The 2019-20 Pittsburgh Steelers will play without two-thirds of their Killer Bs running back LeVeon 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 teams 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 arent 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.
Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers didnt make the playoffs for the first time since 2013, and thats 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 teams biggest problems.
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 LeVeon 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 Browns 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:
Well, given that of the three Killer Bs, 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 thats not just based on the fact that Roethlisberger is a 2x Super Bowl Champion and a 6x Pro Bowler, its 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.
Ever since Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was essentially the teams defensive quarterback, suffered a career-ending spinal injury in December of 2017, Pittsburghs 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.
Running back LeVeon 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.
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.
Offense: Receiver, tight end
Defense: Safety, Cornerback
The Steelers had 9 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they were:
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.
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 Bens 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.
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.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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