The 2019-20 Pittsburgh Steelers will play without two-thirds of their Killer B’s – running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown - but apparently, they are okay with that because their offseason did not involve a lot of exciting new acquisitions.
The team’s 2018 season had its share of media-covered drama and locker room smack talk, but most of that centered around the missing Bell and the unhappy Brown.
Theoretically, this next season should be smooth sailing at Three Rivers, although the remaining Killer B – the talented and emotional quarterback Ben Roethlisberger – seems quite capable of producing drama all on his own, especially when the Steelers aren’t playing well.
Here we go over some of the offseason moves made by the Pittsburgh Steelers and look at the odds and predictions of their upcoming NFL season.
The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers are:
- Owner: The Rooney Family (President Art Rooney II)
- General Manager: Kevin Colbert (Promoted August 2011)
- Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (Hired January 2007)
- Offensive Coordinator: Randy Fichtner (Promoted January 2018)
- Defensive Coordinator: Keith Butler (Promoted January 2015)
- Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger (16th NFL season, all with Steelers)
- Offensive Stars: Wide Receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner
- Defensive Stars: Linebacker T.J. Watt and Cornerback Joe Haden
How did the Steelers do in 2018?
Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t make the playoffs for the first time since 2013, and that’s after starting the season with a 7-2-1 record.
It is a sad day in Pittsburgh when, in order to get to the postseason, the Steelers have to depend on the Browns to win a game, but that is exactly what happened at the end of 2018 and Cleveland did not fail to let them down by losing to the Baltimore Ravens 24-26.
Some of the Steelers players expressed to the media their unhappiness with all the drama surrounding the team, which did not help with cohesiveness, and by the end of the season, it was obvious that the front office was ready to move on from two of the team’s biggest problems.
How did the Steelers lose both Bell and Brown?
Imagine having one of the best running backs in the league on your roster, and then imagine that you also have one of the top three wide receivers in the league, and the Super Bowl Champion quarterback to get the ball to them.
The Steelers had that in 2017 but then they refused to pay Le’Veon Bell what he felt he was worth as both a ball runner and catcher, so he held out from playing the entire 2018 season when they could have really used him, and that did not go unnoticed by the football world (to say the least).
Then, when Antonio Brown’s route running got publicly questioned by Big Ben Roethlisberger, Brown stopped feeling the love like he used to feel and head coach Mike Tomlin did little to step in and smooth things over.
For all the juicy details, take a look at our past coverage of both of those stories:
Is Big Ben the problem or the solution?
Well, given that of the three Killer B’s, Big Ben is the only one still on the Steelers roster, it looks like general manager Kevin Colbert believes he is indeed the solution.
And that’s not just based on the fact that Roethlisberger is a 2x Super Bowl Champion and a 6x Pro Bowler, it’s also because just this last season he threw for 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns, both career highs.
Big Ben is the solution, he has to be, and without the major distractions and drama of last season, maybe the rest of the team can get on board with that once again.
Biggest strategy shift Steelers will make for 2019?
Ever since Steelers’ linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was essentially the team’s defensive quarterback, suffered a career-ending spinal injury in December of 2017, Pittsburgh’s defense has lacked an on-field leader.
However, Colbert feels he may have just drafted one in Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, whom he moved up in the draft to select tenth overall.
In another effort to beef up the 27th ranked defense, Colbert signed linebacker Mark Barron, formerly of the Los Angeles Rams, and cornerback Steven Nelson, who had four interceptions last season for the Kansas City Chiefs.
What major players have the Steelers lost so far this offseason?
Running back Le’Veon Bell, who signed on with the New York Jets with a four-year deal worth $52.5 million, with $27 million of that guaranteed.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who signed a three-year, $50.125 million deal with the Oakland Raiders, with $30.125 million of that guaranteed.
Tight end Jesse James, who signed a four-year deal with the Detroit Lions worth $22.6 million, with $10.5 million of that guaranteed.
Linebacker L.J. Fort, who signed with the Detroit Lions, agreeing to a four-year, $22.6 million deal with $10.5 million of that money guaranteed.
What have been the Steelers’ key free agent pick-ups this offseason?
Cornerback Steven Nelson, who agreed to a three-year deal worth $25.5 million, $7.5 million of that guaranteed.
Wide receiver Donte Moncrief, who signed a two-year deal worth $9 million, with $3.5 million of that guaranteed.
Linebacker Mark Barron, who agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with $5.75 of that guaranteed.
What were Pittsburgh’s Biggest Needs?
Offense: Receiver, tight end
Defense: Safety, Cornerback
What draft picks did the Steelers have in 2019?
The Steelers had 9 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they were:
- Round 1: Devin Bush, inside linebacker, Michigan (10th pick overall)
- Round 3: Diontae Johnson, wide receiver, Toledo (66th)
- Round 3: Justin Layne, cornerback, Michigan State (83rd)
- Round 4: Benny Snell, running back, Kentucky (122nd)
- Round 5: Zach Gentry, tight end, Michigan (141st)
- Round 6: Sutton Smith, outside linebacker, Northern Illinois (175th)
- Round 6: Isaiah Buggs, defensive tackle, Alabama (192nd)
- Round 6: Ulysees Gilbert III, inside linebacker, Akron (207th)
- Round 7: Derwin Gray, offensive tackle, Maryland (219th)
How have the Steelers done in the last ten postseasons?
Over the last decade, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been to the playoffs six times, with one Super Bowl appearance in 2010, when they lost to the Green Bay Packers, 25-31.
The other five times included two Wild Card losses, two Divisional Playoff losses, and one Conference Championship loss to the New England Patriots in 2016 by a score of 17-36.
Pittsburgh has been to the Super Bowl eight times and has won six of those, the latest one being Super Bowl XLIII in 2008 when they beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 and Mike Tomlin was named NFL Coach of the Year.
How are the Steelers predicted to do during the 2019-20 season?
If the true reason the Pittsburgh Steelers fell apart at the end of last season was due directly to the drama and the lack of defensive leadership and depth, then, assuming those problems have been properly addressed this offseason, the Steelers should be able to get back to winning games.
If, however, it becomes evident that without their two best players the Steelers are simply just not as good as they were, then that will have to be solved next offseason.
The oddsmakers are predicting the Cleveland Browns will win the AFC North next season, but even if that happens, with a solid regular season the Steelers could easily become a Wild Card team and make another postseason run.
It all rides on Big Ben’s shoulders, but luckily Pittsburgh is heading towards a goal Roethlisberger and Tomlin have already accomplished in the past together, so another Super Bowl ring is entirely doable.
What are the current postseason odds and predictions for the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers?
Can the Pittsburgh Steelers get their mojo back?
Is the current roster talented enough to get to the postseason and then win playoff games?
Is Big Ben still capable of leading and winning, or has he lost the will to play professional football?
A lot rides on the Steelers’ 2019-20 season – it will be fun to watch whether they have their problems solved or if a total rebuild is in their near future.
Here are the current odds listed for the Steelers’ postseason in 2019-20:
Pittsburgh Steelers Postseason
|Sportsbook||AFC Winner||NFL Winner||Link|
* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER