Steelers who deserves a lump of coal for their 2023 performance

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
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The Steelers have seen Mason Cole regress

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Mason Cole signing a few years back. Despite coming off a decent season before he was signed, Cole had been a journeyman for his career to that point. For a team that was, on paper, committed to an offensive line rebuild, Cole seemed more like a filler player than a true improvement.

He proved me wrong in his first season, as he quickly established himself as the most consistent player along the line. While his play was never as flashy as fellow signee James Daniels, he was consistently churning out strong games despite numerous injuries.

The expectation was for him to continue where he left off this year, but that hasn’t been the case. Despite the interior continuing to get better this year, Cole has regressed. His blocking in both run and pass sets has been atrocious and he has even had issues snapping the ball. This has left a huge liability in the center of this unit.

Frankly, I can’t quite figure out what the issue was. No, I didn’t expect Cole to suddenly become an elite center, but to at least maintain his decent level of play from a season before was reasonable. Instead, he has fallen flat on his face and has been close to unplayable at times. He deserves a lump of coal for this regression, and I would be shocked to see him stick around on the roster moving forward.