Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Encouraging Start Only a Start for The Steelers

The season's first two victories were notched against mediocre competition. Eventually, the degree of difficulty is going to ratchet up considerably.



The Steelers have checked all the boxes through their 2-0 start, at least according to outside linebacker Bud Dupree.

“The offense is good, the defense is good, the special teams are good, the substitutes are good,” Dupree gushed after last Sunday’s 26-9 Heinz Field triumph over Minnesota.

The asterisk attached to all of that positivity is the opponents haven’t been good.

And that makes the Steelers’ early-season success much more relative than anything else.

The Steelers have done what they’ve needed to do so far.

They’ve won a couple of games to open a campaign that admittedly began –– Dupree’s exuberance aside –– with the offense, defense and special teams all in various stages of development.

But the victims so far include a Browns team that won one game last season and is being quarterbacked by a rookie this season, and a Vikings team that had to play its backup quarterback, Case Keenum, rather than its accomplished starter, Sam Bradford.

Dupree, admittedly, didn’t even know at first that Bradford wasn’t playing last Sunday, not that such a misperception was a hindrance to either the enthusiasm or effectiveness Dupree brought to his 2017 debut.

“See ball, get ball,” defensive end Cam Heyward joked regarding Dupree’s approach.

It was a little more complicated than that, but that said beating the Browns and Vikings didn’t require the defensive equivalent of rocket science.

Eventually, the degree of difficulty is going to ratchet up considerably.

But that won’t happen this Sunday in Chicago.

The Bears are 0-2 and have seemingly been equal parts injured and inept in continuing what has become a tradition under head coach John Fox (they’re a combined 0-8 in September in Fox’s three-season tenure).

The Bears are coming off a 29-7 drubbing in Tampa that can best be described as uninspired.

And the Bears are expected, sooner rather than later, to hand the keys to the offense to rookie quarterback and first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky.

These aren’t “Da Bears” in the tradition of Coach Ditka. 

So there’s not much tangible for the Steelers to accomplish in Chicago, other than to win another game.

They’ll hope to continue making individual and collective progress as intended while doing so, but we still won’t be able to accurately gauge how much progress they’ve actually made.

We might not be able to the following week in Baltimore, either.

Or the week after that against Jacksonville.

The schedule is such this season that winning early isn’t necessarily going to shed any significant light on the Steelers’ perceived ability to keep winning when they travel to Kansas City on Oct. 15, or to Detroit on Oct. 29, or when they host Green Bay on Nov. 26, or New England on  Dec. 17.

Their ability to continue stacking Ws as they continue to develop looms as revealing, particularly in a potential trap game such as the one the Steelers are about to play (they’re more than a touchdown favorite on the road against a struggling non-conference opponent with a division rival on the other side).

But defining is down the road a ways.

The Steelers will get to that type of game eventually, and they intend to be ready when they do.

But the last thing they want to do in the meantime, apparently, is peak too soon.

“Anybody that’s on and clicking right now might fizzle off,” guard Ramon Foster suggested. “Our goal is to be on the way up.”

“On” and “clicking” aren’t things the Steelers are in danger of being accused of doing just yet.

Even at 2-0.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018

For two decades, Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP have presented the annual 40 Under 40 list. And every year, 40 people who have been alive for less than four decades are chosen because of their career accomplishments, dogged volunteer work and commitment to the Pittsburgh region. This year is no different. Read on to learn more about some of our very best neighbors.

Restaurant Review: Pie for Breakfast

Pittsburgh gets an updated, all-day diner with a sense of place from the owners of Legume Bistro and Butterjoint.

This is Not a Drill: Can Pittsburgh Survive a Disaster?

Location and geography make Pittsburgh one of the safer places to be in a disaster, but just how well would we do in the face of a cataclysmic event?

Finding Her Voice: An Acid Attack Victim Fights Back

Hanifa Nakiryowa's life changed forever after becoming a victim of a disfiguring acid attack.

Joey Gets a New Set of Wheels

Finding a dog on the side of the road in South Carolina changed the lives of this Pittsburgh couple.

Q & A: Summer Lee – Why She Won and What's Next

Lee is on her way to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after soundly defeating 19-year incumbent Paul Costa in the May Democratic primary. She is unopposed in the general election.

House of 1000 Beers Is Not Exaggerating

There are actually more than 1,000 different varieties of beer available at the pleasant Warrendale bar and restaurant.

The 400-Word Review: Halloween

Forty years later, a new "Halloween" resets most of the franchise and returns to form.

A Life of Service: Children's Hospital Shoe Shiner Dies at 76

Albert Lexie turned his shoe shining tips into care for kids for decades.

Pittsburgh Couples with Perfect New York City Proposals

Another city of bridges provided the perfect backdrop for these romantic engagements.

Millie’s Is on the Move, and Kevin Sousa Will Make Ice Cream for Dinner

Millie’s finds a new home in Homestead, and Kevin Sousa will host an ice cream dinner with OddFellows' Sam Mason at Superior Motors in Braddock.

See Crosby Delight Kenyan Hockey Team in Surprise Appearance

When you see the look on the Kenyan players' faces –– you can't help but smile.

Watch: Remembering Roberto in the 1971 World Series

Clemente was the series M.V.P. Enjoy highlights from Game 7 –– played on Oct. 17, 1971 –– complete with comments from Bob Prince in the broadcast booth.

Le Creuset Gets Cooking with First Pittsburgh Store

Located on the lower level of The Block Northway shopping mall in Ross Township, the store will host a weeklong grand opening celebration.

Return of the Ogee: Phipps Restores Historic Glass Architecture

For the first time since 1937 — and just in time for its 125th birthday — Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is bringing back the curved glass peak, known as an ogee, that sits atop the heart of the conservatory.