3 roster holes that could cost Steelers a shot at a Super Bowl run

  • Which positions are holding the team back?
  • These positions could be their downfall in 2023
Steelers, Mark Robinson
Steelers, Mark Robinson / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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It's way too early to start talking about potential Super Bowl aspirations -- especially with a team that didn't even make the playoffs in 2022. Regardless, that's the ultimate goal and it's one the Pittsburgh Steelers will attempt to achieve in 2023. While they may not be quite there yet, the good news is that they are trending in the right direction.

Most fans would agree that the Steelers made significant improvements during the 2023 offseason -- both through free agency and the NFL Draft. Additionally, the loss of Cameron Sutton was the only noteworthy departure, while Pittsburgh has young players like Kenny Pickett, George Pickens, and Pat Freiermuth who are expected to take a step forward (not to mention the return of a healthy T.J. Watt).

While the Steelers may very well have taken a big leap in the right direction, there are still a few positions that could prove to be their downfall. Here are three roster holes that could cost the Pittsburgh Steelers a shot at a Super Bowl run.

Off-ball linebacker

The Steelers thought they were fixing the off-ball linebacker position when they traded up to the 10th overall pick in 2019 to select Devin Bush. This couldn't have been further from the case. In addition to Bush being a colossal bust, Pittsburgh hasn't found so much of a quality starter at the position since Ryan Shazier went down with a spinal injury in 2017.

In recent years, they tried filling the void with free agents who were past their prime like Jon Bostic and Myles Jack, while missing on trades for Joe Schobert and Avery Williamson. Outside of Bush, the investments just haven't been there.

Pittsburgh will once again press their luck by going the free agent route in 2023 -- signing players like Cole Holcomb, Elandon Roberts, Tanner Muse, and Nick Kwiatkowski. But different doesn't necessarily mean better. The Steelers need to hope for substantial improvements at the position this year, or spotty linebacker play could derail any shot at a Super Bowl run.