MMQB: Steelers Weakest Link Still on Offense
The Steelers' most significant gift of 2020 will be the return of Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Adding a Pro Bowl passer to the field is expected to boost every position around him, but the team's biggest weakness remains on offense.
According to Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr, the Steelers' biggest weakness of the season is wide receiver.
"The Steelers sat almost exclusively in 11-personnel last year despite missing Ben Roethlisberger and struggling to stack the field with enough offensive firepower to challenge defenses," Orr wrote. "The addition of Chase Claypool should at least strengthen the Steelers inside the 20 and the return of Roethlisberger will undoubtedly elevate the talent on hand. Also, a more balanced offense will allow Pittsburgh to find some semblance of a play action game (they ran play action less than all but one team in football last year), which should lead to more vacant space for targets."
In 2019, the Steelers did fail to have a receiver hit 1,000 yards, with James Washington leading the team with 735. JuJu Smith-Schuster also missed four games with a knee injury, and the mix of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges certainly didn't help the cause.
The Steelers will receive a healthy Roethlisberger and Smith-Schuster in 2020. They should have another impactful year from James Washington. Adding second-round pick Chase Claypool should only bring more help to the passing attack.
They'll also rely heavily on free agent signing Eric Ebron and second-year stud Diontae Johnson is already talking about how he wants to win a Super Bowl with his quarterback.
While it's not hard to see why receiver is the weak link in Pittsburgh, it's also easy to see how it could become a strong point once the season starts.