Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Season Review

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ORG XMIT: NYOTK Pittsburgh Steelers helmets on the field prior to a football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010, in Cincinnat. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke) [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

What a year for Steeler football. Starting the season rough with a 0-3 start, losing their veteran quarterback due to injury, and two all-pro athletes this offseason. The team managed to pull together and end there season with an 8-8 record.

Two big takeaways that would come from this season would be first off, that Mason Rudolph is not our quarterback of the future. The second big thing would be that Coach Mike Tomlin is a lot better of a coach than most people thought he was.

The following are my in-depth view of each position on the Steelers roster and each how each position performed this year and my thoughts on what possibilities they could do to improve on that position.

Quarterback: The quarterback situation has been one of the biggest talking factors of the Pittsburgh Steelers over this year. They started with an early injury to one of their key players in Ben Roethlisberger as he missed the entire season. This left eye on the hopeful young quarterback that was Mason Rudolph. Rudolph did nothing outstanding but played average. Then during Week 5, he took a huge blow to the head after a hit from Earl Thomas against the Ravens. This leads him to be on concussion protocol. Stepping in for the injured Rudolph would be the Undrafted rookie quarterback Delvin “Duck” Hodges. During Hodges’s first games he played exceptional for the expected talent that was supposed to be produced from him. Toward the end of the season, he would play how the team expected him to play throwing interceptions and just not perform well. Next year should be interesting to see what the team does going forward. They will not have their first-round pick, due to trading it to receive Mikah Fitzpatrick. Ben Roethlisberger will be back next year however and I expect him to have at least two more years in his career. Something that Pittsburgh could do however would be picked up one of the quarterbacks that could fall into the second and third rounds like Jalen Hurts and Jake Fromm.

Running Back: Toward the beginning of the season, the Steelers lost one of their huge known backs which were Le’Veon Bell, which was expected. This gave hopes to James Connor, who was thought to be a possible Top 10 running back this season. Connor has a lot of upside to himself being a quick and shifty guy. The big negative about him though is that he can’t stay healthy. Due to injury Pittsburgh barely got to see much of anything from him this season. Two of the guys who stepped up in his place were Jaylen Samuels and the rookie Benny Snell Jr., Samuels was used more of a receiving back in which he did a solid job in performing this year. Snell did pretty well on the ground as well. Watching what Snell was capable of doing with his time at Kentucky during college, I think he can be a great back in this league but I think Pittsburgh will take a running back within the first four rounds of this year’s draft. This position along with the Quarterback and Wide Receiver position, is full of athletes. The running backs in this year’s draft consist of Cam Akers, D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, and plenty more. Giving off speculation that it wouldn’t surprise me if they pick up a running back.

Wide Receiver: This is a position that surprised me this year. After losing Pro Bowler Antonio Brown in a trade with the Raiders, Pittsburgh fans had to become reluctant on last year’s team MVP Juju Smith-Shuster. The team would also need to see what some of the young wideouts could do. Two young receivers that stood out to me most would be James Washington and rookie Diontae Johnson. Johnson would end up being a big part of the Steelers team. He would even end up making the Second Team All-Pro for Special Teams. Washington played well this year as well. What surprised most with Washington is the fact that he had a stronger connection with quarterback Devlin Hodges instead of his college quarterback Mason Rudolph. Juju played alright this year, but did not play up to what he is capable of doing. This offseason, there is one guy that I would love to see in a Steeler uniform if he falls back enough in the draft. Michael Pittman Jr. can be a huge asset to the Steelers team if they manage to pick him up in the draft. Pittman Jr. is a wide receiver from USC and played great this year. The family has a lot of ties to the football community, his dad was a running back in the NFL spending his respective time in the league and his brother Mycah Pittman currently is a wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks and could have a solid career. His athletic ability and body make me think that he could be a top receiver, reminding me of someone like Michael Thomas.

Tight End: The tight end position is a complicated one for the Steelers. Vance McDonald isn’t at the level of playing like greats like Tony Gonzales and Rob Gronkowski, but he is average. He can’t keep himself out of being injured either which doesn’t help his case. The position could use work but shouldn’t be a priority for the team. If they find somebody in the free agency or late like 5th round and up that would make sense to pick up. I wouldn’t be wasting a higher pick on this position, however. The team needs to fill other positions and should be alright with what they have at this moment.

Offensive Line: The Steelers offensive line is probably there most impressive part of the team. Although for some of the guys they are getting toward the older side of things. At left tackle, they have Alejandro Villanueva, a guy who has been consistently been a great factor for this team. At right guard, they have a beast of a man in Ramon Foster. The only downside in Foster is the fact that he isn’t very good on his feet. At the center there is Maurkice Pouncey, a guy who has been able to protect his quarterback for a long time, making the Pro Bowl several times. Right, Guard is David DeCastro. DeCastro has been a powerhouse on this team’s line and is arguably one of the top offensive linemen in the league. Lastly, at the right tackle is Matt Feiler. Feiler is an average lineman, he’s nothing special but he’s not awful. Overall, no complaints with the Steelers offensive line.

Defensive Line: With the Steelers defensive line this year, I think that they have the potential to be great. This year though they were missing one of there key links as Stephon Tuitt ended up being injured all year. Heyward is getting up there in age but that doesn’t mean he’s ineffective on this Steeler defensive front. There is one young guy that I want to see succeed on this Steelers core. Isaiah Buggs was just a rookie this year and I think he brings a lot of potential to this Steelers team. If he puts in the work, I could see this guy being a solid end. Javon Hargrave as well is slowly becoming one of the team’s best linemen. The only thing that Pittsburgh needs to do this offseason is getting Tuitt healthy again and resign Hargrave.

Linebackers: The first thing that needs to be said about the Steelers linebacker core would be to figure out some way to get Bud Dupree back. I think this guy can be a big part of the Steelers linebacker core if they can manage to keep him on the team. T.J. Watt played unbelievable this year, playing as one of the top linebackers in the league. Devin Bush played pretty good as well, for only being a rookie, these two guys could be very scary for years to come. Overall this linebacker core played exceptional this year. The biggest thing though would be to somehow manage to keep Dupree on the team.

Defensive Backs: At first I had my doubts about trading our first-round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick, but this guy most definitely proved to be worth it. He was easily the top defensive backs in the league this year and proved that he was worth a first-round pick. Joe Haden played pretty solid this year for being in his thirties. I think that next year is Terrell Edmunds make or break year to prove to this organization that he is capable of big things. Going into next season, I could see the team picking up a defensive back in the late rounds of the draft.

Special Teams: Well, Chris Boswell improved himself after having an awful season the year before. But with him playing a bit better this season, Jordan Berry did not have a good year. From not getting off a punt and turning it into a scramble attempt, to just bad punts, it was just not his year. One good thing that came out of the Special Teams unit this year would be that Diontae Johnson got Second-Team All-Pro as a returner. I think that this unit will be okay next year, possibly sign a new punter but other than that I think that they will be fine.

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