Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart
- AFC North
- Heinz Field
- Head Coach
- Mike Tomlin
- Offensive Coordinator
- Randy Fichtner
- Defensive Coordinator
- Keith Butler
- Special Teams Coach
- Danny Smith
- Defensive Scheme
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to draft a running back this year with James Conner headed into his contract season. The Athletic's Ed Bouchette doesn't think that the Steelers will give Conner a new deal before the start of the 2020 season, so he'll have to prove his worth and stay healthy to remain with the organization beyond the upcoming season. The 24-year-old has RB1 potential when he's on the field, but he just hasn't been able to stay healthy consistently since he took over the lead-back role from Le'Veon Bell. Conner played in just 10 games in 2019, rushing 116 times for 464 yards (career-low 4.0 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He could bounce back with better health and a full season with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center, but fantasy owners will take more caution when drafting Conner as more of an RB2 this year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are signing tight end Eric Ebron to a two-year deal worth $12 million on Friday, according to a source. Ebron predictably fell back to Earth in 2019 with 31 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns in just 11 games played after setting career highs in catches (66), yards (750) and touchdowns (13) with Indy in Andrew Luck's final season in 2018. Ebron missed time due to injury last year, however, and he's in a good spot to bounce back in 2020 if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy. The 26-year-old (27 in April) is an excellent red zone target and should be able to put up at least low-end TE1 numbers in his new home. His arrival in Pittsburgh is bad news for Vance McDonald, who struggled mightily with Big Ben hurt last season.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) said he's "throwing without pain for the first time in years" and that he has "no doubts I'm going to be able to come back and play well." Roethlisberger resumed throwing a football on Feb. 21 after having major right elbow surgery on Sept. 23 of last year. He will increase his throwing from twice a week to three times a week next week. Big Ben said he's in excellent shape and has been working out five times a week with his trainer. The health of his right elbow will be closely scrutinized when teams begin their offseason workouts, but it's looking like he'll be ready for the 2020 season, barring a setback. That's great news for Pittsburgh's entire offense, mainly wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was a huge fantasy bust in 2019.
The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker Ryan Shazier (neck) on the Reserve/Retired list on Tuesday as a way to keep him in the organization. Shazier has spent the last two seasons on the team's Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list after suffering a serious spinal injury on Dec. 4, 2017. He was the team's first-round pick in 2014 (15th overall) and was a Pro Bowler in 2016. Shazier has made strides in his rehab, but there's still no guarantee that he can ever play football again. In 46 career games, he has 299 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, seven sacks, seven interceptions, 25 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
The Pittsburgh Steelers placed the franchise tag on linebacker Bud Dupree on Monday. This move doesn't come as a big surprise, as standout pass-rushers rarely hit the open market. Dupree had a career-high 68 tackles (49 solo), three passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries over a full season for the Steelers in 2019. He's started at least 15 games each of the last three seasons and has really helped to solidify the team's interior defense along with standout linebacker T.J. Watt. Pittsburgh's defense should be owned in all formats next season, while Dupree will also be a solid IDP target as an up-and-comer.