It is no secret that many people have plenty of doubts about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the team’s ability to be successful during the 2021 season. If asked about what people outside of the organization think of the team’s ability to compete, Head Coach, Mike Tomlin would most likely respond, “We do not care.”
With that said, there is no reason not to use outside scrutiny as a way for the team to propel their play this season as we head into Week 1’s matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills.
The offensive line is going to be a disaster, Ben Roethlisberger is washed up, Minkah Fitzpatrick is overrated, Tomlin can’t coach in big games, heck, even the dang water boy can’t do his job right according to experts around the league. It might not be such a bad thing for Tomlin to run through articles and clips to fire the team up as they get set for their quest to a seventh Super Bowl Title.
ESPN‘s Bill Barnwell wrote an article that had the Steelers as just the 20th most likely to win the Super Bowl. The Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, and Minnesota Vikings are among the teams with a better chance. Nothing against those squads, but how is a team who went 11-0 to start the season last year not even in the top half of the totem pole? Albeit, a tough schedule awaits the Steelers, but the only other true veteran quarterback given a worse chance to hoist the Lombardi is Matt Ryan with the Atlanta Falcons (not including the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson).
The official website of the NFL has the Steelers projected at just 8.4 wins with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens both set to have 10 or more while Sports Illustrated pegs the six-time Super Bowl Champs at 8-9, which would be the Steelers first losing season since 2003.
This has been an off-season of absolutely tearing down any chances the Steelers have to make a run into late January. The talent is there, the veteran leadership is there, and we sure as heck know the dominant defense is there. An offensive line that performs a bit better than expected will have plenty of people eating their words in a few months.
I recognize that most players probably do not read articles, listen to shows and podcasts, or pay attention to the media at all. With that said, word travels fast and there is no doubt that the locker room on Art Rooney Ave. has heard about what the expectation is for the team this season. Roethlisberger could be in his final season and with the competitive spirit he possesses, he will be out to prove many people wrong throughout the season. T.J. Watt will eventually (hopefully) sign a contract extension and be ready to prove himself worthy of such a massive deal.
Clearly, most Steelers fans feel different than the average football fan or media member. We can find some crazy way in our brains to a 14+ win season. While not likely, this team deserves a lot more respect and positivity directed its way as we are set to begin the regular season.
The team began playing with a chip on its shoulder right out of the gate last year. The fuel to that fire ran out in December and the doubts and frankly, disrespect for the franchise and team headed into this year, could be what pushes them over the hump heading into January.
Do you think the Steelers should find motivation in the multiple people writing them off for 2021 already? Let us know in the comments below!