Steelers unsurprisingly crack top 5 'most improved' teams in 2024

There's no doubt Pittsburgh's roster improved from 2023 to 2024, but will it translate to success this season?
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers
Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

Everyone thinks their team improved during the offseason. While teams often let quality players with expiring contracts walk each year, a new group of free agents are brought in and another draft class is added to bolster the roster. When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, we can leave no doubt that improvements were made.

Entering the 2024 offseason, the Steelers had no notable free agents stepping away. In fact, many of their departures should prove to be addition by subtraction (I'm looking at you, Levi Wallace). From there, Omar Khan poached a Pro Bowl linebacker from the Ravens in Patrick Queen before knocking it out of the park in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Because of this, it wasn't surprising to see Pittsburgh recognized for their roster revamp during the 2024 offseason. Recently, Jeffri Chadiha of ranked the nine most improved teams ahead of the 2024 NFL season. The Steelers ranked 5th on the list.

Chadiha pointed to additions like quarterbacks Justin Fields and Russell Wilson -- as well as mentioned an impressive draft class including OT Troy Fautanu, C Zach Frazier, WR Roman Wilson, and LB Payton Wilson -- as the biggest reasons for the improvement from 2023 to 2024.

Leading the list were the Chicago Bears, who completely renovated their 2024 roster by adding QB Caleb Williams, WR Rome Odunze, WR Keenan Allen, and RB D'Andre Swift. The Steelers topped teams like the Texans, Chargers, Bengals, and Commanders, who each made significant improvements this offseason.

Steelers roster improvements must translate to the field

It's one thing to improve the roster on paper (this is something most teams do each year). It's another thing entirely to showcase improvement on the football field. This might not come as easy as we would hope for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2024.

One of the biggest issues with this much roster turnover all at once is that it could take time for players to mesh and adapt to their new roles.

For instance, the Steelers are going to be shuffling players on the offensive line. Broderick Jones could be starting his first season at left tackle, while Troy Fautanu may have to learn the RT position (something he hasn't done before) and Zach Frazier will be plugged in at center.

Additionally, the Steelers will have a new WR2, a new starting cornerback opposite Joey Porter Jr., a new starting strong safety in DeShon Elliott, and a couple of new linebackers in Patrick Queen and Payton Wilson.

It's unreasonable to think there won't be growing pains. The question becomes: how fast can the new starters get comfortable in their roles in Pittsburgh?

We won't have the answer to this until we see how things unfold early in the season. A rough start doesn't mean that the roster hasn't improved; it simply means that it's going to take some time for this young starting lineup to gel.

There's a solid chance the Steelers have the same record (or possibly even worse) than they did in 2023 but have a better roster. The schedule is brutal this year, and one of the league's 'most improved' teams will have to hit the ground running.