Super Bowl 2011: 10 Offseason Moves for the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers came up just short in Super Bowl XLV.
Assuming there is football next season, the Steelers are likely to wipe their memories of the loss and start preparing for next season.
Pittsburgh will look to improve this offseason, but they have shown that they are a perennial contender each year.
One thing they have going against them is that the Steelers rarely sign free agents, taking pride in developing players via the draft.
However, there are some talented players available this offseason that could have an immediate impact in Pittsburgh.
Here are 10 offseason moves that would improve the Steelers.
10. Let Daniel Sepulveda Walk
Geoff Burke/Getty Images
Jeremy Kapinos did a serviceable job punting over the final four games and throughout the playoffs.
Sepulveda is no longer needed and should start looking for a job elsewhere, which he will likely find due to the transient nature of punters these days.
I know this is a minor change, but special teams is very important in the NFL.
9. Re-Sign Mewelde Moore
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Mewelde Moore is a nice asset to have on any team.
He has settled into a special teams role, doing a fine job in that capacity.
He averaged 3.0 yards per carry during the regular season. The three-headed running back scheme is becoming more popular in the NFL, and Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman and Moore form one of the best rushing attacks in the league.
Moore is a free agent, and a handful of teams should come knocking. However, the Steelers would be wise to bring back the seven-year veteran.
He's not a prolific name, but role players can help teams win championships.
8. Improve the Kicking Situation
Al Bello/Getty Images
Shaun Suisham did a fine job over the last seven games during the regular season. He connected on 8-of-9 field goals for a 93.3 percent clip.
However, Suisham is not the answer at kicker for the Steelers, especially at Heinz Field.
Though Mike Tomlin admitted the 52-yard field goal attempt was a bad idea, Suisham didn’t even get it close.
Established kickers like Adam Vinatieri, David Akers and Ryan Longwell are all free agents and may look forward to the challenge of kicking at Heinz Field.
Yes, the Steelers rarely sign free agents, but in this case, an established kicker could do the trick.
If not, Pittsburgh will look to draft a young kicker.
7. Bring In Santana Moss?
Larry French/Getty Images
Santana Moss released a statement that he will void his contract with the Washington Redskins and will be available via free agency.
The Steelers could use this all-purpose threat in their offense. Mike Wallace is a great deep threat, while Hines Ward is a terrific possession receiver.
However, this team could use more of a mid-range threat with the ability to make the big play.
Antwaan Randle-El has shown to be Mr. Inconsistent over his career.
Moss will draw plenty of attention, but the Steelers would be a good fit.
Once again, signing free agents is something the Steelers do sparingly, and Moss may not be the type of player the Steelers are looking for right now.
6. Let LaMarr Woodley Walk
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
With James Harrison, James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons in-house, the Steelers appear to have a strong linebacking core.
Woodley is a talented young player who had a fine regular season with 50 tackles and 10 sacks.
The Steelers appear weak at cornerback, so that area may be more of a priority than linebacker at this point.
Dick LaBeau employs the 3-4 defense, so a strong fourth linebacker is vital to the success of the system.
However, as will be discussed in the next slide, a shut-down corner may take precedence over Woodley.
5. Cornerback Situation
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Ike Taylor and William Gay are both free agents in Pittsburgh’s secondary. Odds are that at least one will return alongside Bryant McFadden.
However, depth is the name of the game in the secondary for any team.
The Steelers will look to sign or draft a shut-down corner.
A few high profile cornerbacks are available, but it’s likely Champ Bailey and Nnamdi Asomugha will go where the money is.
Maybe the Steelers can find a steal in the draft to provide some depth.
4. Ensure Maurkice Pouncey Returns Healthy
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
This next offseason move doesn’t involve acquiring or cutting ties with any player.
The Steelers must ensure that their Pro-Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey returns healthy next season. It sounds easy, but it just shows how much he was missed in the Super Bowl.
As a rookie, Pouncey anchored a makeshift offensive line.
No knock on Doug Legursky, whose first career start was in the Super Bowl, but Pittsburgh needs a healthy Pouncey to return.
3. Draft Mike Pouncey, If Available
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images
Speaking of Pouncey, the Steelers should draft Mike Pouncey with the 31st pick in the draft if he's available.
Mike Pouncey played guard at Florida and could provide some needed insurance, or possibly start, along the Steelers offensive line.
He has drawn lots of attention, especially after the Pro-Bowl campaign by his brother.
NFL Draft analysts predict Pouncey will be taken in the middle of the first round, so the Steelers may lose out on the talented guard.
However, if he is still available, the Steelers should pull the trigger.
2. Do The Steelers Dare Bring Back Santonio Holmes?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Reports surfaced that Hines Ward would retire if Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl.
Well, that didn’t happen, and Ward has publicly said he will come back.
However, that doesn’t mean the Steelers don't need some help at receiver. Ward is getting up there in age and won’t be around much longer.
Antonio Brown has shown flashes of being a playmaker, and Mike Wallace has arguably the best speed in the game.
Guess who is available this offseason? Santonio Holmes.
The Steelers missed Holmes’ big play ability all season, but due to their parting ways last year, it’s unlikely a reunion will occur.
I mean, the Steelers did trade him for a fifth round pick.
It's interesting to consider, but don't expect any surprises on this front.
1. Re-Sign Willie Colon
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
After three straight seasons of starting 16 games, Colon suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during the preseason.
The Steelers offensive line did a decent job this season, but it would have been much better with Colon. It’s likely the team brings him back.
Flozell Adams had arguably the best season of his career in the Black and Gold, but the “human flag machine” has to go. His knack for drawing a flag in a huge spot seriously decreases his value.
Colon draws his fair amount of penalties, but he would provide some consistency along the offensive line.