All signs seemed to be pointing up during the 2023 offseason. As Omar Khan was taking over for Kevin Colbert as general manager, it looked like Khan was making some aggressive free-agent moves to better the roster. In the NFL Draft, all of football media thought the Pittsburgh Steelers crushed it with a strong draft class this year.
All the while, the team expected significant leaps from young players like Kenny Pickett and George Pickens. When compared to last year, there's little question that Pittsburgh's roster should be better on paper. However, you would never guess that based on the abysmal performances we have witnessed so far in 2023.
Though the first four games, the Steelers have been blown out twice by teams who are led by a pair of quarterbacks younger than Pickett. The offense has been an absolute train wreck as this team has failed to muster up any sort of sustained drives or continuity. The defense hasn't been quite as bad, but they haven't come close to matching early expectations fans had for this team.
If you are wondering if the eye test matches the stats so far this season, it does. This team has been every bit as bad as the numbers would suggest. As a result, Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league in most notable offensive and defensive categories this year, per Team Rankings and rbsdm.com.
With the additions the Steelers have made to the roster, the results are truly inexcusable. I know that Pittsburgh's talent doesn't come close to matching up with some of the best teams in the league. At the same time, is it too much to expect some veteran additions to not look like they are among the worst in the league at their position?
Why have the Steelers struggled so much this year?
I'm not willing to throw away years of tape on Isaac Seumalo and James Daniels and believe that they are bad football players just because they seem to be playing that way. This whole team, from top to bottom, is playing extremely flat.
There's no doubt that the coaching is to blame for much of this. Matt Canada has been a nightmare and things have hit a new low for this offense in 2023. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin hasn't been much better when it comes to the game script. Of course, you could certainly argue that it starts at the top with Mike Tomlin -- the person who is responsible for these failed in-house hirings.
Collectively, it's impossible to argue that the Pittsburgh Steelers haven't been a bottom-five team in the league so far through the first four weeks of the 2023 season. The good news is that they somehow sit on a 2-2 record and they could be in first place in the AFC North with a win over the Ravens on Sunday. But if they don't make some serious changes, it's not going to matter in the long run.