Steelers News NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 first round pick T.J. Watt officially jumps James Harrison as starting 3-4 right outside linebacker on the Pittsburgh Steelers depth chart.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 8/16/2017.


Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agency Recap


Pittsburgh didn't do much in Free Agency. This team is known for building through the draft.



Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Recap


The Steelers ignored their biggest need at 3-4 middle linebacker. They did secure some future starters in T.J. Watt at 3-4 right outside linebacker from Wisconsin in the first round, JuJu Smith-Schuster at wide receiver from USC in the second round, Cameron Sutton at cornerback from Tennesseee in the third round, and James Conner at running back in the third round. They also got Brian Allen, a 6-3 215 lb cornerback out of Utah, but they wasted a pick on a long snapper.




Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Summary: Ben Roethlisberger is the starting quarterback on Pittsburgh. Randy Fichtner has experience at both quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach. Fichtner has resolved tension between Roethlisberger and Haley at times like a hostage negotiator in the CIA. Fichtner needs to be promoted to offensive coordinator if Haley calls bad plays or another team will hire Fichtner at some point down the road. Neither Landry Jones or Joshua Dobbs is capable of doing what Roethlisberger does which is why its paramount for him to stay healthy.


Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back Summary: Le'Veon Bell hasn't practiced with the team, but will play during the regular season because he wants more money from Pittsburgh when his contract runs out which is why he turned down an extension with Pittsburgh. As long as James Saxson remains the Steelers running backs coach, Pittsburgh will have an effective running game.


Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Summary: Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the NFL. Pittsburgh also has Martavis Bryant as a #2 target with Sammie Coates in the slot and Darius Heyward-Bey competing to be the slot receiver on Pittsburgh. Eli Rodgers, Justin Hunter, and JuJu Smith-Schuster provide incredible depth. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley who knows how to develop wide receivers, and wide receivers coach Richard Mann is awesome at what he does.


Pittsburgh Steelers Tight End Summary: Jesse James enters his third season as a starting tight end. James Daniel was Pittsburgh's tight ends coach, a year before the Steelers drafted Heath Miller in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft which was a long time ago. My point is with Daniel coaching these tight ends there is continuity there.


Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Line Summary: Pittsburgh has Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle, Ramon Foster at left guard, Maurkice Pouncey at center, David DeCastro at right guard, and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. Jerald Hawkins is a solid backup to Villanueva at left tackle and you could make the same case for backup B.J. Finney who filled in for Foster and Pouncey last season. Right now Pouncey is injured, and I loved Finney coming out of Kansas State so he's a great addition for Pittsburgh as far as depth goes. Mike Munchak returns as the teams offensive line coach so I expect Pittsburgh to continue to buy into his zone blocking scheme.


The Steelers were 12th in points per game, 7th in total yards, 8th in passing yards, and 8th in rushing yards in 2016. Pittsburgh probably would have done better if Le'Veon Bell didn't get injured.



Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Line Summary: Pittsburgh has Stephon Tuitt at 3-4 right end and Cameron Heyward at 3-4 left end. Javon Hargrave is the Steelers starting nose tackle.


John Mitchell is the Steelers defensive line coach. He's also the assistant head coach making him interim head coach if Mike Tomlin got fired during the regular season.


Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker Summary: The Steelers have quite the depth at 3-4 outside linebacker. T.J. Watt is the teams starting 3-4 right outside linebacker with James Harrison as a backup for depth. Bud Dupree starts at 3-4 left outside linebacker with Arthur Moats as a backup for depth. Ryan Shazier needs another inside linebacker next to him. Vince Williams is not the answer. Keith Butler developed both outside linebackers and inside linebackers for years before succeeding Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator. Now Joey Porter is succeeding Butler learning from him as a former player and linebacker coach on the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Backs Summary: Pittsburgh has Artie Burns as the #1 field cornerback with Ross Cockrell at the boundary across from him. William Gay is expected to play the nickel cornerback role. The safety tandem of Sean Davis and Mike Mitchell is effective. Carnell Lake continues to mentor these guys so this can be a good group when healthy. You also got other cornerbacks for depth like Coty Sensebaugh at the dime, Mike Hilton at the quarter, along with rookies Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen. The biggest problem with Pittsburgh is that they rely on interceptions rather than use coverage and fundamentals to win games.


The Steelers may wield one of the NFL's best offenses, but their defense surprised a lot of people last year. Pittsburgh was 10th in sacks despite not having a single player reach 10 or more sacks on defense, 10th in points allowed, 10h in total yards allowed, 18th in pass defense, and 8th in run defense. Pittsburgh's run defense may be more suspect without Timmons. If Sutton and Allen were in depth roles, I'd actually be worried about Pittsburgh, but its clear that the Steelers are developing those two cornerbacks for the future.



Pittsburgh Steelers Special Teams Summary: Kicker Chris Boswell and punter Jordan Berry did a good job stepping in for Pittsburgh. Knile Davis is returning kickoffs while Antonio Brown is returning punts. Danny Smith put together his best season as a special teams coordinator last season.




Pittsburgh Steelers Worst Case Scenario: The Pittsburgh Steelers go 11-5 again. That's still good enough to get the Steelers the AFC North.


Pittsburgh Steelers Best Case Scenario: Pittsburgh manages to go 15-1 winning every game except their contest against New England. I doubt we see a team go 16-0, but if that happens, it will likely be New England or Pittsburgh. I could even see one of the teams who loses in week 15 get their revenge in the AFC Championship if the opposing team was 16-0. I doubt either team goes 16-0 so I'll say 15-1 is the best case scenario for the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 10
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 2
September 17
VS
1 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 3
September 24
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 4
October 1
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 5
October 8
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 6
October 15
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 7
October 22
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 8
October 29
AT
8:30 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 9
Bye Week
Week 10
November 12
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 11
November 16
VS
8:25 PM EST
NBC
L
Week 12
November 26
VS
8:30 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 13
December 4
AT
8:30 PM EST
ESPN
W
Week 14
December 10
VS
8:30 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 15
December 17
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 16
December 25
AT
4:30 PM EST
NBC
W
Week 17
December 31
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
W


Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Projected Record (12-4): This is Pittsburgh's best team in quite some time. They are going to field the best team in the AFC outside of the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh can reclaim the AFC once they get a middle linebacker to compliment Ryan Shazier.


Once Cameron Sutton and Brian Allen move up the depth chart this team will be more lethal. Pittsburgh's depth at cornerback, wide receiver, and running back will keep them competitive for years to come. Right now, I still feel like New England is still the best AFC team. If someone else besides New England gets to Minnesota it will be Pittsburgh. At this point I have Pittsburgh beating Indianapolis in the divisional round before they lose to the Patriots in this years AFC Championship game. I won't reveal my Super Bowl prediction until my Patriots preview.









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