It’s early July as I’m typing this actual sentence, and I figured it would be cool to just sit down and write my thoughts on the Steelers (and other things) as they come flooding into my brain. Truth be told, not much Steelers-related stuff (or stuff of any kind) is flooding through my brain at the moment, but maybe that will change once I start.
—On Thursday, I talked to a guy who said that he read some publication where a writer stated the Steelers would be lucky to win five or six games in 2021. Pretty bleak, even for 2021 Steelers predictions. Nevertheless, it’s yet another “expert” who isn’t giving Pittsburgh much of a chance this year.
—Is it the depth?
—What if depth never really becomes much of an issue thanks to the Steelers being relatively healthy in 2021?
—Speaking of depth, are other teams hoarding really great players and using them as backups? Isn’t depth an issue for pretty much every team? There is a salary cap in the NFL—and it’s lower than normal in 2021.
—The late Sam Wyche, a former NFL head coach and football analyst, once said that when he watched the film of every team in the league before the start of a season, he could pick out the handful of squads that were going to be really good and the few that would no doubt be really bad. As for the other two dozen or so teams, they were all literally a handful of plays, calls and/or bounces away from finishing anywhere between 6-10 and 10-6. Simply based on their roster composition, the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers figure to be one of those teams that’s a few plays, calls and/or bounces away from finishing anywhere between 7-10 and 10-7 (I had to update the math based on the evil 17-game schedule). Therefore, it seems a bit disingenuous to say the Steelers will be awful. Will they be great? I doubt it, but the whole writing them off thing is just silly.
—I gained a great deal of respect for Wyche once I became older and realized that opposing coaches are human, too.
—Same for late Marty Schottenheimer.
—I didn’t gain a ton of respect for Jerry Glanville over the years, but I always thought he was pretty funny for a head coach—at least for a guy who used to coach his teams to play dirty, anyway.
—The Steelers just have too many decent skill-position players to be horrible.
—Maybe Ben Roethlisberger will fall off a cliff in terms of his physical abilities in 2021, but it doesn’t seem all that likely.
—What if Chase Claypool makes a mega leap in his second season?
—Thanks to the release of David DeCastro last week, the offensive line will be a totally new unit in 2021 (more or less). Therefore, to completely write it off based on 2020 results seems short-sighted.
—Most people just say that Chukwuma Okorafor was terrible in 2020, but they don’t offer any evidence as to why.
—I have no doubt Dejan Kovacevic has a legit and reliable source within the Steelers organization who told him that at least one prominent figure is unsatisfied with second-year guard, Kevin Dotson, due to his conditioning.
—This doesn’t mean Dotson is out of shape. So why would someone be unhappy with him? To quote Tony in the original Rocky movie: “Some guys, they just hate for no reason, capisce?”
—If I was DK and had that kind of source who had that kind of nugget, I would have reported it, too.
—The defense figures to be really good again in 2021. Will it be as dominant without Bud Dupree, Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson? I don’t know, but I also don’t know that it won’t be.
—A returning and healthy Devin Bush should make a huge difference in the middle of the defense in 2021.
—Bush may have created a distraction when he took to Twitter on Thursday to say that TikTok is useless and anyone who uses it is lame (not his actual word). So, in other words, Bush created a distraction by using one form of social media to claim that another form of social media—-one used by several of his teammates—was essentially a distraction. That’s kind of amazing.
—Bush was no doubt clowning and ribbing his teammates when he made that statement. These guys aren’t dumb, and they all have each other's phone numbers. I’m sure the stuff that gets texted back and forth between players is 10 times crazier than what's posted about one another on social media.
That’s all I have for today. There may not be much Steelers news, but I’m glad that I could give you my stream of consciousness. So, you have that goin’ for you, which is nice.