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Considering the Pittsburgh Steelers lost three games in a row, going into the by week at .500 is an accomplishment. The record isn’t ideal but Pittsburgh has done enough in an AFC full of haves and have nots to be in a spot to make the playoffs if they keep winning. This means for these final 11 games, players need to step up. Here are six Steelers we want to see more from for the rest of the season.
OT Zach Banner
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Everyone is ready for the regular-season debut of offensive tackle Zach Banner. The Steelers tackles have been up and down so far this season and there’s no guarantees Banner will take a spot from Dan Moore Jr. or Chuks Okorafor but even if it is just as a sixth offensive tackle, we want to see Banner on the field.
WR James Washington
(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
This one might feel like beating a dead horse but there are really no more excuses. With JuJu Smith-Schuster on the IR, Washington is the guy most qualified to do the types of things Smith-Schuster could do. Washington is headed to free agency at the end of the season and it really feels like Pittsburgh doesn’t want him back.
TE Zach Gentry
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Yep, I said it. After being a staunch critic of the pick of Zach Gentry, I want to see him play more. Pittsburgh has three capable tight ends and Gentry has impressed. For a team looking to get the run game on track, the fact he’s the best blocker of the bunch makes him even more valuable.
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
Like Banner, no one has gotten to see running back Anthony McFarland Jr. due to being stuck on IR so far. But McFarland is not yet activated to the roster but continues to work his way back in his 21-day window. Prior to the torn MCL, McFarland offered some explosion at the position and deep knowledge of Matt Canada’s offense.
DB Tre Norwood
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Right now, Tre Norwood’s role on the defense is as a rotational defensive back with Arthur Maulet and the results have been solid. Maybe I’m just being selfish but I want to see an expanded role for Norwood, maybe even to eventually supplant Terrell Edmunds next season. Get him those reps now to let the playmaker make plays.
LB Melvin Ingram
After the first game of the season, it looked like the Steelers had a three-headed monster at pass-rushing outside linebacker. Since then, Melvin Ingram has faded into the background being replaced by Alex Highsmith. I believe Ingram has talent and he can help this defense so I want to see it in these final 11 games.