Mark Madden: The Steelers created this rotten football team, and it can’t be fixed

It’s the character of sports activities lovers to be positive, alternatively cockeyed. To consider {that a} group seemed to be underperforming can be fixed.

Coach ’em up. Tweak the lineup or technique. Trade all our unhealthy gamers for all their excellent gamers. Find that secret sauce that’s a cure-all, or a minimum of a step in the best route,

That’s virtually all the time fiction. Teams are what they seem like.

The Steelers can’t be fixed. They’re a foul football group. This is the 12 months to in the end get that top draft pick out.

The protection used to be meant to prop up the offense. Whether or now not that used to be conceivable, we’ll by no means know. When edge rusher T.J. Watt were given harm, the protection imploded.

With Watt, the Steelers were given 5 takeaways and seven sacks within the first recreation. Minus Watt, they totaled one takeaway and two sacks within the two video games since.

Without Watt to occupy the foe’s consideration, Cam Heyward has long past quiet. Everyone on that aspect of the ball has long past quiet.

Despite the hype, it by no means used to be an excellent protection. The numbers replicate. Now it’s a foul protection.

Like ultimate season, the protection is prone to the run: Cleveland rushed for 174 yards Thursday night time and managed the ball doing so. The Browns were given each and every backyard they wanted. In the loss prior, New England ended the sport via pounding the rock for the ultimate 6:33.

Defense used to be meant to be the Steelers’ cornerstone. Watt’s damage sabotaged that, if it used to be ever true.

The offense is an unfocused abomination. It doesn’t rating issues. That is all of the other people wish to know. The Steelers have 4 offensive touchdowns in 3 video games.

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky hasn’t been excellent. But switching to rookie Kenny Pickett wouldn’t be a panacea.

If you wish to have Pickett to get enjoy, tremendous. But what if it’s unhealthy enjoy? The Steelers play at Buffalo, at house vs. Tampa Bay, at Miami and at Philadelphia in Weeks 5-8. Those are all play0ff-caliber groups. You need to throw Pickett to these wolves?

Starting Pickett Nov. 13 at house in opposition to New Orleans turns out affordable. That’s the sport after the bye week. The Steelers will be 3-5 via then, perhaps 2-6. The power will be off. Pickett will be that a lot more able. It will be about studying, now not successful.

That’s now not quickly sufficient if you wish to have Pickett to save lots of the season. But he can’t. Nothing can. Pickett’s timetable must be based totally only on what’s very best for his construction.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada used to be a horrible rent. He’s unqualified. He were given the process as a result of he used to be already on-site and already on payroll because the quarterbacks trainer. Mike Tomlin’s training tree is non-existent as a result of he doesn’t like to rent coaches whose acumen demanding situations his.

With the elements equipped offensively, the Steelers wanted a grasp chef to whip up one thing tasty. Canada is a journeyman short-order prepare dinner.

This isn’t concerning the Steelers enjoying unhealthy. The Steelers are unhealthy. This is the extent their ability dictates. They wouldn’t make the playoffs even with Watt enjoying the entire 12 months.

It’s a group horribly wrong within the meeting. It invested cash and draft selections in spaces much less vital.

Football’s 4 maximum vital positions are quarterback, cornerback, edge rusher and left take on. The Steelers are correctly staffed at best a type of, and that man is harm. Pickett supplies hope for the longer term at quarterback. (You hope.)

The offensive line has been disintegrating incessantly. David DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey and Alejandro Villanueva ultimate performed for the Steelers in 2020. Each used to be in decline prior to that.

So, the Steelers used their most sensible two selections in each and every of the ultimate two drafts on glossy new toys: A operating again and tight result in ’21, a quarterback and extensive receiver this 12 months. Rebuilding the offensive line used to be an afterthought.

The Steelers haven’t drafted an offensive lineman within the most sensible two rounds since DeCastro in 2012. That’s improbable.

The offensive line doesn’t utterly stink. But it’s now not excellent. There’s not anything dynamic about it. There’s no cornerstone.

The Steelers are rotten.

But blame is going to all the group. They are precisely what they created.

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