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Before we get into who the team will need to look at when the offseason opens, let’s take a look at why these particular positions are being targeted.
Backup quarterback has been a need for years, but Pittsburgh’s staff has been reluctant to stray from Charlie Batch and/or Byron Leftwich behind star Ben Roethlisberger. This year, that misguided loyalty played a major role in two consecutive losses.
The Steelers may have found an answer in the backfield in Jonathan Dwyer, but the fact remains that the team should bid farewell to both Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall this offseason in favor of more effective and efficient complementary pieces.
Keenan Lewis has emerged as a solid complement to cornerback Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen had a nice showing against the Baltimore Ravens, but the fact remains that depth at corner is dangerously thin. Taylor is also getting older. It’s never too early to start thinking about what is coming down the road.
Larry Foote has been a revelation at inside linebacker, stepping back into a starting role after several years as a backup and performing well. He is, however, on the wrong side of 30 and can’t be expected to maintain his production for much longer. The team needs a permanent replacement inside.
The Steelers have relied successfully once again on Max Starks to save them at the offensive tackle spot. Starks is the only player who seems to have been healthy the entire season, but his injury history and age bring questions. It would be a good idea to consider a replacement in case Mike Adams does not develop as expected.
I've also ranked these five moves in order of how big of an impact it would make on the team in 2013.