Earlier this week, former Steelers great (and Detroit native, if you didn’t know) Jerome Bettis criticized his old team for not upgrading its offensive line during the offseason.
Though it’s still a bit confusing as to why Bettis called out the coaching staff and not the front office for signing new blood, we agree with the broader point — the Steelers collectively failed to address the biggest weakness on the team.
ESPN’s Michael Smith reported earlier today that right tackle Willie Colon thinks improved communication and technique will help today against the Bears at Soldier Field. But, still, while this unit can do a decent job of pass protection (thanks in large part to quarterback Ben Roethsliberger’s ability to escape a collapsing pocket and throw on the move), the run blocking is bad.
So why won’t the Steelers explore an upgrade? Regardless of the inactivity during the offseason, veterans Jon Runyan and Damoin McIntosh are available. Why not at least bring them in for a tire-kicking?
Our guess is that the Steelers are simply being stubborn, possibly to the point of arrogance.
Sure, they won a Super Bowl with the same rag-tag pair of tackles. But once Starks whiffs on a defender or gets blown up into the backfield and Roethlisberger suffers a real, non-exaggerated injury, the Steelers will have a hard time getting back to the playoffs with Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon.