The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season has now been concluded for more than six weeks. Since the entire 2022 season is over with all teams moving into the 2023 offseason, there’s been plenty of time to look back and reflect on both the accomplishments and shortcomings of this past year‘s team. But now it’s time to look forward.
Since it’s impossible to go back and change the past, what’s most important when looking at 2022 is to see how it builds towards the future in 2023 and beyond. With much discussion about which position group the Steelers need to improve based on potential free agent losses and things of that nature, sometimes what gets lost in the shuffle‘s where the Steelers had both the most and least success in the previous year and how that builds into the following season. It’s possible for the Steelers to be losing no one at a given position yet still need to do something based on expectations coming up short the previous year. Additionally, another position group could be the strongest for the team and a focus on keeping the group intact might be the best approach.
Last weekend, we looked at both the most concerning and least concerning position groups based on the 2022 season. The instructions were to only look back and not look forward. Now it’s time to take those results, mixed with the Steelers players that are set to become free agents in just a couple weeks, and decide where the Steelers are set up the best and worst as they head into free agency. Since the discussion of strengths would probably lead more to the weakest spots in terms of the discussion, let’ go ahead and start with weaknesses today and save the strengths for tomorrow.
So the question for today is this: Which position group of the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers is the biggest area of concern as it stands today? Remember, this will take the results from last weekend where we were looking back at this past season and mix it with the players who could be lost to free agency.
Inside linebacker: 58%
Free agents: Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen
The position group was concerning for last season as last weekend’s poll showed. The fact the Steelers have more than half the players from the position group who could be gone for next season, the concern should continue to grow.
Offensive line: 21%
Free agents: J.C. Hassenauer, Trent Scott, Jesse Davis
The concern in this group has to do simply with their play on the field. All starters are under contract for next season but it doesn’t mean the Steelers don’t need to upgrade.
Defensive line: 9%
Free agents: Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley, Tyson Alualu
I was surprised at the number of votes that went towards this position group. It might have been people didn’t follow directions looking at last season because it is much more concerning if Larry Ogunjobi is not retained.
Free agents: Cam Sutton, James Pierre
Much like the previous group, I’m not sure that the cornerbacks were huge concern at the end of last season. But with the best player of the group set to be a free agent, there are many Steelers fans who think this group might be at the top for the upcoming season.
Free agents: Mason Rudolph
Those who voted for quarterback last weekend probably don’t even care about the potential loss of Mason Rudolph. Concerns here are probably more from who is still under contract.
Free agents: None
Special teams are so often either a strength or weakness. When it came to place kicking and punting last season, it was more towards the weakness into the spectrum. So the fact all three are returning this year may not be the plus it would otherwise be.
Outside linebacker: 1%
Free agents: Malik Reed
This is all about the depth. The little depth the Steelers do have isn’t reassuring.
Wide receiver: 1%
Free agents: Miles Boykin, Steven Sims
It should be noted Steven Sims is a restricted free agent so the Steelers could choose to keep him if they want to invest the more than $2.5 million for the season. But the top of the depth chart is still under contract.
Tight end: 0%
Free agents: Zach Gentry
There was not much concern at the tight end position last year, and Zach Gentry was not a huge receiving threat. But if the Steelers want a tight end that specializes in blocking, they currently don’t have one.
Running back: 0%
Free agents: Derek Watt, Benny Snell Jr.
I threw Derek Watt in here as a fullback, but really he’s just a special teams player that fills in a handful of snaps each game. The Steelers finally found two quality running backs last season and both will return for 2023.
Free agents: Terrell Edmunds, Damontae Kazee, Karl Joseph
This position was fantastic last year as the Steelers had All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick. But the two players who shared the field with him the most are both potential free agents. Without their return, the concern at this position could shoot up the board.
So there is a brief reminder as to how each position group performed in last weekend’s poll, as well as players who could be lost to free agency. Now the rest of the story is up to you. Which position group do you believe is the most concerning heading towards the 2023 season? Make sure to vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Which position group is most concerning at this time for the 2023 Steelers?
This poll is closed