7 Things That Must Change the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013
Obviously, the Steelers did not have a good season, and they are in line for another offseason full of major changes.
Here are seven things that the Steelers need to change in order to rebound from a disappointing 2012 season.
Youth Movement on the D-Line
The Steelers have three talented young defensive linemen in Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward and Steve McLendon with a possible fourth player coming through the draft this year.
The team has slowly made the transition to youth, and they will not be bringing back Casey Hampton after cutting Aaron Smith a year ago.
Brett Keisel still gets the job done however, the Steelers need this group of young players to step up both against the run and at least pushing the pocket in the passing game.
The Running Game
It seems like every player on the offensive line is injured every year now which really affects the Steelers running game.
Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman have shown to be capable backs, but there have rarely been many holes for either to run through.
Regardless, the Steelers need Dwyer, Redman and whoever they bring in through the draft/free agency to provide a more balanced attack to keep teams honest.
Consistent Offensive Line Play
As stated in the previous slide, the Steelers lose offensive linemen to injury every year which prevents any kind of consistent play from that group.
The Steelers are going to undergo a lot of changes to the offensive line with the possible losses of Max Starks and Ramon Foster to free agency and the probable cutting of Willie Colon (per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
I know it is pretty obvious to say that the team needs everyone to stay healthy, but the Steelers have a potentially very good offensive line that really just needs to stay healthy next season.
Rushing the Passer
It’s hard to believe how much the Steelers have struggled to rush the passer the last few seasons, especially with James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley on the outside.
Then you realize, both have been dealing with injuries in that time span, and it seems that no one else on the team can consistently get any pressure on the quarterback.
The Steelers used to be known for terrorizing quarterbacks, and now, it seems like teams can’t wait to throw the ball against them.
As bad as the Steelers have been at getting to the quarterback, they have been even worse at causing turnovers the past few seasons.
A big part of that has been the fact that Troy Polamalu has been dealing with injuries, however, it is ridiculous that no one seems to be capable of causing a turnover other than him.
Cortez Allen showed the potential to become that type of playmaker for the team late last season, so let’s hope that he and the rest of the defense can start actually taking the ball away from the offense.
Although I do believe that Mike Tomlin is a great coach, I also believe he needs to do a much better job at getting the team prepared to play.
There are too many games where the Steelers should destroy bad teams and end up losing because they overlook them or just seem disinterested.
That points directly to Tomlin, and he needs to find a better way to make sure the team is actually ready to play every single week.
I have been very critical of offensive coordinator Todd Haley, though I think he just needs to be less predictable with his play-calling, and the offense should be fine.
With Dick LeBeau, I think he just needs to be more aggressive, which in my opinion, would have helped in all the games where the defense gave up late leads.
When you used to talk about attitude and the Steelers, it would mean their toughness and ability to wreak havoc on opposing offenses while pounding the rock against the defense.
Now it just seems like the Steelers have a bad attitude and feel like they are going to win games just because they are the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Whether it’s LaMarr Woodley talking in the media or Ike Taylor getting into a fight with every receiver that beats him, the team seems to act immature at times.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need to just grow up and perform like they should, and if they had, they would’ve at least been in the playoffs, competing for a spot in the 2013 Super Bowl.