The Steelers season is fast approaching and, after all the preseason games, there are some spots on the roster that still have cause for concern in 2022.
Pittsburgh has just a couple of days left to shape their 2022 roster for the upcoming season as rosters are due to be at 53 by 4 pm on Tuesday, August 30. They have some strong position groups to work with like wide receiver and defensive line.
While there are strong groups, there are also some weaker groups on the roster. Teams are only as good as their weakest link and, in the Steelers case, that does not bode well for their season. If they want to compete, these may be some areas they need to look outside the current team for improvement whether through trades or free agency.
Dan Moore has been unimpressive in camp and preseason
The Steelers drafted Dan Moore in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft to hopefully develop into the left tackle of the future. When Zach Banner lost a position battle to Chuks Okorafor, the future came a lot faster than Pittsburgh anticipated.
Chuks stayed at right tackle and Moore was thrust into a starting spot on the left side as a rookie fourth-round pick. He had his ups and downs last season but showed flashes of being a good option moving forward.
This camp and preseason have done nothing to reassure fans that he is the future they once hoped he would be. The offensive line played poorly most of the preseason but Moore was one of the players that stood out the most and not in a good way.
Left tackle is a premium position and success in the NFL requires you have a good one. A better offensive line as a whole could help make up for it but, as of now, Pittsburgh has a lackluster line with huge questions on the left side.
Kendrick Green and Kevin Dotson both fail to impress
The failure of Kendrick Green should not have come as a huge surprise to fans after being selected in the third round in 2021. The team should also get their fair share of the blame as he was a guard in college, and was forced to play center as a rookie in the NFL.
Green is undersized but was viewed as a guy who could make up for that with his strength. However, he has been unable to adjust to the bigger and faster NFL players and has been abused all preseason at left guard after a tumultuous rookie year at center.
Kevin Dotson showed flashes in his rookie season after spot starting at both right and left guard due to injuries before being injured himself. He then battled for, and won, the starting left guard spot in 2021 but missed 8 games due to injuries throughout the season.
Green and Dotson have been battling all camp and neither has looked particularly good. Green has been blown by and simply outmatched when in games and Dotson has battled injuries during camp and not impressed anyone in preseason games.
The Steelers are in an awful position on the offensive line, especially on the left side. They only have a mirror to look into for placing blame after waiting too long to replenish the offensive line as guys like David Decastro, Maurice Pouncey, and Ramon Foster grew older.
Devin Bush still lacks burst and physicality post injury
Pittsburgh made a huge move in the 2019 draft moving up to select Devin Bush and fill a major need at inside linebacker. The move looked to pay dividends for Pittsburgh in his rookie year where he posted 109 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 4 fumble recoveries, and 1 sack.
The 2020 season started just as hot for him as he continued to fly around the field and make plays. That all changed in week 6 as he tore his ACL and missed the remainder of the year.
Bush struggled early in 2021 upon his return but, many chalked this up to being rusty and gaining confidence in his surgically repaired knee. However, things continued to trend in the wrong direction and the burst and physicality that was once there has only flashed since.
The Steelers depth inside includes Robert Spillane, Marcus Allen, Mark Robinson, and, of course, free agent addition Myles Jack who will start. If Bush continues to struggle, they may have to turn to their depth.
Damontae Kazee injury deals a huge blow to Steelers safety depth
The Steelers escaped the preseason mostly unscathed from serious injury to any key players. One crucial blow to their depth was Kazee’s wrist injury in the win over Detroit.
Kazee will require surgery and has a stint on the injured reserve list in his future, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is horrible news for both him and the team as he had a great camp and preseason.
Depth is not the only thing affected by the injury due to the Steelers seemingly preparing to get him on the field often in sub packages. The Steelers depth and options for that position now runs thin, especially with Miles Killebrew missing all of training camp and preseason after a day one injury at camp.
Pittsburgh has talent at multiple spots on their roster and looks to be competitive in most games this season. These spots, however, are all concerning and could have a major impact on just how competitive they will be.