The New Era of The Steel Curtain

Free agency has allowed the Steelers to take calculated risks in pursuit of improvement on both sides of the field.


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers opponents for the 2022-2023 season are going to be tough to beat. Their free agency moves will surely improve their chances of making the playoffs.

Manas Kathir, Staff Writer

This year’s NFL Free Agency has been one of the craziest in a long time, and NASH students have taken notice. 

“This offseason has me thinking crazy about the future of the NFL,” junior Sam Lenchner said. “There are so many great players going to different teams and it makes me intrigued for this upcoming season. I believe a team that picked up one of the big names this offseason will lift them to a Super Bowl.” 

With big names like Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, and Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns, the 2022-2023 NFL season is poised to be one of the most interesting years of football, as many teams are making their moves to shift to potential Super Bowl contenders.

However, what did the Pittsburgh Steelers do?

“The Pittsburgh Steelers are slowly rebuilding as a team,” junior Patrick Lopresti said. “As a fan my whole life, it is hard to see no Big Ben, but I know he is too old to play. It is time to move on from that era and I believe getting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is an improvement going forward.”

Mitchell Trubisky, drafted second overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft, has had a strange start to his career. In his rookie year, he did not have the best start to his career, as he won four games and lost eight as a starter with a total of sevens touchdowns and seven interceptions. However, his 2018 season was a total turn-around, as he contributed to a 12-4 season that resulted in a loss during the NFL Wild Card Round to the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2019 and 2020, the Bears finished with an 8-8 record, with Trubisky showing average numbers and showcasing average play. They ended up getting bounced out in the NFL Wild Card Round by Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

Trubisky decided it was time to move on and signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. Knowing that he was not going to start above Josh Allen, Trubisky used his time to learn from the strong coaching staff that turned Allen into what he is today.

Now, he is on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously, there was much more promise when Trubisky was drafted, but fans of the Steel Curtain hope he can use the knowledge he gained last year to lead the Steelers into a successful 2022-2023 NFL Season. Even though the quarterback position was in need of something new, the Steelers made improvements all over the field.

“Trubisky was a great asset to the team, but in my opinion, getting Myles Jack from Jacksonville and Levi Wallace from Buffalo is going to make our defense better,” junior Adam Leya claimed. “Since we do not have Joe Haden anymore, I think it is important that we got another solid cornerback who can make a difference. A new quarterback means it is going to take time to fix our offense, so we need to strengthen our defense in order to stay relevant. And we did strengthen it.”

Myles Jack, a physical specimen on the field, is the type of player that can make a huge difference for a whole defense. As a 6’1, 244-pound football player, Jack has 513 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 4 fumble recoveries in his six-year career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers have been known for their defense over the years and implementing him will be great for a defensive-minided coach like Mike Tomlin.

Levi Wallace, drafted by the Buffalo Bills back in 2018, has been a key part of the Bills’ past success. His defensive presence can hurt offenses when quarterbacks try to target their wide receivers. With a career of 171 solo tackles, 48 assists, and 6 interceptions, he will surely make a positive impact.

“Trubisky, Jack, and Wallace are great, but if we want to win the Super Bowl, we need to get a superstar,” junior Aditya Mallempalli said. “Right now is a rebuilding stage, and we are slowly moving forward. Teams are making big moves, especially in the AFC West. We got rid of JuJu and James Washington and we are going to miss them. Our offense needs weapons for Mitchell Trubisky to pass to.”

There is accuracy in that statement. The Steelers have lost a lot while trying to gain as much as they can. JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington, the Steelers’ former wide receivers, are headed to different teams, leaving Pittsburgh with holes to fill. They still have Chase Claypool, but a deepening of their receiver roster will vastly improve the team before the season starts.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made moves that are definitely significant improvements from what they originally had. With one of the best fanbases in the National Football League, it seems like the Steel Curtain is set to have another successful season. The question is: How successful?