The Steelers record was worse last year than the year before. And Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert is much happier.
While that might not make obvious sense after watching their win totals drop from 13 to nine to eight, Colbert insisted he saw real progress from his team last year.
“We’re all disappointed at 8-8, but I feel better moving into 2020 than I did moving into 2019 coming off 9-6-1,” he said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Just the way I feel about the group coming back.”
Of course, losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger two games into the season caused some adjustment of expectations, but the Steelers remained competitive with backups, and had playoff chances at the end of the season.
That was mostly because of a defense which ranked fifth overall and third against the pass.
“Our defense was really good last year, and they kept us in a lot of games,” Colbert said. “We always talk about when Ben was healthy and we held a team to 21 points, his record was 121-20. When we lost Ben, we knew we had to hold teams to lower than 21 points because we knew we probably weren’t going to get to 21 points.”
Despite that backhanded compliment, Colbert said he was fine with his current group of backup quarterbacks (including Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges). So basically, he feels optimistic about the coming year, as long as Roethlisberger gets well and helps shake the offense out of its slumber.