When the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII, they finished the 2008 season with the best defense in the NFL against the pass. Other than the departure of Bryant McFadden, the Steelers returned the same group of players, plus two draft choices, to their 2009 roster.
With the injury to Troy Polamalu in the opening week of the 2009 season, the Steelers defense was just not the same as the top ranked unit from the year before. Now, with the possibility of starting FS Ryan Clark leaving via free agency, what will happen with the Steelers secondary in 2010?
One of the best moves the Steelers could do is bring in potential free agent, Antrel Rolle.
Antrel Rolle earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2009 with the Arizona Cardinals, and played near the top level of all free safeties in the NFC.
Though Rolle does not hit like Ryan Clark (who does?), he would bring a different dimension to the Steelers secondary. He can ACTUALLY catch a ball.
Steelers cornerbacks accounted for a grand total of one (1) interception in the 2009 season. There is an obvious need for a ball hawking safety in the Steelers secondary, and Rolle fits that mold to a T.
There is a lot of talk that the Steelers need to go after someone that can be either the replacement of Clark, or the backup to Polamalu in the first round of the NFL Draft this April. Though I am not opposed to this, to be able to sign someone like Rolle would instantly upgrade the Steelers secondary.
Would Rolle fit into the Steelers system?
Being that the Arizona Cardinals, under Coach Ken Whisenhunt, run a very similar style to the one the Steelers run (secondary wise), Rolle would already have somewhat of an understanding as to what would be expected from him.
And to be able to play next to one of the greatest safeties to ever wear a helmet, Rolle would become even better playing next to Troy Polamalu.
To bring in a player with the talents of Antrel Rolle, the Steelers would be a lot closer to the 2008 rankings than they were to those of 2009.