There has been a lot of hope around Steelers Nation that we could be in for a return to the playoffs this season. While I love the optimism as much as everyone else, I think we should temper our expectations since we aren’t even to the preseason yet. Here are a few players that I think are destined to disappoint the fans in 2014.
Mike Mitchell, FS
I know that everyone got excited when you saw the ticker roll across the screen that said the Steelers had signed Panthers safety Mike Mitchell. If you’re like me, you did a double take when you saw that. All of the hype that surrounds him and his success in Carolina may not carry much weight in Pittsburgh. Mitchell is a fantastic player, no doubt, but he hugely benefited from the front seven in Carolina. The Steelers front seven is good and massively improved over last year, but they aren’t nearly on the level that the Panthers front seven was.
Mitchell is good enough to start on most teams in the NFL, but he isn’t a top level player like he played last season. Mitchell isn’t great in coverage, which means he highly benefits from the pressure created by the front seven. He is a downhill safety who excels at tackling in congested space, but he can miss tackles in the open space. If the Steelers’ front seven can play up to level the Panthers played last season, then I fully expect that Mitchell will impress everyone in Pittsburgh. However, if they play like an upper mid level front seven then I fully expect Mitchell to be a disappointment to many in Pittsburgh.
Martavis Bryant, WR
I have been a big Martavis Bryant hater for a while and that doesn’t figure to change any time soon. On top of him not being all that talented of a receiver at this stage in his development, he has also been yelled at by Mike Tomlin for being a slacker during OTA’s. Bryant is fast and is good at attacking the ball at the high point. Everything else, though, he is pretty average or below average at. He needs a lot of work to even become a reliable 4 catch per game receiver. On top of all the defects that he has, he is also buried as the fourth receiver on the depth chart. He will also be Big Ben’s 5th or 6th option whenever he’s on the field.
He has every chance to develop into a star one day and he definitely has the necessary tools to do that, he may even surprise me and develop
into one by the end of this season, but I seriously doubt he will and I even have my suspicions that he will develop long term. But for the sake of Big Ben and the entire offense, I can only hope that I am 100% wrong.
Jason Worilds, OLB
Jason Worilds cashed in on his breakout 2013 campaign during the offseason by signing the transition tag worth nearly $10 million. I have to wonder whether he will be able to put all of his injury issues behind him, though, because he has already had to sit out of OTA’s due to an injury. Many Steelers fans don’t want to hear this, but he really didn’t have all that impressive 2013, or at least impressive enough to warrant that kind of money. Most of his sacks came on free runs to the quarterback, and even when he did manage to beat a lineman to the quarterback it was often against a lower end talent.
If he can stay healthy this coming season I hope and pray that he will have an outstanding season to shut up me and the rest of the naysayers, but if he can’t stay healthy then we won’t even need to have this conversation. In my opinion Worilds isn’t worth near the amount of money he is making this season, but he is also too risky to invest in long term. There really is a much higher likelihood that this situation ends up badly for the Steelers than it does good for them.
What do you think Steelers Nation? Are these players going to have down years or not? Who else is a candidate for a disappointing year?