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ESPN Pinpoints Steelers’ Offseason ‘Superlative’ Amid Roster Questions

The Steelers (somewhat surprisingly) made the playoffs in 2023.

It’ll be difficult for Pittsburgh to replicate that feat in 2024, though, as the AFC North once again looks stacked, with the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns all capable of vying for the postseason.

That’s the bad news for Pittsburgh, a team with obvious talent on defense but questions on offense. The good news? The Steelers’ roster has enough upside to remain competitive. And some healthy internal competition could push Mike Tomlin’s team in the right direction once the NFL campaign kicks off.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently handed out offseason “superlatives” for every NFL team, focusing on the pros and cons of what each franchise did or didn’t do in the months since the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.

His superlative for the Steelers: “Team most likely to have multiple real training camp competitions on offense.”

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The biggest potential competition, of course, resides behind center, where Russell Wilson projects to be the starting quarterback but Justin Fields waits in the wings as a top-end backup. It’s possible Fields leapfrogs Wilson on the depth chart at some point in 2024, either before or during the season. After all, Wilson is coming off an underwhelming stint with the Denver Broncos, whereas Fields showed flashes of being a legitimate threat before the Chicago Bears traded him to Pittsburgh and drafted Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick.

And who will receive the most carries in Pittsburgh’s backfield? That, too, remains up for debate. Najee Harris looks like the Steelers’ No. 1 running back, but Jaylen Warren and Cordarrelle Patterson almost certainly will factor into the offensive equation.

Toss in the Steelers’ uncertainty at wide receiver (who will start opposite George Pickens?) and along the offensive line (is Troy Fautanu ready to be the starting left tackle?), plus the hiring of Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator, and it’s clear Pittsburgh had a fascinating offseason that might only become more interesting once the Steelers report for training camp.

Featured image via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images