Team needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

Getty Images

The defending AFC champions continue to be one of the finest franchises in the league, even though they missed the playoffs in the season sandwiched between a pair of Super Bowl berths.

To avoid sliding out of the postseason in 2011, the Steelers need to address some of the holes on the roster.  There aren’t many, but they are there.

OL:  The Steelers succeed despite having a patchwork, injury-prone wall of blockers.  If they could squeeze a higher lever of performance on a consistent basis out of the tackles, the Steelers could become a dynasty once again.  Maurkice Pouncey seems poised to become the next in a long-line of centers who hold the job for many, many years.  Chris Kemoeatu is above average at left guard.  But the Steelers need to upgrade the other guard position — ideally with Pouncey’s twin brother.  Unfortunately, Mike Pouncey likely will be long gone by the time the Steelers use the 31st overall pick.

DL:  The starters continue to be on the wrong side of 30, and getting closer to the wrong side of 40.  This key aspect of the 3-4 scheme can’t be taken for granted.  Ziggy Hood, a first-rounder in 2009, has gotten plenty of injury reps, but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll ultimately be ready to replace Brett Keisel or Aaron Smith.

CB:  With a strong front seven and a Hall of Fame safety, the Steel Curtain has gotten by despite the presence of some ragged tin foil at the cornerback position.  They haven’t had a truly great cover man since Rod Woodson, and they need one.

RB:  Coach Mike Tomlin has said he doesn’t plan to decrease Rashard Mendenhall’s workload.  Which possibly means Tomlin doesn’t want other teams to think he’ll be looking to draft a complement to Mendenhall, who can’t carry the ball 385 times per year every year.

S:  Troy Polamalu plays with the kind of reckless abandon that sets him up for injury.  And when he’s injured, the production plummets from his position.  Maybe that’s inevitable, given that Polamalu is so good.  But the Steelers need to realize that what makes Polamalu such a great player makes him vulnerable.  They need a better backup option.

Overview:  The Steelers continue to have one of the best coaching staffs and organizations in all of sports.  They resisted the strong temptation last year to dump their franchise quarterback, and they’ll continue to be competitive indefinitely into the future.  To continue to move closer toward 10 Super Bowl trophies, however, they finally have to address some consistent weaknesses, instead of just assuming that they’ll find a way to overcome them.

59 responses to “Team needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. When I clicked on this my first thought was that this was going to be the shortest article that I’ve read thus far. To my pleasant suprise it wasnt.

    Great points!

  2. Can people please stop bringing up bs from the past just to pass judgement on people? Ben did whatever he did and now it’s over. Stop bringing these kind of things up. Also, I am a Ravens fan.

  3. Best coaching staffs? Yes in a D cord…
    Your head coach is a joke… I see this team slipping more and more… He won a Superbowl off of the Chin’s team.. Now we have the players he wanted lets see what happens..

    Your Defensive coach is the best in the league..

  4. Agree with most of your analysis. O-line is our biggest problem. Kemoeatu needs to work on his discipline; he does too many stupid things to draw flags. If we lose Colon to free agency, we’ll need more than Flozell to fill his spot permanently. I’d like to draft for that guard position. Mike Pouncey would be a nice get, but lightning seldom strikes twice. He’s no Maurkice.

    I believe Ziggy has proved himself but we still need to draft with an eye toward replacing other aging d-linemen.

    Other than o-line, our biggest immediate need is corner. My fantasy was that we’d make a run at Asomugha, which isn’t characteristic of how the Steelers operate. But corner is one position where it helps to have some game savvy.

    Three SB appearances in six years already put this team well on its way to dynasty status if we can keep the strong pieces in place and shore up the weaknesses.

  5. I’m not suggesting for one second that this will actualy happen but what a call it would be:

    patrick peterson makes it past the cardinals (which is quite possible) he aint making it past the 49ers. Steelers get onto Belicheck and Holmgren.

    (draft value points in brackets)

    Cleveland Browns receive:
    17th overall pick (950)
    Pittsburgh 2nd round (276)
    Pittsburgh 3rd round (120)
    Pittsburgh 4th round (45)
    Pittsburgh 2012 3rd round (say 120 again)
    (adds to 1511)

    New England Patriots receive:
    31st overall pick
    Pittsburgh 2012 1st Round

    Pittsburgh Steelers receive:
    6th overall pick (1600 points)

    With the 6th Overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Cornerback, Patrick Peterson L.S.U.

    Massive massive investment but if this guy truly is the best prospect since Bailey and Woodson and is our new 10 year pro bowl shutdown cornerback, why not. We have gotten by with the makeshift o-line we’ll continue to do so, Rodgers proved we cant get by with mediocre cornerbacks. Anyone agree?

  6. maybe they should have gotten Bob Sanders to pair with Troy….that would make for a very dangerous secondary….

    oh wait….they’re both always hurt…

  7. If Mendenhall can’t handle the workload of increasing their running game, the need to go for another RB.

    Drafting 31st will leave the cupboard pretty bare to get a top pick. Ah, the pit falls of making it to the SB.

  8. I think the Steelers need a CB OL and a RB with speed . Someone like a Reggie Bush type that can use his speed in the open . One good CB will help them get better solid and focus on the lines on both sides . WE dont need more recievers , lb’s or Te’s .

  9. Yes, Ben rapes the Baltimore Ravens 2 to 3 times a year, but he has never been charged with rape, let alone convicted…

    Donte Stallworth is a convicted murderer.
    Ray Lewis is a convicted accessory to a double murder… People in glass houses shouldn’t speak Ravenution.

  10. First off let me say , cornerback is the number one priority heading into this draft . Bottom line , William Gay is not the answer . Peyton and Drew proved the way to beat the Steeler defense is spread them out . They did it and they won . Aaron Rogers did it and won a Super Bowl . This is an area that the Steelers can no longer ignore if they want to get back to the Super Bowl . The second comment I will make is this , this is the year 2011 NOT 2010 . Can we please stop talking about Ben Roethlisberger like hes the second coming of Charles Manson . Ben is not a rapist nor was he convicted of being a rapist . What Ben was gulity of , was making bad decisions and putting himself in bad situations . He served his suspension a year ago and all parties included have moved on with their lives . Everyone connected with the Steelers says Ben is a completely different person and a much better team mate . At the end of the day , Hes trying to turn his life around and he deserves the right to do so .

  11. They need a QB that is not an attacker of women in dive restrooms.
    They need a coach that can actually coach.
    They need a legit owner. Not the 15 different shills while PNC bank actually holds the note to the franchise.
    They need classier fans.
    They need a “character evaluater” to help cut down on drafting/signing criminals and dopeheads. YEA I SAID IT!
    They need a better city to play in.
    They need cheerleaders.
    They need to take out a few of those high interest loans so they will be able to afford all the fines Mr. Goodell is gonna slap on them once the season begins.
    They need the ORIGINAL Art Rooney back.

  12. How can the Steelers be considered a class organizations when their QB has no respect for women?

    There is a reason many out there consider the NFL a league of criminals.

    At least Vick went to jail and did his time for his actions.

  13. Don’t forget OT, between a slightly seasoned 2nd year guy in Scott, the aged Adams, and the question of Colon’s return, they are going to need a T in the first 3-4 rounds.

  14. @ottomanismydog …

    I’m a lifelong Tide fan and Ingram’s is the only Bama player jersey I’ve ever owned, so I’d love nothing more than for him to wind up in Pittsburgh. But RB is not an early-round need for the Steelers.

    @richgannon …

    We’d still have o-line concerns, but Asomugha has been my mantra the whole off-season. For once, I wish the Steelers would go aggressively into the free-agent market … whenever free agency finally opens.

  15. @footballfan292 …

    Vick: evidence, confession.

    Roethlisberger: medical exam showing the alleged crime didn’t occur. Statements from multiple witnesses refuting sorority sister’s claim about bodyguard at the door–which contradicted accuser’s own written statement.

    No arrest was made and no charges were brought because a thorough investigation by a respected state bureau of investigation (not local cops) showed the crime didn’t happen. The DA explained all this at length.

    If being an idiot were a crime, Ben might be in prison … but you’d be in the next cell.

  16. The window has closed on the steelers, their OL is not even average. And the biggest problem is in the secondary, any good passing team is gonna pick them apart so bad it will be funny to watch. Good thing they play in a terrible division cause if they played in the AFC East or West this is a team that doesnt make the playoffs period. So keep beating up on the browns and bengels steelers cause come playoff time your toast!

  17. someone better remind deb what the police said that investigated that little problem ben had, amazing a woman could be that stupid, very disappointed

  18. “To continue to move closer toward 10 Super Bowl trophies…”

    HA HA HA HA HA. With Tomlin? He’s terrible. Nice call, 52 yards needed for a field goal? Let’s send out Suisham, I’m still laughing. Of course, what do you expect from a coach that came from a SB powerhouse like Minny!

  19. @dirtyharry1971 …

    Hi! Writer/editor/journalism degree, lots of experience covering legal issues. Spent months researching the Roethlisberger case. If you call or visit Milledgeville and talk to any of the cops or prosecutors who worked that case, they’ll tell you Ms. DTF invented the whole thing. And no police have gone on the record to say anything different. So guess what? I’m not stupid and you don’t have to be disappointed!

    Psst … you might want to sober up before your next post, hon 😉

  20. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but secondary/safety are the biggest needs. I’d like to say O Line, but Troy is hurt to often and the CB’s are sub par as a group.

    Take the best player available in the order of:


  21. I think too many people point the finger at the secondary. Those Qbs mentioned earlier, Manning, Brees, and Rodgers are all gamers and they almost always get their yards and TDs.

    The more troubling concern if I were the Steelers would be the lines on both sides of the ball. This idea that, well last year we got away with mediocre so obviously this year we’ll get the same… That never holds water. In the NFL teams are either getting better or they’re getting worse. It seems both scenarios are tied to age.

    So what might have been alright last year, will not cut it this year. I got this gut feeling that the Steelers will look to upgrade the lines early and often.

  22. The current steeler are NOT a dynasty under any realistic measure. Yay, they got 3 super bowl appearances, but how many non playoff berths? Also Ben sucks. He’s not a QB. Sorry steeler fans, you don’t have an elite qb, you have an elite Trent dilfer. In his first sb, facing the gruesome Seattle Seahawk defense, he put up a whopping sub-25 qb rating. He’s basically an elusive Rex grossman that has a better arm, and either way he’s still a rapist

  23. steeler fans are the worse in the league next to the eagle fans. we all hate you, time for you to all realize that. wave that yellow tissue all you want, you are scum, deal with it, you will never win another SB period! and your coach is a waste, hahahhahahahhaa bye bye steeroids!!

  24. The Steelers offensive line was one of the worst in the league last year. By far the biggest problem facing your team….I don’t remember who the biggest offender was, but the holding calls were all warranted….you guys need to get rid of the guard that I am talking about. Deb was talking about Kemoeatu needing more discipline….I think I’m thinking of the same guy…..All I know is that one of the front guards had no clue how to legally block a defender.

  25. Ziggy Hood was great last year and Troy had just returned to full health when he was hurt by an awkward hit from Carson Palmer while returning an INT for TD. What makes him a great player is he is instinctual, fundamental and intelligent. Not that he is overly physical. He’s not Bob Sanders. That said, the Steelers could use some depth behind him. But lets not mistake his game for reckless abandon. Troy deserves credit for his all-around game. Jeez, I’m a Bengals fan too.

  26. “temptation to dump their franchise QB”

    Sure like to know who got tempted with what.

    “I think we should cut Ben because he gets accused of rape too much”

    “OK we’ll start Charlie Batch or maybe Leftwich”

    “oh…. is that all we got?”


    “forget it, let’s keep Ben”

  27. Sign Colon and kick him to guard and now the offensive line is a strength.
    Draft multiple corners- I’m tired of seeing the Steelers get spread out and beat.

  28. I just picture the ravens trolls salivating every time the word “steelers” pops up on here- they just cant want to mention the rape that never was, all the while wearing a ray lewis jersey and filled with self righteous indignation. Spare me…

    If ravens fans really cared about justice and the law as much as they claim, they would be much more concerned about the convicts and murderers on their own team than the falsely accused rape on their opponent.

    Need I remind everyone that Ray Lewis is a murderer. He literally has blood on his hands. He was convicted of obstruction of justice and snitched on his friends in order to save his own ass.

    Donte Stallworth is a murderer too- convicted…and also a member of the ravens. Yet you all cheer for them like the hypocrites you are.

    Ben was never even charged with a crime-Yet every single mention of the Steelers on here brings the Ravens trolls out to mention the nonexistant rape.

    Bottom line- your team cant beat the steelers on the field and it makes you bitter and angry. However, all your comments succeed in doing is show how jealous and hypocritical you Ravens fans are.

  29. @barklikeadog

    The idea is very far fetched yes, and judging by the amount of dislikes, most people agree with you which is fair enough and expected but think of it from all 3 teams points of view.

    A lot of needs: front 7, wide receiver in particular they get 3 extra picks in rounds 2-4 where there should be a lot of talent to adress those while keeping a mid-round 1st round choice.

    Bellicheck collects another 1st round pick for next year which everyone knows he loves to do and keeps two 1st round picks this year. Admittedly if he’s loving someone that he thinks will fall to 17, this deal wont happen anyway but its good value for him.

    Yes its not our style and as i said it would be a ridiculous gamble and investment but what do we have to lose? we have needed a cb like this like never before especially now that the spread seems to be getting more popular for offenses, we cant hope to keep winning without addressing the secondary. we lose picks 2-4 but with the notable exceptions of wallace and sanders as 3rd rounders we’ve been hit and miss there anyways recently (sweed, bruce davis in ’08 craig urbik in ’09 2nd 3rd 3rd respectively spring automatically to mind and we released gibson who i think (open to correction) was a 4th in ’10) my major problem would be giving up next years 1st round but imo if we get a 10 year pro bowl cb like this guy is expected to be i dont think its overly moronic.

  30. I still see there are some real idiots on here or maybe just people who reside in a mental hospital and used their one computer use privilege to post on here. LOL.

    @Dirtyharry … The Steelers’ window has closed? Are you nuts? Who in the AFC West is better than the Steelers???? Please don’t tell me the Chargers. And in the AFC East … didn’t the Steelers eliminate the Jests in the playoffs last year????? Plus, in your only correct statement – yes, the police did investigate. When an accusation is made they MUST investigate. However, tool, they DID NOT charge. Enough said.

  31. I noticed a lot of “we” speak in the blogs, Steeler and Packer fans like to use “we” when talking about their team. My guess is because they are proud of the teams they root for and want to feel like they are part of the teams success. Viking fans do not appreciate when fans from other teams talk this way, maybe because they are embarrassed of their team.

  32. dirtyharry1971 says:
    Apr 17, 2011 10:42 PM
    The window has closed on the steelers, their OL is not even average. And the biggest problem is in the secondary, any good passing team is gonna pick them apart so bad it will be funny to watch. Good thing they play in a terrible division cause if they played in the AFC East or West this is a team that doesnt make the playoffs period. So keep beating up on the browns and bengels steelers cause come playoff time your toast!

    I honestly think I just got dumber by reading your comment. Worst division in football? Those lousy browns put the smackdown on the almighty patriots in the afc east. Pittsburgh beat the superbowl paper champ jets to get to the REAL super bowl. And the afc west? You mean the division that consistently sends 8-8 teams to the playoffs? Try again dude..the afc north is the strongest division in football.

  33. Deb you are right on the mark! All these people that keep bringing up Ben’s poor judgement and trying to make him sound like a convicted criminal are just jealous of the Steelers great record over the years. I also agree that their most pressing need is the O line. As for Tomlin not being a good coach, two Superbowls already. I guess only idiots think that way.

  34. The Steelers need to address CB early. The Packers provided a blueprint for how to beat the Steelers in the Superbowl, and it isn’t to try an run it at the 100 LBs they draft each year (slight exaggeration).

  35. hobartbaker says:
    Apr 17, 2011 7:31 PM
    Mike going to run Mendenhall till his eyes pop out of his head.

    I thought they already were…??

  36. I never see any love for Mewelde Moore. Maybe he’s a FA, don’t know. But I loved the kid coming out of college and think he’s a nice 3rd down back.

  37. Just FYI …. The Steelers had the NFL’s #1 scoring defense giving up just 14.5 points per game.

    The problem is Roethlisberger’s forte is the 17-14 win. He only cracked 30 points twice all season, scoring 35 against the Raiders and 41 against the Browns. Against good teams he is lucky to get 10.

    IMO the Steelers should draft offensive linemen with 3 of their first 4 picks.

  38. All references to rape should be automatically deleted. Repeated posters should be banned. Rape is no joke. Period.

    It isn’t funny. It isn’t cute. And it shouldn’t be part of the sports lexicon.

    PFT should step up and end the mockery of rape victims AND of the victims of FALSE accusations.

    Time to grow up again, America.

  39. @CKL …

    Agree with you on Moore, but he is a FA, so who knows whether he’ll be with us next season?

  40. If they don’t go Oline or Secondary with that 31st pick I’ll be shocked.
    If they had a decent line they might have been able to take chunks of time off the clock in the SB rather than try and play gun slinger with Rodgers.

  41. mike pouncey is overrated due to his brother… we should go d line or corner at this spot…receivers are terrible on the team now but limas and troy edwards will forever make us not go there…my pick is cameron jordan or cameron heyward

  42. @packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears

    So if 2 superbowl wins and another appearance doesnt make you an elite quarter back in the first 6 years of your career, what do you consider Farve and Rodgers? Farve has one SB as does Rodgers. If Farve wasnt such a drug addict for so long he would’ve been out of the running years ago. Took Rodgers 7 years to get to the big dance. Also your long haired numbnuts of a LB is way over rated. Pound off you cheese producing asshelmet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!