the scenario...
Scenario: Quincy Roche will register at least 5 sacks in 2021
Why it will happen: The Steelers’ defense does a lot of things well, but none compare to getting after the quarterback. Pittsburgh has led the NFL in sacks the past few seasons, and despite losing Bud Dupree via free agency, they don’t look like they are close to slowing down. Getting some production from the backups will be crucial, and you have to wonder if Quincy Roche can top what Alex Highsmith did as a rookie. In 2020, Highsmith registered just 2.0 sacks on the season. Not great numbers, but he also didn’t play a great deal until Dupree tore his ACL in the latter portions of the season. Roche could be seeing the field more than Highsmith did in 2020, and that could benefit him. Throw in the fact the left side of the defense, T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt, will draw plenty of attention will allow him the ability to win one-on-one matchups.
Why it won’t happen: When looking at Highsmith’s stat line from last season, it is difficult to see Roche besting those numbers. If Highsmith is good at one thing, it’s getting after the passer, and he only had 2.0 sacks last season. Roche is a good pass rusher, but I don’t believe he is far and away better than Highsmith was last year. Throw in the fact the competition level will increase significantly and you have to wonder if Roche will be able to get 2.0 sacks, let alone 5. Let’s also throw in the fact there is a very real chance the Steelers go out and pick up a veteran pass rusher to be No. 3 on the list, and if that happens you will see a significant cut in Roche’s snaps. All bad news for him registering 5 sacks in his rookie season.
Prediction: While I love this 2021 NFL Draft class, I don’t expect much out of Roche. He is a great story, and anyone who grew up a Baltimore Ravens fan and gets drafted by the Steelers will be something to watch. However, Roche has an uphill climb just to see the field, let alone make a huge impact. I’ve been wrong before, and will be wrong again, but I don’t see Roche getting to 5 sacks on the season. I will say he bests Highsmith’s number and gets 2.5. My apologies to all the ‘Q from the U’ fans out there.
Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.