The Pittsburgh Steelers
had a disappointing end to their season last year, losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars
in the Divisional round of the playoffs despite having a more talented roster.
Tight end #89
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 267 lb (121 kg)
Drafted: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 55
The Steelers players were especially disappointed because they lost to the Jaguars at home twice last season, which was the second time it had happened to them since they moved to Heinz Field.
Despite their disappointment about the way their season ended, the Steelers and their coaches are very optimistic about their chances to win the Super Bowl next year.
One of the reasons the Steelers are excited about their chances next year is the fact that the Patriots
might not be as good as they have been in the past two seasons due to quarterback Tom Brady’s age, and the fact that All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski still hasn’t committed to playing next season.
Another reason they are excited about next season is the fact that they will have a health Vance McDonald next year.
After Heath Miller retired, the Steelers traded for the former San Francisco 49ers
tight end to be their starter. McDonald, who showed flashes of brilliance in San Francisco, never got to play up to his potential because of the quarterback situation the 49ers had.
With the Steelers, McDonald has a future Hall of Famer throwing to him, which made a big difference in the limited action he had last year.
McDonald’s injury last season forced him to miss six games, which affected his performance when he returned to the field. With McDonald out of action, the Steelers turned to Jesse James, a receiver turned tight end because of the injury.
With James in the lineup as the starting tight end, McDonald finished the regular season with 14 receptions for 188 yards and one touchdown.
Even though his number don’t pop out, McDonald is a very capable starting tight end when healthy. He played in 11 games in his final season with the 49ers and finished with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
He also showed the Steelers and their fans what he is capable of when he is the team’s starting tight end, finishing their playoff game against the Jaguars with 10 receptions for 122 yards.
With a season in Pittsburgh under his belt, McDonald will be well versed in the Steelers’ offense, which will make him even more dangerous.
Before the start of last season, Ben Roethlisberger told reporters that he wished he had more time in the preseason, which would have helped him get on the same page with McDonald, which would have helped him figure out his new weapon’s tendencies like he had with Miller.
Now that McDonald has been on the team for a full season, he and Roethlisberger will have the entire offseason to get on the same page, which is something their opponents won’t like to hear.
The Steelers are already stacked on offense with players like Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell and JuJu Smith-Schuster. With a healthy McDonald lining up with these guys, opposing defenses will have a tough time trying to cover the Steelers, which should help them win a lot of games next year.