4 players who will make or break the Steelers 2021 season

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt (91). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt (91). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Karl Roster/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

With the Steelers lack of offseason moves, they will have to rely on a few key players to determine how far they can go in 2021.

The Steelers are looking to make at least one more run at a championship with Ben Roethlisberger at QB in 2021. With a roster that clearly has holes that may not be filled before the season begins, it will likely take herculean efforts by a few key players if they want to compete for a title this season.

Luckily for Pittsburgh, they are not short on both established and potential breakout stars at key positions. If the four players discussed here play at their peaks this season, many of the issues that still plague the roster will not be as big of a concern.

Steelers RB Najee Harris

This one is admittedly a no-brainer, but the type of season the Steelers can get out of Najee Harris as a rookie will have ripple effects across the entire offense. With Pittsburgh showing little interest in adding to a suspect offensive line via free agency, they will have to rely on him to create offense on his own more than you would hope.

Despite the concerns surrounding the line, there is a reason he was picked 24th overall over a tackle. Harris has the skill set to impact the game even without great play up front, and he can be used in the passing game to help spread out the defense and be a threat even if the ground game isn’t working. His combination of power and quickness at his size should make it easier for him to create his own yards, and he is more than capable of handling a big workload to help wear down the defense. Knowing Matt Canada’s track record with the run game also makes me trust that he will be able to scheme up ways to help maximize the guys they have on the line.

If Najee can produce 1,500+ scrimmage yards and 10+ touchdowns, then odds are the offense had the kind of balance it desperately needs. If not, then I would be surprised if we finished in the top half of the league on offense.