Every offseason, almost every position group on the Steelers roster gets a little bit of a makeover. Sometimes there are additions which can give fans more hope going into the next season, while other times there are losses which can cause doubt and uncertainty. Sometimes there aren’t any changes in the position group, which could be viewed as either a positive or a negative.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers offense for 2022, it’s safe to say improvements need to be made at a number of positions based on their 2021 performance. With the defense leading the way as the team squeezed its way into the postseason, there were many times throughout the season where the offense didn’t offer much support at all to their teammates on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
With many changes coming in personnel, there are some position groups which appear to be improved while others have a lot to prove for the upcoming season. Whether it be a group with a lot of changes or none at all, what position are fans most concerned about going into the 2022 season?
Here is a breakdown, including key losses and gains, for each position group on the Steelers offense:
(NOTE: Only players signed with previous years of service in the NFL or players selected in the 2022 NFL draft will be considered additions, and players who were on the Steelers 53-man roster in 2021 will be considered losses.)
Losses: Ben Roethlisberger, Dwayne Haskins
Additions: Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, Chris Oladokun
While it’s easy to look and see the loss of a two-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Fame quarterback, many Steelers fans saw the physical limitations of Ben Roethlisberger over the last two seasons as his career was coming to an end. Whether or not the new quarterbacks on the roster will be able to match Roethlisberger’s experience and ‘it’ factor when it came to end of game heroics with mobility and being able to push the ball down the field remains to be seen.
Losses: Kalen Ballage
While there was some fluctuation in personnel within this group, a player with only 14 touches on the season for the Steelers departing while only addressing the position with undrafted free agents, there isn’t really any net change to the group that is apparent at this time. With Najee Harris coming off a record-setting season, concerns are mainly not about his production but of those who follow him on the depth chart.
Losses: Eric Ebron
Additions: Connor Heyward
With Eric Ebron missing a large portion of the 2021 season, the Steelers adapted to what they wanted to do at the position with their young players emerging. Whether or not Connor Hayward makes the roster and contributes as a sixth-round draft pick is something fans will have to wait until training camp to try to determine.
Losses: JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, Ray-Ray McCloud
Additions: George Pickens, Calvin Austin III, Miles Boykin, Gunner Olszewski
While the Steelers lost three of their five receivers who initially made the roster in 2021, they were the three least productive of the group. JuJu Smith-Schuster missed most of the season due to injury, James Washington never really emerged as the second-round draft pick he was hoped to be, and Ray-Ray McCloud was mainly called on because of the absence of Smith-Schuster. With their top two receivers back in 2022, the biggest question is how quickly the rookies at newcomers can step in to fill the void left by those who departed.
Losses: Trai Turner, B.J. Finney, Zach Banner
Additions: James Daniels, Mason Cole, Trenton Scott
While it looks on paper that the Pittsburgh Steelers have gained much more quality than they lost on the offensive line over the last season, the biggest question is if the additions are enough. Whenever starters from the previous season have to fight for a job, it generally means an improvement should be on the horizon, but being an improved unit still doesn’t mean that it’s not a weakness of the offense.
So which position group on the Steelers offense are you most concerned about heading into the 2022 season? While there may be multiple groups for there to be concern, which one is on top of the list? Make sure to vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
What position group is the greatest concern for the Steelers 2022 offense?
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