4 catastrophes Steelers must avoid during the 2023 season

Georgia offensive lineman Broderick Jones (OL25)
Georgia offensive lineman Broderick Jones (OL25) / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Steelers have a clear identity that they are trying to build this offseason. They want to be a slow, grinding offense that succeeds with ground control and an effective rushing attack. The defense needs to slow down opposing offenses and match up well with receivers given the size of the cornerbacks.

While I am already a tad skeptical of just how effective this offense will be, I do believe this team can win some games and be a competitive team. That said, if some problems arise early, it could be a big deal for a team whose win margins likely won’t be that big. Here are four catastrophes the Steelers must avoid this season.

Catastrophe #1: Steelers defensive stars need to stay that way

While some blanket statements that could be used for this article are x players staying healthy, I want to specifically circle the defense as a group that needs to get the most out of its star players. The offense isn’t going to be putting up 30 points every week, so having the defense be effective and stout is critical to this team's success.

T.J. Watt needs to continue his streak of dominance. I know that was put on hold last year due to his injury, but there was still a clear difference for this defense once Watt returned, even if he wasn’t playing 100 percent. Cameron Heyward also needs to keep up his strong play, even if he is getting older and will likely be in more of a rotation this year.

Minkah Fitzpatrick will continue to be the lead playmaker in this secondary as well, holding things down on the backend. If any one of those three falter, this defense will crumble. While they won’t become a horrible unit if someone is injured or doesn’t play to expectations, this defense needs to be an elite unit, and that will require their stars to continue being impact players.