The Steelers season has had its fair share of lumps, but these players have risen to the occasion despite low expectations.
The Steelers season has seen its fair share of ups and downs, and while there are plenty of things to be disappointed about, there have also been some standouts who have helped win games. A lot of these names are expected, as no one is shocked when T.J. Watt or Minkah Fitzpatrick has a key play in a game.
The same can be said for the next tier of players. While no one would mistake Cameron Sutton or Alex Highsmith for elite players, both are expected to be key contributors (even if they have played their best professional seasons). This list isn’t for them either. Instead, this is for the backups that have risen up the ranks to be key contributors this year. No one is considering them for Pro Bowls or significant accolades, but these four Steelers players have been the unsung heroes of this season.
Steelers have seen another jump from Gentry
One of the least talked about impact players for this offense has been Zach Gentry. While Pat Freiermuth receives most of the acclaim at the tight end position, Gentry has quietly become a fixture in this offense. He regularly plays 40 percent of the offensive snaps (or more), and while he is far from a great receiving threat, he is a mauling run blocker.
No one is going to mistake him for a dynamic weapon, but having Gentry gives this offense flexibility. They can run or pass with him on the field, and he can be used in two tight-end sets. A free agent this offseason, the Steelers would be wise to ink him to a new deal. He isn’t a game-changer by any means, but Gentry is a valuable offensive piece that is worthy of receiving some praise.