The Steelers were the NFL’s most dysfunctional team last season. Here are five ways they can fix the drama and win games in 2019.
No one in Pittsburgh can blame Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown if the Steelers struggle this season. Those guys are gone and head coach Mike Tomlin hopes the drama that hung over his team like a cloud last year disappeared along with them. The truth is the Steelers’ issues are more complex than two quasi-divas in the locker room.
This piece will examine the cultural and roster issues that need to be fixed if the Steelers are going to get back to their winning ways. Some of these things can be accomplished in one season while others will require a multi-year commitment from the entire franchise.
The good news for Steelers fans is that this roster still has a lot of talent. It may not be enough to overcome the deficiencies at key positions that will plague Pittsburgh this season, but the cupboard isn’t bare of difference makers. This team will look much different in 2019, but it’s still got enough juice to contend for a playoff berth.
If the Steelers want to get back on a path that ends with a Super Bowl, they need to start enacting these changes immediately.
5. Stop talking
Tomlin won’t come out and say he believes losing Bell and Brown can be addiction by subtraction, but it’s clear he wants the focus to be on football in 2019. That means it’s time for everyone in the organization to eschew any questions about locker room politics.
It’s really an easy thing to instruct players to do. If they are asked about anything other than on-field matters, their answer to the media should be “no comment.” That might be boring for fans who want to see every players’ personality on full display, but it will help the Steelers focus on winning games.