The Steelers may not be one of the most talked-about teams this offseason, but here’s why a pair of NFL Network analysts think they could go far.
After a terrific season by the Ravens in 2019, it’s not surprising to see them favored in the AFC North this year. Baltimore is the odds-on favorites to win the division at -213, courtesy of The Action Network. But despite their success, it’s surprising to see that not many analysts are talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the AFC North, the Browns have even drawn more buzz each of the last two offseasons. Analysts are taking note of their talented roster, and some believe that the acquisition of offensive tackles Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin this year could put them over the top. Even the Bengals are drawing buzz for the first time in forever after landing quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
However, not all football ‘experts’ are quick to disregard the Steelers. Here’s what NFL Network analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks had to say about Pittsburgh in 2020:
When asked how good this Pittsburgh Steelers team could be with a healthy Big Ben, Brooks waisted no time expressing that this could be a Super Bowl-caliber team. Here’s some of what he had to say:
"“The Pittsburgh Steelers could win the Super Bowl. They have all the ingredients to be a team that is there at the end. Mike Tomlin did his best coaching job of his career last year, and it started with the defense. They have some young, hungry defensive players that could make it happen… The Pittsburgh Steelers are primed and ready to make a Super Bowl run this season.”"
Jeremiah didn’t go as far as to say the Steelers could make it to the Super Bowl, but he expressed similar respect for the team – closing by saying “do not sleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Steelers will be an improved team
The Steelers were an 8-8 football team last year despite owning the league’s 30th ranked offense. With Ben Roethlisberger expected to make a healthy return to begin the 2020 season, it’s surprising that more draft experts aren’t talking about Pittsburgh.
Keith Butler’s defense ranked 5th in yards allowed, 6th in points allowed, 1st in takeaways, and tied for first in yards per play last season. With losing just Javon Hargrave this season, and adding another year of growth to young players like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Devin Bush, and Terrell Edmunds, there is plenty of reason to believe this will be among the league’s best units again in 2020.
Offensively, there is no question the Steelers will be a better team this year. Their star quarterback is returning from injury, and they added some fancy new weapons to that unit with players like Eric Ebron, Chase Claypool, and Anthony McFarland.
The Steelers are tied for just the 11th highest Super Bowl odds in the league, but that doesn’t mean that we should be counting them out. Roethlisberger may never be the same quarterback he once was, but this is a talented team that deserves some recognition.