Amazon Prime color commentator Kirk Herbstreit thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers could be a sleeper team in the AFC, he said Monday in an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
Herbstreit said the attention on the Steelers’ division-mates, which is deserved has taken away some of the hype that should be there for the Black and Gold ahead of this season.
“I think the Steelers could be a sneaky team; could be a forgotten team,” Herbstreit said. “There’s so much focus on the Bengals and Burrow, and even Lamar, for good reason, with what the Ravens’ consistency has been. The Steelers have always been a team that’s always a playoff contender.
"I'm not saying the Steelers are gonna win the AFC North but I think they're a team to look out for..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 14, 2023
“I just feel like, because of the way their offense has been, they’ve transitioned with a new OC and new quarterback, people don’t talk much about them. I just feel like that organization has too much pride. Pickett now has a year under his belt. They’ve gotten better around him. Najee, I was hearing talk the other day about how banged up he was going into the season last year. He’s had an entire offseason to get right. Again, a guy with another year under his belt.
“The defense, it’s finally healthy. I don’t know. I’m not saying they’re going to win the North, I’m just saying that they’ve got a team that could be a [contender]. It’s fun to look for those teams that could surprise. And I think the Steelers could be a team to look out for.
“It looks like a team, if Pickett can deliver, we’re all assuming that the can. If he can be consistent, then they start to become one of those teams that becomes a tough out.”
Herbstreit will get a couple of chance to see if his prediction will come true. He will cover the Steelers as the color broadcaster for Thursday Night Football twice this season, against the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 2 in Week 10 and against the New England Patriots on Dec. 7 in Week 14. Full 2023 Steelers schedule. In addition to his work for Amazon, Herbstreit is a college football analyst for ESPN.