Steelers' top priority has not changed as summer approaches (nor should it)

Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages

The NFL’s offseason, just like those of all other sports, comes in a multitude of waves, including the “way-too-early” phase right after a season concludes, the pre-draft assessment that covers which teams need what, the post-draft checkpoint that analyzes the state of a team going forward, and the final stretch that is essentially nothing more than last-minute previews and hype.

With us now officially in Phase 3, I wanted to be the one to handle this year’s checkpoint for the Steelers, and not because of how often I understand their perspective, but how often I don’t.

When the Steelers prioritized beefing up the offensive line in this year’s draft, I appeared to be in the vast minority when saying that I was not a fan. With that said, I feel that tackling their decision-making from a different angle can help me get on board, and I can think of no better way to do that than by taking this time to applaud them for displaying at least a shred of something yinzers have been painfully unfamiliar with as of late, and that’s consistency.

Pittsburgh throwing its fans for a heartbreaking loop has become an inexcusable norm

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times—the Steelers have shown such little consistency in both their operation and execution that I’ve feared they’re allergic to it. Therefore, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised when they used their sole first-round pick to take a direction that I outspokenly opposed and, in the process, committed the rare act of spending consecutive first-rounders on one position.

It was the continuous head-scratching from that move that had me back at the drawing board, desperately searching for any sign of a rhythm in Pittsburgh’s actions, and all I could find was what we already knew: There was a clear prioritization of its passing game.

Since the Steelers were first-rounded back in January, they’ve been eager to prove that they can turn over a new leaf through the air, whether that be exhibited by scooping up Arthur Smith for their OC vacancy, completely replacing their quarterback room, or their previously established draft nonsense—all met with raised eyebrows from yours truly.

But hey, while I stand by what I said regarding each of those matters, at least now I can say I’m all in on following where Pittsburgh’s mind is at. However, with this heavy effort must come a new standard.

There’s no debate: Pittsburgh pushing this agenda has to lead to something immediate

To be frank, I’m not going to put up with Pittsburgh talking out of both ends of its mouth, landing two mobile QBs before paying a ridiculous price for pass protection, all just to field another offense for people to scoff at.

In other words, I want to see a sizable improvement in where the Steelers rank amongst both passing offense and total offense on a league-wide scale (since they were bottom-10 in both statistical categories last year, I don’t think that’s an overly tall order).

For the sake of specifics, I’d say that the Steelers offense graduating to the better half of the NFL (or the top-16 threshold) would suffice. By last season’s numbers, that means I want them to put up about 40 more passing yards each game. If they can’t manage that, then who’s really covered in egg here?

Lastly, as a sign-off, I would like to stress that I have never disagreed with the new passing offense being a top priority (as I said earlier, we had already known that, and I didn’t whine one bit). I merely took issue with how Pittsburgh got carried away with it to what I still feel was a criminal degree.

But again, I’ve risen above it, and am now ready to watch and learn. I just hope that whatever I learn is good, because if you’ve found that my rapid-fire complaints grow rather annoying after a while, you don’t even want to know what I’ve got in store if this whole thing flops.

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