Steelers outlook for 2024 and the future
If the offseason were to fall anything even remotely close to this, I would do a victory lap. That said, the work would be far from done.
What would be accomplished is improved trench play on both sides of the ball. The offensive line has two more coveted rookies to take over while the defensive line gets a boost from the Wilkins signing and the drafting of a potential starter for the future in Smith.
The defense gets a facelift with some new defensive players in the secondary. Instead of skimping, the team now has a capable strong safety and an established slot cornerback. The only question mark is the other outside cornerback, but I’m willing to let the combination of Trice/Rush/a rookie fight for that role.
The offense remains mostly unchanged despite the line additions. Ideally, the run game can get going earlier as this line has a lot of talent on it now. The receivers added a new face or two via free agency and the draft, but I am more concerned about the established players getting their heads screwed on straight.
Despite the perceived improvements, quarterback will still hamper this team. I am ok with that, as I can let 2024 be Pickett’s sink-or-swim season. There are no excuses now, and if he falters we can role with Rudolph for the rest of the season and shift our focus to landing a top quarterback in 2025. Frankly, it won’t matter what improvements are made; if Pickett can’t become the guy, this team isn’t going to go anywhere.
And that is how I would rebuild the Steelers this offseason. The roster would likely need some time to gel, and I wouldn’t expect instant success right away, but all of the pieces are there. Quarterback and cornerback would remain question marks, but there is only so much you can do in one offseason.