The Steelers are competitive because of Mike Tomlin’s coaching, but he needs three players to step up in 2024 if they want to be a real title threat.
With a 9-8 record in the regular season, it’s safe to say that the Steelers did better than they should have. That isn’t good enough for head coach Mike Tomlin or the team’s loyal fans. In 2024, everyone in Pittsburgh wants this team to do better in the AFC North.
The team can feel good about the talent they got in the NFL Draft in April, but if they want to make a big jump, the Steelers will need to make a lot of changes to their roster from the inside. The good news is that the team has a lot of young players who are still getting better. This list starts with an attacking tool that could beat the bet on nfl games online odds to make it to the All-Pro team.
Steelers who need to step up: 3. George Pickens
Pickens did better than expected for a second-round pick by making 52 catches for 801 yards in his first season. The scary thing for other defensive backs is that Pickens hasn’t even come close to reaching his full ability yet.
He is too good to just try to hold on to what he has gained during his second season as a pro. Pickens should have much higher goals. It’s not crazy to think that he could become this team’s best wide receiver.
Pickens will need to get better at being consistent. The thing that people in Georgia didn’t like about him was that he didn’t seem to care about the details. If he wants to be a real star in 2024, he can’t afford to take his eyes off the ball.
Steelers who need to step up: 2. Larry Ogunjobi
It’s not the most exciting job in the NFL to be a defensive end in a three-man front. Larry Ogunjobi plays this role for the Steelers. His ability to keep blockers busy is just as important as his ability to get sacks. Last season, he wasn’t very good at either job, which is a shame.
Pittsburgh is hoping that Ogunjobi’s health is much better than it was last summer. He told reporters that he couldn’t even run in July of last year. This year, he was able to start working out in January so he could be in great shape for training camp.
This year, the Steelers’ defensive line needs a lot more from Ogunjobi if they want to be troublesome. Last year, he only had 28 stops and two sacks. Worse was the fact that his PFF Grade for the season was only 61.7, which was not very good.
TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith will have more room to make plays behind the line of scrimmage the more trouble Ogunjobi can cause from his spot. If Ogunjobi doesn’t step up, it will be hard for Pittsburgh’s defense to be in the top 10 in the league. It could also mean that he is no longer a member of the Steelers.
Steelers who need to step up: 1. Kenny Pickett
Last season, when Pickett filled in as the Steelers’ quarterback, he did a good job. The coaches didn’t ask him to do too much, and he won seven of the 12 games he played in. That was enough for his first season to be considered a middling success.
Everyone should expect Pickett to take on more duty this year. In particular, he needs to figure out how to move the ball farther down the field. The Pittsburgh front office would be very worried if the team’s average of 6.2 yards per try from last season came back.
Pickett also needs to make it so that he scores more touchdowns than interceptions. His nine interceptions last season aren’t too bad for a first-year player, but the fact that he only threw seven touchdown passes is worrying. At wide receiver, the Steelers have a lot of good players. A typical NFL starting quarterback should do much better than what Pickett did in his first season.
Pickett will almost certainly get better in his second season, but how much he gets better will have a big impact on how many wins the Steelers get. He doesn’t have to be a superstar for this team to win, but he does need to find a way to become a good starter at the game’s most important position.
Pickett, likewise his two other teammates need to up their game this 2024 NFL season if they are wholeheartedly considering plying their trade in Pittsburg with the Steelers.
So far so good, if you like the Pittsburgh Steelers, you’ve probably been watching the USFL Pittsburgh Maulers pass the time when the Steelers aren’t playing. Saturday night, the Maulers lost the USFL title game, but one player stood out and the Steelers should be interested in him. Vince Williams, a former Steelers defender, was definitely watching.
Reuben Foster only spent two years in the NFL, but it’s clear that he had a rough time there. But Williams wrote on Twitter that the former Defensive Rookie of the Year will end up on the other Pittsburgh team. Foster was picked by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round in 2018, but he only played for those two seasons before injuries and problems off the field forced him out of the league.
Foster is a force in the middle when he is healthy and his mind is on football. This season, it happened with the Maulers, so we tend to agree with Williams that it’s worth a shot to bring Foster to training camp and see what he has left. Even though the Steelers added Elandon Roberts and Cole Holcomb in the offseason, inside linebacker is still a big question mark for them. And should the trade for Reuben Foster in 2024, the chances of the Steelers linebacker becoming a force is a hundred percent certain.
The rise of Reuben Foster’s links to the Steelers should definitely serve as an up your game to the team’s current linebackers to up their game and eyes fixed on their target. Before then, however, it remains yet to be seen how the transfer and trade period will unfold despite the team’s strong connection with Reuben.