The Steelers players head into the offseason for recovery and the coaches head out to prepare for free agency and the draft.
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 Monday, Jan. 25th.
Arrow pointed up
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The Steelers defense was a surprise for everyone this season in
’s first year as defensive coordinator taking over for
the stats and concluded that mostly everything that used to ail the Steelers defense (lack of sacks, turnovers, points against) improved this season.
The sacks went up as well as the turnovers and the points allowed dropped almost four per game. The Steelers defense allowed more than 28 points only twice the entire season. While the overall ranking of the defense didn’t jump all that high the unit led the league in red-zone turnovers and had the third most sacks.
If the Steelers can get the right personnel in the secondary and fortify the line with depth there’s no reason to expect even more improvement next season.
Ben out of Pro Bowl
Ben Roethlisberger won’t need surgery to recover from the sprained shoulder he suffered in the Wild Card game but played through in the Divisional game, however it will keep him out of the Pro Bowl. Josh Alper of PFT explains that Giants quarterback Eli Manning will replace Roethlisberger.
With Antonio Brown already ruled out of the Pro Bowl you’d have to wonder if guard David DeCastro, who was named to his first career Pro Bowl this year, will be dropping out too. Tomlin listed DeCastro as one of the players scheduled to have surgery this offseason.
Looking good for 2016
For whatever its worth it looks like the Steelers are the early favorites in the AFC for next season. Gerry Dulac of the PPG points out how national NFL pundits are giving the Steelers the early edge for 2016. One of the reasons they’re picking the Steelers for Super Bowl 51 is the shape they’ll be in as free agency begins.
The Steelers will finally have the contracts of LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu off of the books and with the potential release of Cortez Allen and kicker Shaun Suisham along with the overall $10 million increase in the actual salary cap the Steelers should be in decent shape to sign, let’s say, I don’t know, maybe a cornerback in free agency.