The Steelers head into Championship weekend either prepping for surgery or their offseason destinations after a disappointing loss to Denver in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs.
Steelers season never truly ends for Steeler Nation so while the offseason starts to heat up we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Saturday, Jan. 23rd.
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Before they headed off to their offseason locations
some Steelers players to reflect on the past season and look forward to the next. Steelers defensive end
was all about wanting the team to keep moving forward in the postseason.
"“We need to set our goals even higher. We aren’t in the business of just making the playoffs. We have the goods in the room. But it’s about going out and winning every football game. We want to be playing in Pittsburgh in the playoffs. All that stuff is reachable for us. When you look at our group, it depends on who comes back, but I definitely think we have the guys in the locker room that can continue to grow.” – Cam Heyward"
Steelers linebacker James Harrison heads into the offseason with a decision to make. The PPG’s Sam Werner reminds us that he’s got one year left on his contract but he’ll be 38 in May and has to weigh the option of coming back to see how far this Steelers team can go against what that would do to his body.
He played 55.1 percent of the defensive snaps this season and a lot of times was the best defensive player on the field for the Steelers. He recorded 40 total tackles and tied for the lead among the linebackers with five sacks. Against the Broncos in the playoffs he had seven tackles and the only sack of the day for the Steelers.
Can the Steelers get that kind of production out of their linebackers if Harrison isn’t one of them?
Not for lack of effort
Another season has come and gone for Steelers safety Shamarko Thomas and he’s still not starting caliber. Jacob Klinger of Penn Live discusses how the expectations for Thomas were for him to replace his mentor, Troy Polamalu, on the depth chart.
While Thomas remained close to Polamalu via text throughout the season, his starting job was taken by Will Allen. In Mike Tomlin’s end of the year presser he explained that Thomas’ role as a non-factor on the defensive unit hasn’t been because of a lack of effort.
"“I like his work. I don’t think it’s from a lack of effort. It just hasn’t come together for him yet.” – Mike Tomlin"
With safeties Robert Golden and Will Allen both free agents this year Thomas has the opportunity to regain a starting role but it has to come together for him first. The defense can’t afford to wait for him to get it.