Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers free safety Mike Mitchell (21) reacts during the first quarter of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting Steelers Biggest Dissapointments in 2014


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

Jun 11, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds (93) participates in agility drills during minicamp at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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?

Tags: Jason Worilds Martavis Bryant Mike Mitchell Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Carl Eagan

    Worilds not playing next to Heywood will equal Chris Carters production. Bryant will consistently drop 3 of the 4 passes thrown his way until Ben stops throwing his way and that is really them playing up to their potential so no real disappointment there. Shazier will make tackles 5-8 yards behind the line because he can’t hit as hard as Gay and will have to jump on peoples backs and hope for help.

    • ApexSteel

      Absolutely nothing about what you just said was correct.

    • Anthony Chiado

      I think that was a lot of exaggeration, and I don’t agree with what you said about Shazier at all. But I agree with you that Worilds and Bryant will struggle

    • SDAZT_STEEL

      I know I’ve asked you a number of times, Carl. But do you actually watch any football?

  • ApexSteel

    Mike Mitchell made plenty of plays on his own accord I’m not worried about him. Martavis Bryant was a 4th rounder no one is really expecting him to set the world on fire. He’s a 4th wide out/redzone guy. When it comes to Worilds, everyone acts like last year was the only year he’s been produced. He’s had 18 sacks in his first 4 years with 10 of those coming before Heyward’s rise and a lot of them without Heyward’s help this year. Also, to put the sacks into perspective Jason Gildon had 17 in his first 4 years with 9 more starts and Greg Lloyd had 20 sacks with 29 more starts than Worilds.

    • SDAZT_STEEL

      It’s nice to see that someone recognized that Worilds illustrated some productivity in a reserve role during his first three seasons. The guy had Harrison & Woodley in front of him on a defense which is keyed towards playing veterans. The anti-Worilds crowd seems to want to ignore his 10.0 sacks, including the 5.0 he recorded during his third season in the league as mainly a reserve player.

      His main issues were finding time to play, learning the defensive scheme (like all rookies) and staying healthy on a consistent basis. He’s really only started 21 games, which is less than a season and half of football. As long as he can stay injury-free, he should only continue to improve.

      This team can ill-afford to have Worilds underwhelm this fall. Otherwise, Pittsburgh is royally screwed at OLB. Jones is still a bit of a mystery and the thought of Arthur Moats, Chris Carter and Howard Jones actually taking meaningful regular season snaps makes me shudder.

      • ApexSteel

        Agreed. Honestly James Harrison may need to be signed just for some kind of insurance.

        • SDAZT_STEEL

          Of the three veterans Ike Taylor said were interested in returning, Harrison would be the only one I’d seriously consider if I were the FO. It’s odd to me that people forget how well he played down the stretch in 2012 after he finally got healthy. Having him as a backup and situational pass-rusher on the cheap would be a good move in case something happens to Worilds or Jones.

          Plus, he knows the defensive schemes and would most importantly prevent Moats, Carter and any other backup from seeing non-special teams duty unless both Worilds and Jones were injured. I’m also sure Deebo has something to prove and wants to shake off last season as a horrible scheme-fit in Cincinnati’s 4-3 defense.

    • Anthony Chiado

      I have seen plenty of people say that Bryant should be the number two receiver and maybe even get close to 1000 yards this season. Neither of which are true. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1983697-breaking-down-jason-worilds-production-for-the-pittsburgh-steelers-in-2013 Here is an article that Cian Fahey wrote that broke down Worilds’ 2013 season. It is very interesting and it is also the main reason that I have become a little more skeptical of Worilds (other than film, of course).

      • Craig

        Approved

      • ApexSteel

        I haven’t heard it, but I guarantee the people who said it weren’t credible. Fahey (A Bleacher Report writer…Really?) mentioned that those were well timed blitzes, but he downplayed them like they don’t take skill. They took great timing and precision on his part. If they didn’t, then Chris Carter would have a sack in his career and Jarvis would’ve had more than one.

        • Anthony Chiado

          Fahey is easily one of the ten football writers I respect the most. And while Worilds did have a lot of success last year, most of it came against inferior talent.

  • SDAZT_STEEL

    I’m interested to see if Mitchell is the version who played well in Carolina or the under-achiever in Oakland who failed to crack the starting lineup. What cannot be debated however is that he is an enormous upgrade over Ryan Clark who was nothing short of awful in recent seasons.

    Worilds’ issue has never been productivity, creating pocket collapse or effectiveness, it has been playing time and injuries in Pittsburgh. With the starting gig nailed down, he should be even more effective this fall if he can stay healthy with the younger reinforcements up front. He illustrated what he could do last year when he was healthy and had consistent PT, so I’m intrigued to see how much he can capitalize in a contract year.

    • Anthony Chiado

      Haha. Thanks for the correction!