Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Willie Colon helped set the tone for the Steelers' offensive line.
You can chalk 2012 up as a transition year on offense, as Todd Haley took over for Bruce Arians as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
While it had its growing pains, Pittsburgh’s offense seemed to finally begin to click in the middle of the season before it regressed, beginning in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But one thing is certain, and that is that it must get better next season.
One way that the offense can improve is by getting physical.
Games are still won in the trenches, and the Steelers need a better performance from the offensive line. That should happen once this group is healthy.
There are already a number of physical players in this group, led by Willie Colon.
If Colon returns, he will set the tone for the line that has struggled for a number of seasons now. When he laid on top of Vontaze Burfict and gave him the business, it was one of the highlights of the season.
Further physical play will come at center from Maurkice Pouncey and tackle Mike Adams—whether he starts at left or right tackle. These players and the others will be key factors in reestablishing the physical nature at the line of scrimmage and improving the ground game.
Besides developing a physical running attack, the Steelers need a physical receiving option besides Heath Miller.
Pittsburgh’s receivers were incredibly soft last season, with too many dropped passes and fumbles, and failed to block the way we have been accustomed to seeing with Hines Ward.
But the main reason the Steelers need to get a physical receiving option is so they can beat the press coverage and have more success in the red zone. Besides Mike Wallace, the receivers struggled to find the end zone, and this is an area in which the Steelers must improve.
They can either add a bigger, physical wide receiver in the draft—or even re-sign Plaxico Burress and give him a bigger role—or find a second tight-end option.
Physical play across the board will greatly help the offense in 2013.