The Pittsburgh Steelers have put together a quality roster ahead of the 2021 season. For Steelers fans, heading into this past offseason appeared to be a daunting task, and the team looked on the brink of a rebuild. But as we sit here today the Steelers have assembled a team good enough to compete for a championship. Today we look at 10 reasons why Steelers fans should be excited about the 2021 season.
10. The Steelers Still Have a Top Defense
The Steelers have been one of the NFL’s best defensive teams for the past five consecutive seasons. Despite losing three starters from last year’s team, the Steelers were able to upgrade at middle linebacker, upgrade depth at outside linebacker, and have a healthy competition brewing for the corner back spot. The Steelers front seven is a nasty and deep group, unlike any other in the NFL today, it will be hard scoring on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
9. The Steelers Rebuilt the Entire OLine
Out with the old, in with the new. The Steelers moved on from an abysmal 2020 offensive line that nearly got Ben Roethlisberger killed each and every week. The returning tackles are back to playing on their strong sides, plus the addition of Dan Moore who grows leaps and bounds with every single practice. Kevin Dotson is a star in the making, and Trai Turner finally looks healthy. Rookie Kendrick Green is getting his feet under him, but he looks nasty at the point of attack. This unit is meaner, younger, and better than what we saw in 2020.
8. The Steelers Receivers Have More Chemistry
The Steelers managed to return the entire 2020 receiving unit to the 2021 team. All of these guys have had another year to grow with Ben Roethlisberger, and have been exposed to Matt Canada’s philosophies for almost a year and a half already. For those simple factors alone they will be better than they were last year, and all those guys are still younger than 25.
7. This is a Deep Squad
Which position groups don’t actually have a lot of depth on the Steelers? Safety, and Center come to mind but that's about it! The Steelers can survive injuries to a lot of positions and be alright, of course no major injuries would be ideal. But, the strength of this team might be its depth and being able to out condition the opposition.
6. Sophomores Stepping Up
The Steelers 2020 draft class will take on starring roles for this year’s team. Chase Claypool, Alex Highsmith, Kevin Dotson, and Antoine Brooks will all be starters, and Anthony McFarland and Carlos Davis will be primary reserve type players. The first three players I listed each have Pro Bowl potential ahead of them here in 2021, and will directly relate to the success of this team.
5. The Coaching Staff is Greatly Upgraded
From Randy-land to Matt Canada, this is going to be a night and day difference for the offense. Not only will they not be predictable, but the system will be one that actually advances offensive schematics across the NFL. Adrian Klemm also needs to be brought up, as the Steelers offensive line looks to be bringing a hyper aggressive approach to the 2021 season. The scheme changes will make the Steelers better exponentially.
4. Ben Roethlisberger Didn't Have to Rehab All Year
Think about what the Steelers storylines were a year ago today. The headlines were dominated by Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow and whether or not he could hold up through an NFL season again. He was fresh off of rehab and just began throwing the football. This year Roethlisberger didn't have to rehab his throwing arm and instead was able to train like an NFL quarterback. Even if Ben isn't the hardest working guy in the weight room, whatever he did this offseason is better for on-field success than rehab.
3. Kevin Colbert is Aggressively Improving the Roster
In the last eight weeks, or so, the Steelers added three Pro Bowlers to the roster. They also just opened up a whack of money to further improve this team. Kevin Colbert is building a championship quality roster and doing so without spending much cap space with each and every move. I really don’t think he is done before Week 1, and this team’s roster is getting increasingly better by the week. If Colbert can add another piece to the roster it may just push the Steelers over the top.
2. The Entire Draft Class Looks Good
After paying close attention to Steelers training camp, I honestly can't tell you about one Steelers rookie draft pick that isn't impressing at practice. Najee Harris looks like a Pro Bowl level running back, Pat Freiermuth will be an impact starter, Kendrick Green has taken the starting center job, Dan Moore Jr. has performed incredibly well, Buddy Johnson might even be the best linebacker throughout camp, Isaiahh Loudermilk has been impressive, Quincy Roche has put up insane pass rush win rate stats, Tre Norwood might be the best safety depth the team has, and Pressley Harvin III could legitimately become the best punter in the league. What’s not to like!
1. The Steelers are Underrated Underdogs
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is sleeping on this team. Not only that, but the Steelers are pissed off from what happened to them at the end of last season. Opposing teams may be willing to over look this team, but that would be a huge mistake. Considering the amount of talent assembled by Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin put together, I would say this is one of the top teams in football. Let the league sleep on this team, and at some point everyone will wonder how the Steelers ended defying expectations. This is a dangerous team and they are hungry to prove themselves.
But what do you think? What are the reasons that excite you about this Steelers team? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.