The 2017 NFL season is around the corner and every team is now on full-speed at training camps. The preseason is finally here so we bring you a breakdown of every team.
It is the turn of the Pittsburgh Steelers, so here are the things that you need to know…
|Steelers at training camp at Latrobe PA – steelers.com
The Pittsburgh Steelers exited the 2016 campaign at the expenses of the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, just one game short of the Super Bowl. In that time, the stellar running back Le’Veon Bell was sidelined because of a groin injury, and that was one of the main reasons of the ineffectiveness of the late offensive play in the game.
Now, the same player is holding out from training camp because he has not signed the franchise tag that the team offered and rejected the contract that reportedly would have paid him something around the 12 million dollar figure.
It is unclear when Bell is going to show up for practice, or if he is going to sign the tag at all, but for now the team has been looking at the rookie James Conner and he will see increased activity in the preseason games. In other news, Martavis Bryant who was suspended the entire 2016 campaign, has been reinstated and now he can participate in all the team activities. His presence will give relief to the pro-bowler Antonio Brown and elevate the status of the receiver corps as one of the most dangerous in the league. The offense continues to be praised as one of the most explosive units and maybe the one that can knock down the Patriots if they stay healthy throughout the season.
On the other side of the ball, the defense is looking to improve last season numbers’. With young players looking to take their game to the next level such as cornerback Artie Burns or Ross Cockrell, or veteran players making a statement as the likes of James Harrison or Cameron Heyward, this unit has what it takes to be in the top defenses of the league. The addition of rookie linebacker T.J. Watt is one of the most intriguing and surely more than one is expecting to watch plenty of him.
During the end of last season and the beginning of the new one, QB Ben Roethlisberger has been mumbling about retirement, so the front office addressed the situation and drafted QB Joshua Dobbs who will see action probably in every game of the preseason, but will start the regular season behind second stringer Landry Jones. He will probably sit out the entire season but will develop behind one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the past decade.
With every piece seeming to be clicking in its right place, the Steelers are poised to repeat as AFC North Champions, facing an injury-riddled Ravens team, a doubtful Bengals play, and the ever-sloppy Browns in the same division. However, we will see if they can stay head-to-head with the AFC juggernauts Patriots who now stand as their last obstacle for the seventh ring. But first, they will have to take on a schedule that in paper does not look like a piece of cake.