Standstill in Los Angeles, Steelers in mediocrity
In Los Angeles, the key players have given the team another year of their time. Still, the outlook is anything but rosy. For the Steelers, on the other hand, the future already looks more promising.
Los Angeles Rams
With Donald, Stafford, McVay and Kupp, the Rams’ foundation is in place for another year. The four Super Bowl winners have plenty of experience, and they’re also in the mood for one last dance. There was no first-round pick in the draft, but ten talented players were drafted in rounds five through seven. Is there a diamond in the rough among them? Quarterback Matthew Stafford also received a tight end, a wide receiver and a running back as new toys. Another plus: The offensive line was further strengthened.
When the Los Angeles Rams secured the Super Bowl in 2022 by any means necessary, it was clear that the future had just been sold. After all, the starting position is modest. The room for maneuver is extremely limited by the salary cap, and with center Coleman Sheltonnur only one free agent was signed. Otherwise, the off-season in L.A. was mainly characterized by departures. Jalen Ramsey was traded to the Dolphins. Especially the D-Line was hit hard, important cornerstones like Greg Gaines left the team. The secondary is also suffering, with the well-established safety duo of Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott leaving in free agency. On top of that, there are injury concerns surrounding Cooper Kupp.
Motto of the season: One last Dance? For some of the most formative figures of the last Rams years, it’s time to make a nice farewell gift.
Head coach Mike Tomlin and new general manager Omar Khan are cooking up a good brew in Pittsburgh. After all, the franchise should be in a state of flux following the departure of Ben Roethlisberger. It is, but the departure of the longtime quarterback was absorbed better than expected. Departures were well replaced, such as linebackers Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts. The Steelers also shined in the draft with a clear line. The big question next season: can Kenny Pickett establish himself as a starter? The infrastructure is there and also the rest for a healthy development should be given.
Like every other team, the Steelers have had painful departures. They lost cornerback Cameron Sutton, and 33-year-old Patrick Peterson joined the team instead. But will he still have the necessary speed at that age? Kenny Pickett was also a positive surprise in 2022, but he urgently needs to work on his deep passes, and his performance under pressure was rather poor. For the most part, Pittsburgh has been spared injuries, and they will have to hope for the same in the coming season. It’s hard to imagine what would happen if top performers like T.J. Watt were to miss out. The depth in the edge rush is simply not there.
Motto of the season: Neither. The Steelers won’t be able to play for the title anytime soon, but they shouldn’t really slip down either.