After releasing Ladarius Green, the Pittsburgh Steelers have handed the tight end position to Jesse James.
Despite everyone’s constant advice that the Pittsburgh Steelers should go out and sign another tight end, they shouldn’t. What they have is a developing young talent in Jesse James and a quality young backup in Xavier Grimble. Maybe they don’t have a superstar at the position just yet, but in years to come, they’ll be thankful they gave James the job.
Pittsburgh doesn’t need to go out and sign a veteran tight end. They have four, possibly five, wide receivers who all need playing time this season. Give them more reps before going out to sign another tight end, taking away time from James.
The Steelers aren’t going to struggle with James as their starter. Did they last season? No. James did just fine for someone thrown into the starting job because of an injury. After a full season of serious playing time, he’ll come in more confident with an entire offseason of progress. Maybe he won’t be a Pro Bowler, but he will be much better than last season.
This team needs to focus on their wideouts before their tight end. Even if he’s more of a blocker than a pass catcher, he’s a factor in the offense. And at 6’7 he’s hands down the most dangerous player in the redzone, which we all know is a place Ben Roethlisberger loves to find his tight ends.
The team is young and should remain young. Who are they going to go out and sign, Gary Barnidge? Jordan Cameron? No. These players aren’t going to do anything for your team outside of the next season.
Instead, put the year towards developing James and Grimble. They’re Pittsburgh’s future, and four years from now, when they’re some of the best tight ends in the AFC, the Steelers will be thankful they stuck it out.
Pittsburgh needs to turn their focus on more receivers until James and Grimble are ready to take over. Until then, let them slowly find their game and grow with the team. While they do that, utilize the four wideouts on the roster that could arguably start on almost any team in the NFL.
Worry about what you have not what you don’t. This is already a Super Bowl contending team. There isn’t much more you can add to it to make it better.
James is the future. Maybe he got the job a little earlier than expected, but that’s perfectly fine. Let him learn on the job.
It isn’t like Pittsburgh doesn’t have enough around him to pick up any slack.