With the Pittsburgh Steelers wrapping up their second week of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, it marks the last week where there will only be practice. That’s right, next Saturday is the Steelers’ first preseason game when they host the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium for a 7pm ET kickoff.
Considering this simple fact, it became evident to me how this is the hopeful time of the season. This is the time when most fan bases are the most hopeful, second possibly only to the NFL Draft. Even though there have been some negative reports coming out of camp, fans should be looking at the 2022 season and getting excited.
Why now? Why would this week be more hopeful than next?
Simple...this team hasn’t played against anyone other than their teammates yet.
I’m not about to predict an awful performance during the team’s first preseason game, but that is when the true criticism comes. Those games, despite being meaningless, are when doubt starts to creep in fans’ brains. It’s those games where the once promising rookie looks like, well, a rookie.
You get the picture.
It is now where hope truly springs eternal, and fans should embrace this fact before the team’s first preseason game next Saturday.
Sure, there are some injuries which have sidelined players like Pat Freiermuth (hamstring), Chase Claypool (shoulder) and Najee Harris (foot), but the hopeful approach is how those injuries haven’t been deemed major and shouldn’t keep them out of the games which don’t count.
Sure, reports out of camp suggest the defense looks stout while the offense still sorts things out, but hopefully this is more of a statement of the Steelers’ defense and not an indictment of the team’s offense.
Sure, the quarterback reports have been as sporadic as some of the passes thrown in Latrobe, but the hope is a player distinguishes himself from the pack and is the unproven leader heading into Week 1.
With all these storylines and narratives, and there are plenty more where they came from, floating around, how could one be hopeful? Easy, because while all those things can go south in a hurry, they can also pan out. They can also develop and be a strength of the team. A strength which equates in victories for the Steelers in 2022.
Criticism will come, it always does, but not today. Today, let’s be hopeful in the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers.
(Note: The Letter From the Editor article runs every Sunday morning during the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason.)