The Pittsburgh Steelers have some weak links in their starting lineup, and these players are sure to cause fans stress during the 2022 season.
The 2022 NFL season hasn’t even kicked off yet, but already fans must be thinking about how some of the weakest links on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster could potentially hold us back this year. We saw a lot of great things from young players during the summer at both training camp and the preseason. Sadly, other players do not seem to have taken a step forward entering the new season.
At times, Pittsburgh is only going to be as good as their weakest link, and I’m afraid that these players could be exposed far too often in 2022. Here are the players who are sure to cause the most headaches to Steelers fans this year.
Devin Bush will be given more than enough opportunity
I’ve wanted to be optimistic about Devin Bush ever since his ACL surgery in 2020. I actually liked Bush’s tape quite a bit coming out of Michigan. However, I’m afraid we just need to bite the bullet here. For whatever reason, Bush simply doesn’t play with the aggressiveness and tenacity I originally loved about his game. Despite elite athletic testing numbers, Bush rarely puts them to good use and is too content with allowing the play to come to him instead of attacking.
Unfortunately, we saw much of the same during Bush this Summer. In two of Pittsburgh’s three preseason games, he graded out as the worst player on either side of the football, according to Pro Football Focus. Though he did have one impressive fourth-down stop in the preseason, I think we can expect him to look much like he did last year.
Dan Moore will be infuriating at times
I totally didn’t mind the Dan Moore Jr. selection in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, I really think he needed to be a developmental swing tackle in his first two seasons instead of being thrown to the wolves as Pittsburgh’s blindside protector at left tackle.
Moore has the length and athletic traits most teams desire at left tackle, but he had some incredibly ugly reps during the preseason — particularly in pass protection. If he doesn’t take a major step forward in his second season, Dan Moore is going to cause fans to pull their hair out at times with how quickly he will get beaten around the edge from time to time.
We don’t want Arthur Maulet to see the field often
Arthur Maulet doesn’t have youth and upside on his side like the other names on this list. While I love what he does close to the line of scrimmage and in run defense, Maulet has proven to be a liability in coverage when he’s on the football field.
Last season, Maulet allowed 13.4 yards per reception and a whopping 10.1 yards per target in his coverage, according to advanced stats from Pro Football Reference. This shouldn’t happen when your primary responsibility is covering the slot. His 119.0 passer rating allowed in coverage will make him an easy target to expose when he’s on the field. I can’t see this changing suddenly at 29 years old. He has graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in the NFL in back-to-back seasons and hasn’t been great at any point in his career.
Misses assignments on Steelers offensive line
I’ve already singled out one offensive lineman that I believe will likely be the biggest weak link on the OL in 2022, but the offensive line as a whole missed far too many assignments in the preseason, and I’m afraid that will be the case again during the regular season.
Kevin Dotson struggled with run blocking during the 2022 preseason, while Moore, Mason Cole, and James Daniels each had their share of ugly reps. We hope to see steady improvement from this young group as the season goes on, but the OL as a whole will cause us more than enough stress this year.
There are other players who are sure to make some bone-headed decisions this year and will leave us wanting more, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet that these players will cause us the most headaches during the 2022 season.