2019 NFL Power Rankings:
No. 14 Pittsburgh Steelers
Kevin Colbert and David Gettleman walk into a bar. The two then sit down to discuss upgrading their respective teams and eliminating "distractions" from their locker rooms. One decides to send a generational talent to Cleveland, but at least gets capital in return -- a first-round pick and a young but talented safety in Jabrill Peppers. The other passes up on a first-round pick. Why? Because he doesn't want the surefire Hall of Fame talent, he refuses to pay to be on the opposite side of his annual ass whooping.
Instead of doing the world's best pass-catcher a solid by restructuring his contract and forking over more guaranteed money, the genius known as Kevin Colbert decided to ship Brown to the Raiders for a third and fifth-round pick. Remember friends; this is after refusing to pay the game's best running back, Le' Veon Bell, his worth. Paying premier players their worth in guarantees shouldn't be demanding. You can miss me with the "superstar's eating the majority of the pie straps a franchises ability to build a roster" excuse. If you draft well, something Colbert struggles doing; you avoid those situations. Just ask Stephen Jones. He's shown Dallas' most integral pieces THE MONEY.
The Rooney families short pockets coupled with Ben Roethlisberger's innate ability to alienate teammates cost Pittsburgh a shot at a Lombardi. Juju Smith-Schuster is not a No. 1 receiver and benefited from AB drawing double teams every play. Donte Moncrief was an excellent complementary piece in Indianapolis, but failed in Jacksonville and looked lost during the Week 1 massacre in New England. James Washington hasn't proved himself yet, and Dionte Johnson isn't ready. Combine a lack of talent at wide receiver with a good but not great running back in James Conner, and you have an offense that's nothing more than mediocre. Week 1, however, shouldn't be a reflection of the situation. It's going to take time for this cast of characters to find chemistry. Pittsburgh fans need to hope they do before it's too late.
I like the Steelers' defense. Ya, Tom Brady and Co. pile drove them into oblivion to kickoff the season, but shit. It's the G.O.A.T. and nem'. The defensive line boasts stout run defenders like Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. T.J. Watt is a beast whose ability to rush the passer changes the complexity of a ballgame. First-round pick Devin Bush is a Ryan Shazier clone whose combination of speed, instincts, and tenacity should lead to several trips to Orlando. And last, but not least. The defensive backfield doesn't have to worry about Artie Burns living up to his last name every week. I'm not in love with Steven Nelson, but it's an upgrade.
Offensive Players to Watch; THE WHOLE FUCKING RECEIVING CORE.
Defensive Players to Watch: Bud Dupree, Terrell Edmunds, Vince Williams, Steven Nelson
Fantasy Players to Watch: Big Ben, Juju, Vance McDonald
Verdict: I’m not on board with the “Mike Tomlin Haters Club.” He’s not a perfect coach by any means, and he makes some questionable in-game decisions. Tomlin’s still better than the majority of the head coaches in football. Don’t blame him for the circus in Pittsburgh. That’s a direct reflection of the Rooney’s and Kevin Colbert. This team will fight and claw its way to several tough wins and sit on the playoff bubble. 9-7.