PITTSBURGH — The Steelers went into the offseason trying to continue their identity of smash-mouth football, but in order to do that, they needed to change some personnel, especially up front on both sides of the football. Now, following the NFL Draft, the team has done just that.
Pittsburgh drafted Broderick Jones at tackle, and Darnell Washington at tight end, and brought in Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig in the offseason. On the defensive line, they re-signed Larry Ogunjobi, drafted Keeanu Benton, and brought in a number of other free agents to the group.
So, is the identity that the team wants to be angry, big, and physical? Assistant general manager Andy Weidl says the team came into the offseason and the NFL Draft with that exact plan, and it should play out on the field in 2023.
“This team is going to have a clear identity. It’ll be going back to the roots of the Pittsburgh Steelers. We’re going to be big, we’re going to be physical, we’re going to be tough,” Weidl said. “We are going to break the will of other teams.”
After the season, Omar Khan, Mike Tomlin, and team president Art Rooney II met up to map out a vision that made sense for the team at-large. Now that the signings and draft is done, Khan sees that the plan has been seen through, and that identity was to address the trenches as heavily as possible.
“Coach Tomlin and I after the season, we got together with Art Rooney II and we mapped out a plan,” Khan said. “We had a vision for what we wanted our team to look like in ’23 and beyond. I’ll just say that if you look at our signings and our draft picks, I would say those picks and signings are reflective of the vision that we had for the team moving forward.”
So, the team came into the offseason wanting to beef up the trenches. Weidl is a former offensive lineman himself. His mantra has always been that teams win in the trenches. Now, that seems to be what the team’s identity will be moving forward into the future.