The Steelers parted ways with longtime starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before this season, but that change didn’t lead to any talk this offseason from the team about 2022 being a rebuilding year.
Sunday’s loss to the Jets dropped the Steelers to 1-3 on the year and first-round pick Kenny Pickett got his first snaps at quarterback during the second half of the game. The Steelers haven’t named Pickett the starter moving forward, but that seems likely to happen sooner rather than later and that may be part of why wide receiver Diontae Johnson referenced rebuilding in his postgame comments.
“Obviously, it’s a rebuilding year,” Johnson said, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We can’t use that as an excuse. It doesn’t matter who is at quarterback or any position. It’s our job to get it done and win games. That’s what we have to do — win.”
The Steelers didn’t make the kind of sweeping changes to the roster that one usually associates with a rebuilding year, but they do feel like a team in transition and it is often difficult to go down that road while still contending for the postseason.