Year in and year out, the Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best defenses in the league and it seems that trend will continue in the 2023 season.
With that said, expectations are high as always. Especially after the front office made moves to improve the wide receiver core and offense line.
The Steelers could be a dark horse out of the AFC North, but it sounds like success will be determined by Kenny Pickett’s play.
According to Pro Football Talk, numerous Pittsburgh defenders are showing supreme confidence. TJ Watt believes in his team, even though he acknowledges it’s still early in the offseason.
“I think it’s still too early to have a true sense of ‘This is the year,’ because they always say you don’t want to be the guy who’s just crushing it with no pads on — you don’t really know the personality of everybody yet. So it’s too early for that, but I’m very encouraged with the direction we’re going, especially on the defensive side of the ball, which is what I can speak for. Guys are flying around, having a lot of fun, communicating and making a lot of those splash plays, and that’s all you can really ask for this time of year.”
Meanwhile, new teammate Patrick Peterson believes in the defense as well. He explains the Steelers “have all the pieces” on defense. After that, he admits the Steelers’ fate is in Kenny Pickett’s hands.
Here’s what he had to say about the belief that Pickett may determine the team’s 2023 season, per Pro Football Talk.
“I do, and what it’s going to come down to is we have all the pieces that we need on defense. We know defense wins championships. We have talent across the board on the offensive side of the ball. I believe the front office did a great job of getting what we needed in the draft as far as getting Broderick [Jones] in the first round, a left tackle, young pup who you should expect to see play a lot.”
The Steelers’ veteran cornerback goes on to claim he likes the other moves the front office has made to build around Kenny Pickett.
“You added Allen Robinson, you got Diontae Johnson, you got George Pickens, you got Najee [Harris]. You know it’s all going to come down to how well Kenny can play and can he put the ball where it needs to go. I believe he is a guy that we can rely on, a guy that we can count on. Now it’s all going to fall on him if he can go out there and show us what he’s capable of doing.”
Based on these comments, it sure sounds like the pressure is on for Pickett. And that should be the case for Pittsburgh.
They have a solid roster throughout and have made improvements on both sides of the ball. The front office drafted Pickett for a reason, so, the young quarterback is in a position the franchise was wanting him to be in all along.
With that said, look for the Steelers to do everything possible to get their young quarterback ready to go for the 2023 season.
If Kenny Pickett can improve his play, then Pittsburgh might just be a legitimate playoff contender once again.