Pittsburgh will likely retool, not rebuild, as a franchise



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It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of ​​the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on the schedule would likely be seen as a significant obstacle at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers were tough for the Chiefs even during Andy Reid’s day, and the franchise’s long history of success has cemented that concern.

These days, however, the Steelers aren’t quite what they used to be and they face an uncertain future knowing they have to replace Ben Roethlisberger as the team’s starting quarterback. However, they also have significant needs in the trenches and that’s after investing some of the top picks in the most recent draft to what you might call “luxury positions”.

In an effort to get to know the Steelers better and to get a feel for the squad’s makeup and posture going forward, we reached out to our friend. Tommy jaggi, Editor-in-Chief of FanSided and responsible for Still Curtain, to tell us more about Pittsburgh’s chances this weekend and what he thinks they’ll do to replace Big Ben.

What do you think of the current state of the Steelers franchise? Does this sound like a burnout scenario or will they try to compete as they retool at QB?

The Steelers are never a team that really rebuilds itself from the ground up; they reload. While I don’t always agree with this method, it has allowed them to be competitive for so many years over the past two decades. I think that will be the case again when Ben Roethlisberger retires. Mike Tomlin has expressed that he doesn’t want to start over with a rookie quarterback. That’s not to say Pittsburgh won’t write one, but I expect them to try to make a splash for a veteran in the 2022 offseason. They will try to retool their squad in a way that reopens their Super window. Bowl in the immediate future.

Are there positive vibes around the current options other than Big Ben to be the guy in the future?

I’m very confident that the answer to the quarterback beyond Ben is not currently on the squad. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins have had ample opportunity to prove themselves in this league and both have been far below expectations. Coach Tomlin emphasized the importance of quarterback mobility when speaking to the media throughout the year. I can see them draft a guy with the traits they want, but also bring in a veteran quarterback from the bridge who fits what they’re looking for – maybe a Marcus Mariota or Mitch Trubisky.

The franchise used early choices on what appeared to be luxury positions in 2021. How accurate is that assessment and / or what is the feeling about the Class of 2021 at this point?

While most fans completely agree with Najee Harris’ selection, the Steelers weren’t able to turn around in the first round. The offensive line hasn’t been tackled in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft for nearly a decade, and Pittsburgh has overlooked “silver” positions in recent years. I still think the 2021 draft class could prove to be solid for this team. Pat Freiermuth looks like he can be a stud at the end of the tight position for a long time, while Harris has the advantage of being one of the better running backs with more consistent blocking in front of him. However, the overall outlook for this class is strong, but unspectacular at the moment.

The Steelers are still technically alive for a playoff berth. How confident is this team with three games remaining?

Based on Week 15’s results, the Steelers still have a remarkably low chance of making the playoffs this year. Beating the Titans helped, but a loss to the Chiefs this week wouldn’t guarantee them a spot even if they beat Cleveland and Baltimore in their last two games. The Steelers are likely to need the Ravens and Bengals slips to stand a chance this year, and losing this week will see their chances in the playoffs drop even more.


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