The Steelers 2022 season has been terrible thus far and many players have not lived up to the hype.
The Steelers are entering the second half of their season with a terrible record that might be the start of some dark days. They just traded away one of their top three receivers right before the trade deadline wrapped up. Now they will try their best to salvage something from this year rather than just a complete disaster.
In one way or another, these players have not been able to live up to the hype. Some are returning to bigger roles under different circumstances, and some coaches have not been able to strive on their own. Pittsburgh football is tough to watch this season with the type of team that is taking the field.
Diontae Johnson does not seem like the number one receiver
Last offseason brought another hold-in for the black and gold as Diontae Johnson was looking for a new deal. Many receivers were getting huge paydays and this receiver wanted to get his due for all of the hard work that he has put in. Many fans laid out their differing opinions about what the team should do about Johnson’s future with the franchise.
He would be signed to a 2-year extension that pays him but does not tie him to the team long term. Unfortunately, Johnson has not been able to have great success this year. That could be because of this offensive scheme, but he has been getting the targets. Johnson needs to step up if he wants to continue to be the number one guy on offense.
James Daniels has not been what many billed him as during free agency
Another big focus this offseason was trying to find different ways to strengthen the offensive line. James Daniels was a target for the Steelers once free agency opened up and that was music to many fans’ ears. He would sign with Pittsburgh on a fair deal that would allow for the retooling of the offensive line to be kicked off.
Things have not been great for this group in the trenches and Daniels has been a cause of that. They have all been up and down, which many thought this guard would not have an issue with. He needs to be a steady contributor and he has not been able to show that yet as a member of the black and gold.
Ahkello Witherspoon has fallen to the lowest point this season
Ahkello Witherspoon joined this organization initially via trade where it took him a while to catch on. Injuries late into last season gave him an opportunity at a starting job, which he handled with great play. That short stretch gave Pittsburgh enough confidence to re-sign him at a cheap starting rate this past free-agency cycle.
Sadly, things have not worked out for either side with his full-time spot as the top cornerback on defense. Witherspoon played great during last year’s stretch run, but that has gone out the window this time around. He was benched recently, and the Steelers think of him so poorly that they felt the need to trade for William Jackson III.
Matt Canada has failed as the Steelers offensive coordinator
Here is the obvious choice for this season as many are gob-smacked that he still has a job. Matt Canada entered his second season as the Steelers offensive coordinator after a tough go around in his first year. Many gave him some leeway as Ben Roethlisberger was doing a lot of no huddle and the veteran did not fit into his scheme.
Well, things have not gone well in year two, and Roethlisberger was a big factor in why this offense had any stints of positive life. Canada might be the worst offensive coordinator that the Steelers have ever employed in franchise history. He needs to be fired as soon as possible, and if he is not then Mike Tomlin is delusional.
The Steelers have plenty of blame to go around as they sit with an underwhelming record. Expect many of these players to either get some blame going their way if that has not happened yet.