With the 2022 offseason officially here, what do Pittsburgh Steelers fans need to think about? Well, on the day ESPN released an article predicting the Steelers will pick 6th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, I think it’s time someone took a positive outlook towards the upcoming 2022 season.
Going into this 2022 season I firmly believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers have a better roster than in 2021, a season where they finished 9-7-1 and were only half a game back of the Cincinnati Bengals. A Bengals team that were vaunted and celebrated by NFL analysts. Throughout free agency and the draft the Steelers front office have addressed needs the roster has needed, and made the team stronger and more NFL-ready.
Let’s take the biggest problem from last year — the offensive line. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the 2022 line. First, the acquisition of James Daniels gives the Steelers a real leader and example setter. Daniels has already spoken about his desire to be a leader on offense.
Now, add to that the signing of Mason Cole, a solid center from the Minnesota Vikings. His presence could mean an end to the high snaps and bull rushes which often left Kendrick Green in Ben Roethlisberger’s lap. Furthermore, the competition between Dotson and Green can only be good for the Steelers. Competition drives up standards and keeps those standards high. Whoever wins the battle will need to play to the best of their abilities to keep their starting spot. Again, good news for the Steelers!
Last season the offense often let down the defense. Just look at the Kansas City playoff game. The defense holds the Chiefs for 20-25 minutes, something no other team had done, but the offense goes 3-and-out time and time again. This coming season’s offense has a far better chance of succeeding with Matt Canada now having all the pieces he needs to institute his offensive system. He has a mobile quarterback with a stronger arm than Roethlisberger, at the end of his career, in Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett. He has some excellent young receivers and a great tight end room too. George Pickens, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson and Calvin Austin III all bring great attributes to help the Canada system succeed.
Add to this the fact Najee Harris is bigger, stronger and has a better line, he could be even better this coming season. Once the run can be established the Canada system can then begin to work.
The most important reason to be optimistic, even though Stephon Tuitt has retired, is the return of Tyson Alualu. Alualu being added to the star-studded defense the Steelers already have means this unit will be even stronger. There’s even more flexibility there too. Rookie DeMarvin Leal and Genard Avery can play a number of positions. Three top quality safeties mean the defense can use 3-safety looks to help bolster both the run and pass defenses. This defense is loaded, and looks like a Top 5 unit.
Finally, another reason to be excited about the upcoming season is the fact the Steelers have Mike Tomlin. Tomlin hasn’t had a losing season, and has dragged very average rosters in the past to playoff contention, something very few other coaches have done.
So, let’s be optimistic and let the analysts write the team off. Because we know come September there’s going to be a lot of people in the media eating crow about the Steelers!