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Steelers Analysis

3 Steelers Training Camp Predictions



Steelers OT Broderick Jones

The Steelers will be going to Latrobe in just two days when they report to St. Vincent’s College. It will bring about new information that can be deciphered from the team, but more importantly, it will set the pace for just how the team can start to be viewed for the season. What will happen at Chuck Noll Field? I did my best to predict just what could happen in Latrobe, with three key predictions.

Broderick Jones Struggles

If you know anything about Broderick Jones, you know how raw he is just on tape. I think a lot of that is technique related and the Steelers have been working to rectify that issue already. But it takes time to rework a kinetic chain from the ground up and Jones knows that, too. He will take his lumps and while he will have flashes, I think he is going have more downs than ups early on. Patience is a virtue here.

It would not be a surprise to see this battle play out similarly to how the quarterback battle played out a year ago. Kenny Pickett came in and struggled early and progressively got better. It might take Jones an even longer arc to get fully up to the speed they will need him to in order for them to feel comfortable starting him. But Jones’ struggles early on should not put off the alarm bells.

That’s the real reason I wanted to include this in here. Jones’ tape showcases someone with fantastic physical tools that lacks technique. He’s raw. That will lend itself to considerable struggles for any guy right on the outset. Yes, he could win the left tackle job but if he does not, it’s not the end of the world for anyone on hand.

Darnell Washington Dispels Doubters

There’s been a lot made of Darnell Washington and some clips that went around the Internet, but it ignores a lot of what makes Washington who he is as a player. He is never going to be some sudden route runner that teams fawn over for his ability to cut on a dime. That’s not who he is and not really what he needs to be. But when the pads come on in Latrobe, that will be the first day that people really see just what he brings to the table.

Washington is going to have a role early this season. I feel confident about that. He is the best blocker to come out of a loaded 2023 NFL Draft tight end class and the Steelers have the schematic use for him. There should be some adjustments made by Matt Canada to allow Pat Freiermuth to reap the benefits of this. But truly, I think Washington is going to have a training camp that will make his role clear as day.

The Secondary Becomes the Biggest Intrigue of Camp

The more training camp goes on, the more things that the Steelers will start to implement into the playbook. That includes the first true looks at dime and other packages that will be specialized for some guys. But there are so many questions in this secondary. How will Patrick Peterson be used and who will replace him where when he moves around? What will the safety rotation look like? Is Joey Porter Jr. ready to play day one?

I think there is a lot of questions to be answered about this group, and a lot of it is not tied to what will actually on the football field individually. The unit as a whole just has a lot of new faces and interchangeable packages that should be revealed the further we get along in training camp. But it is going to be the most intriguing part of the entire training camp not from the outset, but by the late stages of training camp.

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