BTSC takes five burning questions regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers and labels them as fact or fiction.
There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers GM speaking about the quarterback situation. It seems like the theme of this week’s Fact or Fiction could have come from Journey’s “Separate Ways (World’s Apart).
Here’s a sample…
Troubled times caught between confusion and pain.
Distant eyes, promises we make were in vain.
If you must go, I wish you love.
You’ll never walk alone.
Take care my love.
Ponder whether they are related here or if I just wanted an excuse to listen to some Steve Perry. But anyhow, there is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.
Are we on point? Only time will tell.
Players retire on their own timeline, not on that of their close friends on the team
A lot of people feel now that Maurkice Pouncey has retired that Ben Roethlisberger, Al Villanueva and David DeCastro will retire alongside him. I just don’t see that. Ben’s agent, Ryan Tollner, voiced a few weeks ago that Ben would take less for guys like Pouncey to return. But Pouncey had a year remaining and seemingly went out on his own accord. But that doesn’t mean that Ben is basing his family’s decisions on that of other players. Now, I think that Big Al will retire, but I don’t think that Dave DeCastro, a very close friend of Alejandro’s, will with a year remaining on his contract. The Steelers don’t have to clean house all at once. A lot of fans are speculating that all of these guys will follow suit because their buddy left. It just doesn’t work that way.
The Steelers line is a huge question mark going in to 2021
I actually do not think that it is. In an interview with the Athletic this week, Zach Banner made it sound like the Steelers have plans for him to start in 2021 despite being a free agent. Re-counting his conversations with Mike Tomlin and his exit interview, it sure seems that way. While nothing is for certain, it kind of feels like the Steelers know who will make up most of their offensive line. Based on the interview and on the players under contract, Banner and Chuks Okorafor would be the starting tackles, while DeCastro and Kevin Dotson would be the guards. Only center is in question with only exclusive rights free agent J.C. Hassenhauer left to speak of.
Kevin Colbert’s comments could signal the end of a career in Pittsburgh for Ben Roethlisberger
It really seems like the Steelers’ General Manager is taking on the role of “bad cop” for the Pittsburgh football franchise when it comes to comments about the team’s quarterback. When I was listening to Colbert’s words, I got the impression that Ben’s lofty $41 million cap hit is leading the team to show the legend towards the door. The cap hit will still be major, but it’s about $18 million back to pay others. This is most likely not the manner that Colbert wants this to go down, but business is cruel and football is even more so.
The Steelers have to find a way to re-sign JuJu Smith-Schuster
Sure, I would love to see the Steelers charismatic receiver return to the confluence of the three rivers next season, it just doesn’t seem overly possible now at this point. JuJu is a fierce blocker and a reliable pass catcher (97 receptions last season), but the Steelers can’t break the bank to bring back No. 19. If the salary cap wasn’t an issue, JuJu would most likely be a Steeler in 2021… but it is a huge issue. Their credit card would be swallowed up and not returned by an ATM at this point. With the Steelers having Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and James Washington returning and their proven track record as WR draft gurus… The Steelers would be more fiscally responsible in spending any coins found in the couch cushions on another position.
A healthy Eric Ebron is critical to the success of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense in 2021
Eric Ebron dropped seven Ben Roethlisberger passes in 2020. That’s not great at all, but it is nothing compared to the 14 that Diontae Johnson let escape the grasp of his sandwich grabbers. With JuJu likely jetting, Ebron is going to get a lot of looks in the middle of the field and has the athleticism to move the chains. If the Steelers are going to compete for a Lombardi Trophy… “Double E” will need to stay healthy, get open and keep his eyes (and hands) on the ball.
Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game and listen for more on the player below.