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 yesterday was the discussion of weakest spots, let’ continue on with the strengths.
So the question for today is this: Which position group of the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers is the least 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.
Tight end: 29%
Free agents: Zach Gentry
This position group barely won the voting last week in terms of confidence from 2022. But when there’s only three players at the position and one is potentially a free agent, does that continue moving forward?
Free agents: Terrell Edmunds, Damontae Kazee, Karl Joseph
Much like tight end, this group gave a lot of confidence in 2022 but there are too many free agents heading into the season. How the Steelers rebuild the room, whether they are keeping their own or finding replacements elsewhere, will be the key.
Running back: 16%
Free agents: Derek Watt, Benny Snell Jr.
The top two guys are still there, which will probably help this group finish strong in how the fans view it in 2023.
Outside linebacker: 9%
Free agents: Malik Reed
Being an extremely top-heavy group, how much confidence remains at this time when it comes to the rotational pieces?
Inside linebacker: 5%
Free agents: Devin Bush, Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen
In the comments of last weekend‘s article, someone admitted they misread the question and voted in this manner for the wrong position group. While they may not be alone, others simply don’t see this group as being as important as others on the defense. If the Steelers are going to be weak anywhere, inside linebacker in one some fans would prefer. The success of the players there is believed by some to be very dependent on the players in front of and behind them in the defense.
Wide receiver: 3%
Free agents: Miles Boykin, Steven Sims
The Steelers have their top two guys and there’s a little argument there, although some would like to trade Diontae Johnson. And even though there may be some questions for the rest of the depth chart, there are multiple options.
Offensive line: 3%
Free agents: J.C. Hassenauer, Trent Scott, Jesse Davis
Despite every starter being under contract for 2023, Many Steelers fans do not have confidence in this group. But the Steelers themselves do.
Free agents: Mason Rudolph
Ultimately, this group showing up towards the bottom of the list on both the most concerning at least concerning last year is mostly a reflection on Kenny Pickett. Since there is a wide spectrum on how Steelers fans feel about him, the ones lying on each extreme most likely voted for this group in one or the other polls.
Defensive line: 2%
Free agents: Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley, Tyson Alualu
If the season started today, I’m not sure who would even be the starters for the Steelers on the defensive line. When the best player of the unit is getting up there in age despite having great production, you just never know how much time is left. For this reason, there’s plenty of justification for not being confident in this position group heading into 2023.
Free agents: Cam Sutton, James Pierre
It’s not that the Steelers had poor cornerback play last season, there were just plenty of other options that made sense to be the least concerned about last year. Add in the fact the top player from last year‘s unit is set to be a free agent, there’s likely not a growth of confidence in this group at this time.
Free agents: None
Most fans don’t feel strongly about the kicker, punter, or long snapper on a team unless they are doing really great or very poor. This might explain the indifference of many who place their confidence elsewhere.
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 least concerning heading towards the 2023 season? Make sure to vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below. We will return to this question after the first phase of free agency prior to the NFL draft.
Which position group is least concerning at this time for the 2023 Steelers?
This poll is closed