Fillipponi: Steelers [Positive] Thoughts for 2020

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the game at Heinz Field
Photo credit Joe Sargent/Getty Images
By 93.7 The Fan

We could all use some positive vibes right now. Luckily, I'm always thinking positively. Glass isn't half full. It's overflowing. Spilling all over the place. I'm a big believer in positive thinking. I won't apologize for it. Even though our listeners get on my case for being so positive. It's who I am.

Here are some reasons to like the Steelers in 2020. Sure, they missed out on a young, workhorse running back in the draft. Or via trade. And maybe they have the worst backup quarterbacks in the NFL. But, I'm veering off course. Like I said, let's think positive. It's fun!
1. The Steelers have the pieces to be the best defense in the NFL

Stephon Tuitt #91 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a defensive stop during the second half of a gameJoe Sargent/Getty Images

Stephon Tuitt only played 6 games in 2019. He's back. To go with Cam Heyward. TJ Watt can make Bud Dupree look like a competent pass rusher again. Minkah gets a full year in the defense. Devin Bush survived his trial by fire as a Steelers rookie. And he's better for it. Steelers have always won with defense. This team has the blueprint.

2. The Steelers have continuity

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the sidelines during an NFL game Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This is big. With the coronavirus reaking havoc on sports as we know them. What if there's no training camp? Or preseason? That will benefit teams with little turnover. The Browns have another new head coach. The Bengals have a rookie quarterback. Tom Brady left New England. The Steelers kept their coaching staff intact. Most of their starters are back. Like Big Ben. Which gets to my next point...

3. The Steelers have Big Ben back

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before a preseason gameStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

It's unfair to ask Big Ben to play like an MVP. Like Patrick Mahomes. Because he won't. At 38 years old. But he'll be much better than Duck and mediocre Mason. Take a look at the comparison:

Big Ben 2016-2018: Average of 30 TD, 14 INT. Passer rating 95.2​.

Mason-Duck in 2019: 18 TD, 17 INT. Passer rating 78.2.

That's a big, big difference. 8-8 with those two horrendous QBs. Big Ben is worth two extra wins. At least.

4. The Steelers have an easy schedule in 2020

Pittsburgh SteelersJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

No Chiefs. No Patriots. No Saints. No 49ers. No Seahawks. Instead, the Steelers will play half of their schedule against the NFC East and AFC South. The Eagles won the NFC East at 9-7. The Giants and Redskins picked in the top 5. The AFC South is awful. The Titans overachieved. The Jaguars might be tanking. The Colts have over-the-hill Philip Rivers. Texans coach Bill O'Brien is an idiot. And how could I leave out the Bengals and Browns! They both stink.

5. The Steelers are a very motivated team

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers jumps in the air as he runs onto the field before a gameJoe Sargent/Getty Images

Big Ben has never missed the playoffs for 3 straight years. Either has Mike Tomlin. Or Kevin Colbert. That's on-the-line this year. Big Ben is trying to show the very cruel, condescending national football media that he's still an elite quarterback. Mike Tomlin is probably sick of me criticizing him (although he deserves it). Oh, and how about money. The ultimate motivator. TJ Watt is playing for a new deal. Juju, James Conner and Bud Dupree are all looking at free agency. $ is a powerful incentive.

While others look for ways the Steelers can't win (like Mueller), I look for ways they can. I'm an eternal optimist. The Steelers CAN win the AFC North. They CAN compete for a Super Bowl. Even with an overpaid fullback. And an incompetent punter.

Steelers positivity! Spread the word!

Steelers FanJustin K. Aller/Getty Images

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