After free agency and the draft, it's easy to be optimistic about this Steelers team. But f they're to make the playoffs, they'll need to have some more production from carryovers from last years roster.
Vance McDonald was good last year, he needs to be great in 2019. He had 50 catches for 610 yards and 4 TD’s during the 2018 season.
He can be even more of a stud this year. He needs to stay healthy. He could be a 70 catch guy. Without AB, there are more balls that need to go around. JuJu will get his share. I trust Vance more than just about any other player on the roster though when it comes to catching the football.
Terrell Edmunds played more snaps than any other player on defense last year. That should do loads for his development. Can he help the Steelers take the ball away more this year? The dude has such a gift when it comes to acceleration. I want to see him break on a few more footballs.
Same can be said for Sean Davis. He showed flashes last year of being a really good player. He also had some down moments. This is put up or shut up time for him. He came in playing slot corner. Then box safety. Now free safety. You would hope that being able to play in one position for a year would help him big time.
The Steelers need more from James Washington in year two. James Conner, JuJu, and Watt all made huge strides last year. Can Washington? I loved the pick when they made it. He had a strong preseason and camp.
He had 60+ yards in two of the last three games last year. A sign of things to come?
How about Roethlisberger? This isn’t about having an expanded role. In fact, I want a reduction here. Ben doesn’t need to lead the league in yards again. If he does, it’s a bad thing. In the last decade, the QB that leads the league in passing overwhelmingly missed the playoffs. The 9 teams that had a pass/run ratio as bad as the Steelers last year, didn’t make the playoffs.
One of the reasons? It leads to turnovers. Ben needs to not turn it over. His interception ratio wasn’t awful so if you throw it less, you turn it over less.
This week we've focused on how the Steelers got better in the draft. If the Steelers are to be a playoff team again, they'll also need more from some players who were up and down last year.