5 biggest takeaways from Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 offseason

Omar Khan Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers
Omar Khan Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
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With the 2023 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the 2023 offseason is essentially over and it’s time to start preparing for the regular season. While last year marked a major changing of the guard for the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger retiring, this year’s change could be argued as an even more significant one. Omar Khan replaced Kevin Colbert as the general manager after a very successful 20-year run. 

With that in mind, what are the key takeaways from Khan’s first full offseason as general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Khan made a bevy of interesting moves, both in free agency and the NFL Draft. These moves are part of a pattern that provides early indicators of Khan’s teambuilding philosophy and his strategy for the Steelers in the present and the future.

Kenny Pickett (and Najee Harris) are the future

During Ben Roethlisberger’s early years with the Steelers, the team made a conscious effort to surround him with a very good offensive line, a strong running game, and an elite defense. As Roethlisberger developed, those first two somewhat fell and then came back, while the latter remained for most (but not all) of his career.

With Kenny Pickett now at the helm, Khan and the Steelers’ front office are making a concerted effort to protect Pickett and surround him with talent. Even though the offensive line finished the season on an upward trajectory, Khan and Andy Weidl went out and invested even more on the line. They signed a new starting left guard in Isaac Seumalo, brought in Nate Herbig to be a competent backup, and used their first-round pick on Broderick Jones.

Jones figures to replace Dan Moore Jr. and be Pickett’s blind-side protector for the foreseeable future. But the Steelers also got Pickett some new weapons, trading for Allen Robinson and drafting Darnell Washing. Both of these players will be valuable targets for Pickett over the middle of the field, an area he loves to attack.

With all that being said, all of these moves also benefit the other young star of Pittsburgh’s offense: Najee Harris. Harris struggled to begin last season as the offense struggled to come together. But as the offensive line gelled and he got healthier, the running game began to flourish. As previously mentioned, Khan and Weidl invested in some great blockers this offseason that should afford Harris bigger running lanes. This leads to the second major takeaway.