The Steelers have a lot of soul searching to do after their playoff debacle against the Browns. Here are the top three questions Pittsburgh needs to answer.
It seems like forever ago when Steelers fans believed they had the best team in the NFL on the back of the team’s scorching 11-0 start. To say that Pittsburgh came crashing down to Earth in the playoffs would be a massive understatement. The lopsided loss to the Browns was an embarrassment for everyone inside the Steelers’ organization.
Changes are coming for Pittsburgh. The team’s higher-ups value continuity more than any other team in the league, but it’s painfully obvious to everyone involved that a shakeup is required. The appropriate question is not whether or not changes need to be made but how many big moves are required.
Pittsburgh’s offseason must start by answering the following three questions. The responses to each will go a long way towards informing the ultimate direction of the Steelers for years to come.
3. Is JuJu Smith-Schuster worth paying?
Smith-Schuster was one of the Steelers’ most productive players in the playoff loss to the Browns. Catching 13 balls for 157 yards and a touchdown served to remind Pittsburgh’s front office just how productive he can be in a big game.
That’s particularly important because Smith-Schuster is headed towards free agency. He makes no secret of his desire to stay with the franchise that drafted him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to take a hometown discount.
It’s easy to make a case that Smith-Schuster and his TikTok nonsense are part of the culture problem in Pittsburgh. None of that noise exactly screams the type of blue-collar toughness the Steelers pride themselves on.
At the very least, the team might be hesitant to give Smith-Schuster big money. Losing him would signal a changing of the guard in the team’s receiver room, but that might not be a bad thing for a team that needs a new identity.