The defending AFC North champions lost a lot of talent this offseason. But the Pittsburgh Steelers has a few new faces that have made an impression to date.
From a franchise-record 11-0 start to one of the worst late-season collapses ever. Including the embarrassing home playoff loss to the Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers hardly looked like a division champion when it was all said and done in 2020.
It’s been an offseason of many departures but a few veteran additions. The team needs some young players to step up this season. Mike Tomlin’s club has the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns nipping at its heels. Meanwhile, here are three performers who have enjoyed solid showings so far.
3. ILB Ulysees Gilbert
Inside linebacker was a horror show for Mike Tomlin’s team a year ago. The team lost Devin Bush after five games. Robert Spillane stepped in but he was also bitten by the injury bug. Veteran Vince Williams, who retired this offseason, also missed some time. The bottom line was that Keith Butler’s unit eventually finished a mediocre 11th in the league against the run.
Bush and Spillane are back, as is Marcus Allen. The Steelers used a fourth-round pick this year on Texas A&M’s Buddy Johnson, who should help against the run. And the team recently gave a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Jaguars for veteran Joe Schobert, who should help with pass coverage.
While 2019 sixth-round selection Ulysees Gilbert has played in a total of 11 regular-season games the past two years, he’s shown enough this summer to earn a spot for a group that could use all the depth it can get.