Will the 2022 season usher in an era of mediocrity for Steelers?

General manager Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
General manager Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Steelers will venture into unchartered territory in the 2022 NFL season.  Will it be the beginning of an era of mediocre results? 

So, when I ask if the 2022 season will be the beginning of mediocre results for the Steelers, what I really mean is this:  The 2022 NFL season will signal the first time since 2004 that we will have a new QB at the helm of the offense and will signal the first time since 2015 that we will have a new defensive coordinator.

With the recent news that Kevin Colbert will step down after the 2022 draft, more uncertainty exists for the Steelers heading into the 2022 season.  Since we are a franchise that prides ourselves on stability and the ability to compete for a Lombardi Trophy each year, we will have our work cut out for us in 2022, that’s for sure.

Are the Steelers up to the task of not only replacing our franchise QB of the last eighteen seasons but also replacing our DC and our General Manager?  I sure hope so because we cannot afford to make a mistake in addressing any of the aforementioned.

The 2022 season may be a tough one for the Steelers and maybe the harbinger of things to come

Although the 2022 schedule has not been released, we know our opponents.  We will face six playoff teams from the 2021 season.  Again, we don’t know the venue in which these games will be played, but let’s just say it will be a tall order to beat these playoff teams.

It is certainly not impossible but it is not very probable.  What’s more probable is that we split with our division rivals and perhaps win a game or two unexpectedly, but there’s no guarantee of that transpiring.

When I think about the 2022 season, I can’t help but think about the decade of the 1980s.  For those of you who were around during that time, you know exactly what I am talking about.  With the exception of a few playoff appearances, the decade was the epitome was mediocrity.

Our QB situation was seemingly always a question mark and once the members of the ‘Steel Curtain’ retired, the Steelers defense was a shell of its former self.  The one thing that saved us, at least on the defensive side of the ball, is that, for the most part, we drafted pretty well toward the end of the decade.

Obviously, not every draft was a success, but the Steelers were able to draft some gems who contributed and got us into the decade of the 1990s with a pretty solid foundation.  Unfortunately, we cannot rely on luck to field a competitive team.

This is why we simply must make the right decisions on our QB, on our defensive coordinator, and on our General Manager.  In other words, if the Steelers believe that our next franchise QB is currently on the roster, great, let’s build around him by drafting well.

That would require Colbert having probably his best draft ever, which, again, is no guarantee.  If we believe our next franchise QB is not currently on the roster, my previous comment about Colbert is amplified; however, I’m not convinced that there is a franchise QB in this upcoming draft.

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All of this uncertainty frankly makes me apprehensive about the 2022 season and beyond.  One mistake in the draft, one mistake in hiring a new defensive coordinator, and one mistake in hiring a new General Manager could set the Steelers back several years.

It’s already been thirteen seasons without a Super Bowl victory.  I don’t know how much longer I can wait for our next one.