May 20, 2024

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers season appears to be over. After three straight losses, this is a group that seemingly has given up on fighting for the playoffs and is instead waiting to see what changes come in the offseason.

And there should be plenty.

It’s time for the Steelers to clean house. Start new. Because when you combine poor play with an even poorer attitude, you find yourself on a sinking ship with all of the boats surrounding you, talking about how your culture is dead and it’s everyone’s fault.

Maybe everyone talking about the downfall of the Steelers is right. And if Art Rooney II is listening – which he should be at this point – he has to be thinking that it’s time for a restart because this group may be too lost to be found.

Every Inside Linebacker Except Elandon Roberts
Look, if Cole Holcomb is healthy next season, keep him around. Hopefully, he can do what he was doing at the beginning of the year. But waiting on Mark Robinson to be the guy isn’t working out, and if it wasn’t for Elandon Roberts, the Steelers would probably be better putting no one out there than who they’ve had on the field the last several weeks.

It’s time for Pittsburgh to go get some young, bright players at inside linebacker. Roberts, hopefully, Holcomb, and at least one other starter-capable player. Maybe two.

Injuries killed this group this season, but the lack of depth has shown it’s ugly face in the late part of the year. Next year, the goal should be to have at least three starters and then at least one backup who deserves some playing time – not someone who you’d sign everyone off the streets to try and put over them in the depth chart.

Najee Harris
Najee Harris doesn’t put the production on the field that he should for a first-round pick, and with Jaylen Warren being a more explosive option, it might be time to find the second punch.

The part that should make the Steelers turn away from their former captain is that Harris has answered the hard questions once this season – after the loss the Browns – and then immediately started shutting down interviews.

Some would say that’s no big deal, but when Mason Cole, Kenny Pickett, Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt are standing up in front of reporters after every game, answering for their team’s struggles so that fans have something to take away, it looks bad on Harris.

This offseason should be about adjusting the attitude in the locker room. Go retrieve whatever “Steelers culture” was before this season.

Mitch Trubisky
The Steelers need a whole new quarterback room, but if they’re going to keep Kenny Pickett around and try to give him another shot, they need a better player to compete with him. Looking in the early rounds of the NFL Draft is their best bet – and should really be their only train of thought after the Trubisky experiment.

Unless you’re trying to get an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, there’s a slim chance you pull off a Geno Smith with a veteran who didn’t make it the first time. It’s time for Pittsburgh to go young and get some real quarterback talent this offseason.

George Pickens and Diontae Johnson
The Steelers should start fresh at wide receiver and hope they can find two replacements in a single offseason. Otherwise, they’re looking at another year of the same drama, with two players who clearly do not care about trying to help their team if their numbers aren’t going up.

Honestly, if you could only replace one of them, the Steelers should move on from Pickens. The second-year wideout has a serious attitude issue on the field, gives up every time the going gets tough, and has caused more negative headlines than his few acrobatic catches can hide.

Pickens has been caught liking negative comments about the Steelers and posting cryptic posts on Instagram, and the worst part is he just says he doesn’t know what we’re talking about when asked about it.

He’s a great talent, but the Steelers need players who are going to fight to turn this team around. He’s not that type of player.

Mason Cole and Dan Moore Jr.
The Steelers started to pay attention to their offseason line issues this offseason, but this spring has to be the final attempt to complete the puzzle. No more dancing around the fact that you have two loose ends. It doesn’t mean get rid of Dan Moore Jr. before the end of his rookie deal, but it means bring in two starter-capable players at right tackle and center.

Levi Wallace
The Steelers should probably replace Patrick Peterson too, but if you’re going to keep a veteran as your third cornerback, make it Peterson – not Wallace. It’s time for Pittsburgh to go out and find someone to run across from Joey Porter Jr. Who cares where they come from as long as they’re young, dedicated and looking like a star in the making.

Letting Cam Sutton walk looks like more and more of a mistake by the week. The Steelers should not let that mistake carry over for two seasons.

Pressley Harvin III
Pressley Harvin III always steps up during training camp competitions, but it’s time to ignore what happens in the summer and try to find someone who’s capable in the fall. Right now, Harvin isn’t that player, and it looks like it’s time for the Steelers to move on.

While Harvin is, character-wise, one of the best in the locker room, finding a punter should be pretty high on the team’s list of priorities this offseason, and even if it’s bringing back Brad Wing, it’s an attempt at an upgrade.

Mike Tomlin and Most of the Coaching Staff
There’s no more denying it. Steelers are clearly a team that needs a fresh start, but how they got here has a direct arrow pointing to their head coach. The team has had poor draft classes, lack of accountability, total ignorance when it comes to addressing their problems, and it all led here – to a season that has sunk so fast that even Mike Tomlin has run out of ways to defend it.

Everyone should be on the table at this point. There are some who should not leave, such as Karl Dunbar, Danny Smith, probably Eddie Faulkner, and Grady Brown. Everyone else should be close to, if not over the line, though.

Where the Steelers are today is a growing regression that has been years in the making. Their head coach should take most of the blame. Everyone who is talking about the lack of “culture,” well, it has become more and more true by the week.

The Steelers do not feel like a team that wants to win or that is willing to fight to try and win. They appear to be a group that has given up because they know the ceiling is low.

It won’t lead to instant success – most likely – but it’s time to consider a new Steelers reign and the end of an era in Pittsburgh.

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