Steelers Defense Has Become a Proving Ground
The Pittsburgh Steelers will have a lot to prove offensively with their trust to bring back QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Juju Smith-Schuster seems they've more than tripled down with their decisions on the other side of the ball.
Sure they still have many of their cornerstones on the ball's defensive side, but they've put a ton of belief in the new faces on defense.
The departures of Tyson Alualu, Mike Hilton, Bud Dupree, Vince Williams, and eventually Steven Nelson will provide new challenges.
The re-signing of CB Can Sutton shows a belief that he can become the future lead corner for the Steelers defense as the de-facto number two corner.
The team trusts LBs Robert Spillane and Alex Highsmith to replace the former cornerstones that they've allowed walking away.
There are questions about the nose tackle position. Chris Wormley, who was acquired last offseason from Baltimore, seems to be the front runner, but Isaiah Buggs and Carlos Davis will fight for the job.
Who can step up as a slot corner is still a question, James Pierre; I'd like the fan-favorite, but others like Justin Layne and Antoine Brooks have something to say.
Who's to say that their draft picks could provide new life and allow the blank checks for T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and maybe Terrell Edmunds to be adequately filled.
The Steelers had a cameo of life after Big Ben two seasons ago and leaned on defense to lead them the way.
That lead to the sky-high expectations that sadly were not met last season.
In his last dance, they'll have to trust in their development again to lead them back to the Super Bowl next season and beyond with whoever is the next signal-caller.