Steelers final report card: Grading each positional group for the 2023 season

Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages
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Linebackers: D

I feel bad for this unit; I really do. I truly believe the linebacker performance was on track to be the best we have seen from the Pittsburgh Steelers in years. That's when disaster struck. Halfway through the season, Cole Holcomb landed on IR with a torn ACL. One week later, Kwon Alexander sustained a ruptured Achilles -- immediately ending his 2023 campaign.

Elandon Roberts was legitimately good for the Steelers this year. He was a beast coming downhill as a run defender and blitzer and was better than expected in coverage. The problem becomes the play of the other linebackers who were forced into big roles this year.

As solid as this trio was looking, they only had them together for roughly half a season. In the second part of 2023, Pittsburgh was forced to pick up retired players off the street like Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith. However, Mykal Walker proved to be the biggest liability as he was routinely torched in coverage.

Holcomb will be back in 2024, while Alexander is no longer under contract with the team. This wasn't a good year overall from the linebacker position, but they also had a laundry list of injuries. I would have to imagine that this will be a much-improved unit next season.