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Is the Steelers strength in 2023 based solely on perception?

Fans love the direction of the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers, but does the roster mirror those expectations?

NFL: JAN 01 Steelers at Ravens Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The vast Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is excited for the 2023 season. They have a massive amount of hope surrounding the team as they prepare for what is hopefully an exciting season. However, if you look at the roster from a realistic standpoint, is the confidence the fans have in this new-look team warranted?

In this regard, it equates to talking about proven commodities. In the NFL, you base confidence on players who have proven what they can do at the highest level. With that being said, who are those proven commodities for the black-and-gold?

Let’s break it down by offense and defense:


T.J. Watt

Former Defensive Player of the Year, not much else needs to be said.

Cam Heyward

Perennial All-Pro and dominant force along the defensive front.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Another All-Pro who continues to dominate in the back half of the secondary.

Patrick Peterson

Some believe Peterson’s best football is behind him, but his 2022 season was great and his resume speaks for itself.


Pat Freiermuth

Has yet to have that big breakout season, but has been as consistent as ever since entering the NFL.

Diontae Johnson

Former Pro Bowl receiver. Debate it all you want, but it happened.

When you look at the offensive side of the ball, and the players listed, you can see how those proven commodities don’t really exist there. Could I have included some of the offensive line like Mason Cole and James Daniels? Absolutely I could have, but this new-look will be a test for them.

Najee Harris? He’s been great since entering the league, but I would love to see more consistency.

Kenny Pickett? As great as the end of the season was last year, he has to prove it again in 2023 and for a full season to be considered that type of player.

On the defensive side of the ball, what about Larry Ogunjobi? Ogunjobi hasn’t been healthy since he signed with the Steelers. We have no idea what kind of player he is when given a clean bill of health.

Levi Wallace? Wallace had a sneaky good season last year, but I’m not about to put him on the list.

When you look at the roster in this way, you see loads of potential but not necessarily proven commodities. Will the Steelers add players to this list after 2023? A great season could equate in just that. Did I miss someone? Let me know in the comment section below...

This was the topic on a special LIVE version of my “Let’s Ride” podcast. Check it out in the player below: