Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have reached the quarter point of the season, it is a good time to look back and reflect on what this team has gone through. If the team had an award show, who would be the quarter point leaders, and who would be All-Pro and Pro Bowl candidates at this point?
Pittsburgh Steelers Quarter Season Awards
MVP and Offensive Player of Year: Antonio Brown
Brown has been the most dominant player on the field for the Steelers in 2017. Even with two below average games for his standards he ranks second in the NFL in receptions and receiving yards. Essentially everyone else on the offense has had some sort question regarding their play. Meanwhile Brown has been the rock and the leader of the group, solidifying his MVP case.
Defensive Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year: Cameron Heyward
This likely comes down to Ryan Shazier and Heyward. Shazier leads the team in tackles, but Heyward leads the group in sacks. Heyward has been absolutely dominant this season and has affected games by pushing pockets and altering run lanes. What only adds to how impressive this is is that he is doing it fresh off of a season-ending injury less than a full year ago. Heyward is taking this defense to a new level in 2017 and showing the team what they missed in 2016.
Rookie of the Year: T.J. Watt
Even despite missing a game and a half, Watt is the undisputed best rookie in 2017. From the first preseason snap to the fourth game of the season, nobody has outshot expectations more than Watt. Watt is a full-time starter, which is rare for a rookie on the Steelers, and he has two sacks so far. Watt should only continue to exceed expectations and put up the stats to get into NFL Rookie of the Year consideration.
Assistant Coach of the Year: Richard Mann
Mann has to be credited for his ability to continuously draft and develop wide receivers. The progression and integration into the offense of JuJu Smith-Schuster has been impressive for him being just a rookie. Mann has adjusted a 20-year old Smith-Schuster, the youngest player in the NFL into the slot, a place he has never played before. He has also shifted Martavis Bryant into the slot as well to get Smith-Schuster blocking on the edge.
Breakout Player: Javon Hargrave
Second-year third-round draft pick Javon Hargrave has been a shining star for the Steelers for four straight weeks. He has two sacks, which is impressive for a nose tackle. He has also been a stud against the run and has affected the pass by pushing pockets and wreaking havoc in the middle. Hargrave is outshooting expectations and is officially an impact player. Not bad for an unknown kid from South Carolina State.
Pro Bowl Consideration: