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Steelers Friday mailbag: Final cuts edition

We answer your questions after the Steelers made the final cuts to their roster.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The next time we see the Steelers take the field, it will be Week 1 at Acrisure Stadium when they play host to the San Francisco 49ers. The final cuts have been made, and new additions like cornerback Desmond King have arrived ahead of the season opener.

With that, this is the final Friday mailbag without football until February, so let’s get into it.

Q: When was the last time a team won the Super Bowl after missing the playoffs the year before- Les Norton

The Buccaneers with Tom Brady. It’s happened plenty of times, though. The 49ers won their first Super Bowl with Joe Montana after missing the playoffs the year prior. The Eagles didn’t make the playoffs in Carson Wentz’ rookie year, but won the Super Bowl the next season. Not to mention the several teams that have appeared in the Super Bowl after missing the playoffs. There is certainly a ton of precedent for it to happen.

Q: What number will Kwon Alexander wear? Will Omar Khan bring in a safety?- Dwoods2u

There aren’t very many options for a single-digit number, which is what Kwon was hoping for. Maybe 58? He’s worn that for the Buccaneers and Saints. In terms of adding another safety, I’d say if someone gets hurt to watch for it. Right now, they have a good room with Fitzpatrick, Kazee, and Neal with Killebrew being the break glass in case of emergency guy.

Q: Do practice squad players know they’ll be asked to stay with the team if no one else picks them up?- wyn50

That’s usually how it goes. If teams have an intent on putting guys on the practice squad once they clear waivers, that’s usually discussed ahead of time. We just saw a good example of that with Bailey Zappe being released and immediately coming back to New England.

Are the Steelers going to bring Zach Gentry back?- Full Tilt Boogie

There is really no need to. He isn’t a receiving threat like Freiermuth or a versatile guy like Heyward and Washington. Keeping four tight ends doesn’t make sense. If he does come back, it’s as a practice squad guy.

If the Steelers rank in the top 10 in both yards and points by Week 10, what will their record be?- Polamolicules Dude

Their schedule is really favorable. They’ll drop a game that they shouldn’t early on in the season as they usually do. My bet is they lose to the Raiders on the road. Haven’t beaten them on the road since 1995. The Jaguars will be a handful. I’d be shocked if they were anything less than 7-3 in this scenario, though.

What is the confidence level in Mitch Trubisky being able to win games, should he need to in case of injury?- huntingtonbeachsteeler

Mitch is easily one of the five best backups in the league. The confidence will be as high as they could be for a backup, especially after that Tampa Bay game last year and with all the weapons offensively and a stacked defense.

With a journeyman center and the departure of Green, I got to thinking about Steelers centers. Rank the top five centers who played for the Steelers.

  1. Mike Webster
  2. Maurkice Pouncey
  3. Dermontti Dawson
  4. Ray Mansfield
  5. Jeff Hartings

Q: When do we officially go from “Tomlin didn’t win anything without Cowher’s players” to “Tomlin didn’t win anything without Khan’s players?”

There will always be those who refuse to give Tomlin credit. I think having a forward-thinking, aggressive GM like Omar Khan is the fire this team needed, though. It felt like, in many ways, the game had passed Kevin Colbert by. Tomlin and Khan will make a great duo, and we are already seeing Khan go crazy with this roster. 40 percent of the players are new, and there have been so many great additions.