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5 for Friday: Steelers have built a complete team

Are there any holes left on the Steelers' roster?

After the Steelers signed nine-year veteran Markus Golden to a one-year deal earlier this week, it sure doesn't seem so.

You want depth on the lines? Check. The Steelers have that.

You want depth at wide receiver, tight end, running back and quarterback? Check, check, check and check.

Outside linebacker, inside linebacker and in the secondary? Again, checks across the board.

And yet, when listed its 10 most complete teams in an article earlier this week, the Bengals and Ravens were on the list. The Browns were among the teams that just missed. The Steelers? Nowhere to be found.


If you look at the starters and then the depth the Steelers have acquired this offseason, they're in better shape overall than any of the other teams in the division. Or, at least arguably so.

The Bengals have a good team. They have a solid starting group, but lost both starting safeties this offseason. But they're a Super Bowl contender with quarterback Joe Burrow playing on his rookie contract.

Baltimore? Outside of talented inside linebacker Roquan Smith, there's really not one established player in the Ravens' front seven. And while some are trumpeting the signing of Odell Beckham Jr. at wide receiver, realize that since 2020, he has appeared in 21 games, tore his ACL twice and caught 67 passes for 856 yards and eight touchdowns.

And the Ravens are counting on him as a starter and star of a wide receiver group that is, at best, average if he's a star.

The Steelers, meanwhile, brought in Allen Robinson in a move that was pooh-poohed by some. Robinson, who will essentially be the Steelers' No. 3 receiver and work out of the slot. He has caught 173 passes for 1,999 yards and 10 touchdowns since 2020. Oh, he's also the same age as Beckham, as well.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, the Browns have had a nice offseason, but they still have issues at linebacker, safety and cornerback, particularly at the nickel spot. And they're counting on Deshaun Watson to be a superstar, something he clearly was not when he came back following a suspension in 2022.

Football is the ultimate team sport. It's more than simply who has the best quarterbacks -- though having a good one helps.

Now, certainly this is all conjecture at this point. This is, after all, the time of season for lists, rankings and the like. And it's all subjective.

But this Steelers team seems to be flying under the radar in a big way despite having the kind of depth of which most teams can only dream.

• The Steelers have been able to be as busy building that depth because they have a quarterback in Kenny Pickett playing on a rookie contract.

That allows GM Omar Khan the flexibility to have veteran players at backup spots instead of pinching pennies and trying to fill those spots with younger, cheaper players.

But perhaps it is because of Pickett that the Steelers didn't make the list of the NFL's most complete teams.

At the same time, you'd be hard pressed to look at how Pickett played down the stretch and not think he's going to continue to make improvement going into Year 2.

Pickett showed he belonged last season. Don't look at the final numbers. Look at how he managed games. Look at the team's record in the games he started. Look at the four game-winning drives and three fourth-quarter comebacks he manufactured.

Given the depth of this team and the nest the Steelers have built around Pickett, he doesn't need to be Superman for this team to win. He just needs to be a competent NFL quarterback.

He's shown he can be that. And there's plenty of reason to believe he can take a big step forward and be more than that.

• If there is one thing that is seemingly overblown across the league each year, it is when this player or that player misses an OTA session.

This is especially true for a veteran star player.

And it's even more so the case for a veteran star defensive player.

You're never going to get a coach to say that it's not important for everyone to be at OTAs. That's just not how they're wired.

But there's also often value in not having a veteran guy around taking snaps away from younger players who are trying to learn what they're supposed to do.

• Some expressed surprise that Mitch Trubisky would be interested in signing a contract extension with the Steelers. In fact, for much of this offseason, there had been speculation Trubisky was upset with the Steelers and would be looking to go elsewhere.

• Dale Lolley is co-host of "SNR Drive" on Steelers Nation Radio. Subscribe to the podcast here: Apple Podcast | iHeart Podcast

Guess the three-year extension he signed puts that to rest.

Trubisky said this week the decision to sign an extension with the Steelers was an easy one.

"I just wanted to come back because me and Kenny have gotten so close, and I just want to help him in any way I can," Trubisky said. "Anything I can be for Kenny — a soundboard, an extra coach, extra eyes on the field — I'm gonna be there for him, and he knows that. I think that's also why they wanted to have me back, to be in that role and help any way I can, so I'm excited about it."

• The Steelers were awarded the the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland earlier this week as part of the NFL's "Global Market Program."

I had the pleasure of being at the Steelers' preseason game in 1997 in Dublin against the Chicago Bears, and can attest to the excitement those two nations have for the game.

The Steelers now have both Mexico and the island of Ireland as international marketing zones. As they have done in Mexico, the Steelers will host fan events across Ireland that will include current and former players. It also opens the door for the Steelers to play a game in Ireland at some point again.

The Jaguars also were granted marketing rights on the island of Ireland.

But the Steelers have long had a presence on the island. Former Steelers president and U.S. ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney started the Ireland Fund in 1976. The program, which continues today, is a global fundraising network for people of Irish ancestry and friends of Ireland, dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland.

"It would be really hard, if possible at all, to find a more natural and authentic fit than the Steelers doing this in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. There are so many connections," said Brett Gosper, head of NFL Europe and UK. "The (Rooney) family's heritage. The Steelers organizing that first and only game in Ireland. And the philanthropy of the Ireland Funds. The enhanced presence across this sports mad island of Ireland is another example of the family's commitment to Ireland."

There hasn't been a regular season game played in Ireland in NFL history. It would only be fitting if the Steelers were to be the first to do that.