Last year the Steelers turned in their first winless preseason effort since 2006 and followed that effort by going 0-4 and then 2-6 in the regular season. The Steelers of course turned it around in the second half of 2013 with a 6-2 record giving fans hope for 2014.
Since then the Steelers have had their most active free agency period in history and a draft where they departed from the “script” many had ordained for them. A 10-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers has left them at 1-3 during the preseason, their second losing preseason effort under Mike Tomlin.
- 2013 4th round pick Landry Jones started for two and a half quarters, and while he completed 14 of 18 passes, he failed to lead the team to a score. Fourth string quarterback Brendon Kay could do no better.
History of Past 1-3 Steelers Preseasons Yield Mixed Reading
As a rule, preseason results are meaningless, and little can be taken from the outcomes of games; this fact is truer now than ever, as starters play less and less with each passing season. However, the Steelers last 1-3 effort in 2003 foreshadowed a 6-10 season just has it had in 1999.
However, in 1994 the Steelers finished 1-3 in the preseason an finished one errant Neil O’Donnell pass to Eric Greene away from the Super Bowl.
- Likewise the Steelers began their 1995 effort with an 1-3 campaign, and finished two O’Donnell interceptions away from an upset in Super Bowl XXX (not that we’re pointing fingers, folks.)
For the record, Chuck Noll’s last two 1-3 preseason efforts were followed by mediocre seasons in 1985 and 1986.
Next Step, Cut Rosters to 53
The Steelers next step will be to trim their rosters to 53. A number of minor injures from the Panther game may force the Steelers to do some juggling, but no major surprises are expected (which of course makes no sense, as if we expected it, it wouldn’t be a surprise!)