The Pittsburgh Steelers season is far from over. Maybe it's been a rough start - a really rough start - but with 14 games remaining, there's plenty of time to fix the broken.
There's a tweet that concerned me. Someone responded to a question, "Can the Steelers fix it" with the answer, "Yes they can, the better question is how many fans will be left when they do."
Things might be ugly right now, but there's a long season left to start giving up on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maybe drastic changes need to be made. Maybe only in-house changes need to be made. But there's reasons to stay optimistic through the struggle.
Here are four of them.
Give the defense T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith and see how much better it is. Seriously, this group was relying on Jamir Jones and Derrek Tuszka in Week 3, and even if every NFL player is good, not many are as good as Watt and Highsmith.
People seem to forget that it was Cam Heyward and Chris Wormley, if you count him, playing with two backups and a sloppy Melvin Ingram. Maybe they did their part, but it's impossible to make up for the production great players around you leave on defense when injured.
Groin injuries are tough, but there's hope the Steelers at least get Watt back sooner rather than later. That changes a lot.
Matt Canada's Offense
From what we watched at training camp all summer, this is not Matt Canada's offense. Maybe some of it is, but this has a real Randy Fichtner-type feel to it, doesn't it?
The Steelers can't make big play after big play, but that's not what Canada's offense does. The design is to create space and opportunities for your playmakers while getting the ball away from Ben Roethlisberger.
Sounds like that's the magic pill with this offensive line.
It's time to unleash whatever bag of tricks Canada has up his sleeve. The AFC North is too good to be waiting for later in the season and still want a chance at the playoffs.
Najee Harris is Good - And He'll Get Better
The Steelers' first-round pick has grown each week, with Week 3 being his best performance yet. Add that to the fact that he's going to start getting a little irritated with a losing team and you'll have a hungry, talented, dynamic back sitting next to Big Ben.
Maybe the offense isn't built to run the football. Good thing Harris is basically a wide receiver with lineman thighs. Roethlisberger hasn't seen much of Harris's college film, but maybe he should go look it up. While he's at it, check out the 11 receiving touchdowns in two years.
It's not about finding a running game - even though it's important to have one - it's about allowing Harris to make plays.
Art Rooney II
You can say whatever you want about Mike Tomlin never having a losing season, but there's a reason "the standard is the standard" in Pittsburgh.
The Rooney family has a legacy of winning, and that includes seasons when they should be pretty bad. If the Steelers didn't give up on a year when Devlin 'Duck' Hodges was their quarterback, there's no way they're giving up on Roethlisberger's last ride.
"There's a little something called pride when you pay for the Pittsburgh Steelers, when you put black and gold on," Roethlisberger said after the game. "You may not have the best day. Things may not be going your way. But you don't quit, and you get back up and you fight."
Moves will be made. Changes to the game plan will become clearer. Pittsburgh is going to find some stride at some point this season, but after the win in Buffalo, there was reason to stay calm in the storm.
That reason is all but gone. It's time to make change now. They know that.
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