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WildCard Week Steelers vs Chiefs Postgame Commentary: Looking Ahead

Photo Credit: Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers

Here is how I see it.

Rather than dwell on the Pittsburgh Steelers losing a playoff game they had no business playing, this would be an opportunity to take a peak into what should be a long and confusing offseason for the team.

Let us begin with this: the Big Ben era is over, which means finding a new franchise quarterback will be a major priority. As it stands, that person is currently not on their roster, meaning that their answer will likely have to come through this year's NFL Draft, or somehow through an offseason trade. Considering how proud the Steelers are as a franchise, they are likely not going to give up draft capital for a quarterback. Personally, I believe this makes sense, as their offseason has a plethora needs, as they demonstrated in their playoff disaster against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Firstly, their offensive line is mediocre at best, and not the type of unit that complements Najee Harris' skillset. The fact that Harris was able to rush for over 1,000 yards with that offensive line speaks volumes about his talent. If they want to unleash his full potential, he needs space and time. For this team, rebuilding this unit should be their top priority.

Secondly, they will need to reevaluate their receiving corps. There is no question they are a talented group. The real question is whether this is the type of group that can help this team win a Superbowl? The honest answer is no. What their performance against the Chiefs revealed is a group that is inconsistent. For instance, Diontae Johnson, who led the team in receptions and receiving yards this season, dropped enough passes to make him a liability in that game. Despite being 6'4, Chase Claypool at times plays shorter than his given height. James Washington, once an award-winning receiver out of Oklahoma State, was underutilized due to his inability to get consistent separation from opposing defensive backs. Last but not least, the future of Juju Smith-Schuster is uncertain.

As for the defense, they essentially were the reason this team made the playoffs. Even with this noted, they have plenty of work to do on their run defense. Which brings up their current coordinator, Keith Butler. What is interesting is how he acknowledges that the defense needed better coaching for their playoff game. From my point of view, this could be an admission that he may no longer be suitable to continue as a defensive coordinator. Similar to the offense, the defense could use a revamp in personnel. Leading the league in sacks is a great accomplishment, but it failed to cover up the deficiencies in their run defense.

If anything could be said, it is that this team did as well as one could do with the type of roster and personnel they had. In my opinion, true success for this team comes with a willingness to make the changes necessary to help the team achieve long-term success. This offseason, they will certainly have the cap space to transform themselves into an elite team. What they need now is the courage to do what it takes to make that happen.

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