10/12/22-Hot Takes About A Bad Team

By: Mike Pelaia

The Steelers are off to a horrific start and it’s only going to get worse.  ESPN currently projects the Steelers to finish with the top overall pick in the NFL draft.  They haven’t done that since they drafted Terry Bradshaw back in 1970.

It may not be what the Steelers or their fans wanted but it would be a great way to officially rebuild.

However, here are all the reasons why this team is bad and may indeed finish with the first overall pick, and a few other thoughts as well.

  1. My first thought is the Steelers should not have drafted Kenny Pickett. He may turn out to be a good quarterback, I’m not convinced he’ll be a franchise qb.  They needed help on the offensive line, defensive line, middle linebacker and secondary far more than they needed Pickett.  They should have either rolled with Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph or maybe even kept Ben Roethlisberger around for another season and grabbed their guy next year.  This team is going nowhere fast and you can get a qb after the rest of the team is up to speed. (See the 2004 Steelers as a reference)


  1. Najee Harris shouldn’t have been drafted in the first round. I’ve never been a fan of first round running backs and Harris is no exception. In fact, I don’t think he’s all that good. His vision is poor, he lacks speed and despite being a big back, he doesn’t show the aggressive style he should. He’s a great guy, but that doesn’t win football games.  He’s 35th in the league in total yards rushing (oh by the way there are only 32 teams, so at least a few teams have multiple backs in front of him) and he’s 45th in yards per carry at 3.2.  In my opinion, anything short of 4.0 yards per carry isn’t getting it done.  I think the team needs to move more carries to Jaylen Warren.  Pittsburgh thought they were getting the next Le’Veon Bell and, well, they didn’t, with Harris.


  1. Chase Claypool is just not that good. He was drafted to win the 50-50 ball and he rarely does. He finds a way to land on his back, without the ball, often, but that’s it. He had a huge rookie season and has done nothing since.  I don’t think he’ll be back when his contract expires, nor should he be.


  1. Diontae Johnson is not a number one receiver. He drops too many passes and makes too many mistakes.  He’s talented, no question about it.  He’s a good number two, but he’s not a top guy.  George Pickens is though.  Kenny Pickett needs to, and will, find him more than any other wideout on this team. Pickens has star written all over him.


  1. Matt Canada should be fired, asap. I know Mike Tomlin is a loyal guy but loyalty can be a fault, and in this case, it is.  Canada is in over his head. Since last November’s game against the Lions, a 16-16 tie, Canada’s offense has averaged 18 points per game. Oh by the way, four different quarterbacks have started in that time.  18 points per game isn’t going to get it done in the NFL. What more needs to be seen?  Fire him.  In season changes are tough but something has to give here.


  1. The defense, the one that everyone loves, stinks. Without TJ Watt, nobody can apply pressure to the quarterback.  Alex Highsmith is mediocre at best and without Watt, he’s marginal.  The Steel Curtain isn’t walking through that door. A revamp of the team needs to happen, and it won’t happen overnight.  This team is looking at multiple years.  Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick are cornerstones, Cam Heyward is a beast but aging, you can take everyone else.


  1. The Steelers aren’t going to win a Super Bowl for several years, maybe even a decade or more. I think they are so far behind the rest of the league that it’s going to take several draft classes and coaches to get this thing right.  I’m not convinced that Tomlin will even be here the next time this team wins the whole thing.


What will happen this weekend:

In short, a loss.  The Steelers face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend and Tom Brady has traditionally shredded the Pittsburgh defense.  There is no reason to think he won’t again.  I expect Brady to exceed 300 yards, lead the Bucs to over 25 points and have a easy time of it.  The Steelers defense has holes everywhere and won’t sack Brady even once, they won’t get a turnover and they won’t be able to get many, if any, three and outs.

Conversely, the Steelers offense won’t get the ball downfield often, they certainly won’t run the ball effectively and Kenny Pickett will be blitzed all day long, having trouble getting the ball to his wideouts.  It will be a good learning experience for the rookie but he won’t get his first win this weekend.

Buccaneers 27  Steelers 9


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