The Steelers we’re most in love with right now (and why)
With Valentine’s Day conveniently falling right after the Super Bowl, we thought it would be a good time to revisit one of our favorite annual collaborations: our favorite Steelers!
Below, the SCU team gives their thoughts on their current crushes, often picking players who are crushing it on the field.
Here’s our contributor picks for this year’s virtual Valentine’s cards.
Pickett has an opportunity to become one of the most beloved Steelers in due time. That’s because of the commotion caused when Ben Roethlisberger retired around this time last year: and left a void as to who would fill his giant void.
Enter the local collegiate product from Pitt, who was taken in the first round and eventually started a dozen games in 2022.
It was a rocky start for the rookie, but he would finish the season with a 6-2 record, throwing for 1,442 yards, 5 touchdowns and one interception in that span, including two game-winning drives to close out the year. It was this gutty performance that endeared him to fans late in the season; even those who weren’t in on his draft selection from the start!
The second-round draft pick out of Georgia entered training camp with a lot of hype surrounding his talents, and for the most part, the first-year pro lived up to those expectations.
Pickens would lead the team in receiving touchdowns (4), wile coming up second in yards (801) but providing the best per-play average with 15.4 yards-per-reception.
Year two will no doubt raise the bar for Pickens, who has quickly become a favorite in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers first round pick the year before, Harris entered his second season as a pro with lots of criticism, as it took some time for the team’s running game to gel.
When it did, the “bust” talk of Harris dissipated, as he hit 99 yards right after the bye week and started to put up better numbers throughout, finishing 2022 with 1,034 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns plus another 41 receptions for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Harris certainly lived up to the billing of being an offensive captain.
Speaking of captains, Heyward led the defensive side for the Steelers as the longest-tenured player on the team, reaching 10.5 sacks and eventually gaining a Pro Bowl nod.
The 33-year-old continues to age like fine win, with his third career (and second consecutive) double-digit sack season. He is now a six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, all occurring since 2017.
Heyward epitomizes the Steelers hard-nose defense of yesteryear and is a favorite for whom fans want to see win a ring in the near future.
Cam’s baby brother was drafted this season, and as a rookie, finally saw more playing time as the season wore on.
In a heartfelt moment, Connor would score on the road against the Atlanta Falcons, the former team of the Heyward brothers’ father, Craig Heyward: who unfortunately passed away from cancer at a young age.
How can you not root for either of these two guys considering their back story and that they also play on the same team?
No list is complete without the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Despite his missing seven games this season, Watt was still able to have a huge impact upon his return, as the Steelers defense went from giving up 25 points-per-game without him, to 16.5 with him.
Watt landed one of the largest contracts in the NFL for a defensive player in 2021 and showed that he is worth every penny. His work ethic and ability to disrupt a game by himself is second-to-none and makes him a fan favorite.
Finally, how could we forget about the Steelers perennial All-Pro safety who has a similar knack for turning games around by his lonesome?
Fitzpatrick also landed a nice deal this offseason and will be a fixture for the Steelers defense for years to come. He carries a similar infectious quality to show that he is having fun while also playing at an elite level, which endears him to being one of the most beloved players on the team.