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Steelers Analysis

Steelers Have Hidden Challenge in Early Part of 2024 Schedule

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a hidden challenge early in the 2024 schedule, with two teams with new coaching staffs in the first three weeks.

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Steelers Chargers Jim Harbaugh

The end of the 2024 Pittsburgh Steelers schedule release has gotten the most attention, with a Christmas Wednesday game against the Kansas City Chiefs creating an schedule cram, and six divisional opponents in the final eight weeks.

But there are a couple interesting challenges early in the team’s 2024 schedule. One is a Week 2 trip to Denver, where they’ll have the high altitude to deal with in what could be warm weather.

Another is the number of early season opponents with significant changes this offseason. Steelers linebacker Elandon Roberts said during an appearance on Steelers Afternoon Drive on Thursday

“I always go down and see the first four games and I want to know, did they change coaches, and where are they coming from?” Roberts said. “That’s all my mindset on the first four games. After the first four games of the season, now I know that team’s identity on offense. So I know what they are. But in the first four weeks, if that OC changed, or that head coach changed, and they got everything knew in the organization, I’m going back where you come from. I want to know your history. I want to know where you started at in the league. I want to know everything. It’s going to be a big unknown.”

In that regard, the Steelers have two big early season challenges, as two of their first three opponents have completely new coaching staffs. The Atlanta Falcons replaced Arthur Smith with former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, and tapped into the Sean McVay offensive coaching tree by hiring ex-Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson as offensive coordinator.

In Week 3, it’ll be a similar challenge, as the Steelers will host Jim Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers for their home opener. Harbaugh hasn’t coached in the NFL since 2014, and while offensive coordinator Greg Roman is familiar to the Steelers from his time with the Baltimore Ravens from 2019-22, new defensive coordinator Jesse Minter has never held that position at the NFL level.

So while the fanbase immediately turned to the very difficult end of the Steelers’ 2024 schedule, those responsible for preparations are much more worried about the unknowns at the beginning of the year.

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