Steelers' Wedding Gifts for Ben Roethlisberger: NFL Draft Edition
Ah, the age-old question: what do you get the man who probably already has what you're thinking of?
Especially when the guy you're trying to buy a gift for is signed to a $100 million contract, minus the endorsement deals.
With Big Ben's big day coming soon, sometime in July, the coaching staff of the Steelers is probably looking for some gift ideas for their star quarterback.
Luckily, a group gift is better than getting five new watches or blenders, and the Steelers' coaching staff has the perfect opportunity to give Big Ben his gift early with the NFL draft.
So here are five gifts that Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert and Randy Fichtner can collaborate on to make Ben even happier on his big day.
An Offensive Tackle
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
This position has been staring the Steelers in the face as a need for a long while.
Ben has been sacked 128 times over the last four years and whether or not he creates some of them himself, that is a beating for any quarterback.
If anyone remembers David Carr, the beating he took in Houston hindered his development as a player.
Ben has proven to be one of the elite quarterbacks in terms of making plays out of nothing, but it is far more difficult to avoid linebackers than defensive linemen.
That is why an offensive tackle to replace Grandpa Flozell Adams would be a great gift for Ben to help give him protection and keep his face intact for Ashley Harlan.
As of now, Derek Sherrod looks like a legitimate option in the first round.
An Offensive Guard
Michael Heiman/Getty Images
All right, there is the possibility that I am a little hypercritical of a patchwork offensive line that did get the Steelers to the Super Bowl, but again, 128 sacks is just too much for a $100 million quarterback.
The offensive guard position is not as glaring of a need, with Chris Kemoeatu showing moments of promise, but like the rest of the Steelers' line, play has been horribly inconsistent.
Maurkice Pouncey is a force at center, but adding strength to the center of the line would help solidify not just Ben's protection but the interior running game in order to help set up Ben's deep play-action game he so desperately wants.
If the Steelers want to be ambitious, they could trade up past New England in an effort to nab Mike Pouncey and move him to guard, or wait to see if Danny Watkins of Baylor looks better than Sherrod.
Either would be a great wedding gift for Big Ben.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
This is the thinking man's gift.
Not only is this a glaring need for the Steelers team, but this would help Ben Roethlisberger more than he realizes. When the Steelers are down late due to the defense's ineptitude against the spread or passing game, Ben has to throw.
The problem is, everyone knows he will throw and with a weak offensive line, a five-man blitz with six in coverage can usually frustrate the downfield passes necessary for a comeback.
Enter a new cornerback, and the defense will see tremendous improvement. With a better defense, the offense will be far more unpredictable and flexible, and Ben will be able to find Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace downfield far more often.
The only problem is, this gift is not only hard to find, but not in the taste of the Steelers' coaching staff. The last defensive back taken in the first round was Troy Polamalu in 2003, and the last defensive back taken in the second round was Anthony Smith in 2006.
If the Steelers are looking for this, however, they may have found a second-round grab of Ras-I Dowling if the Bears decide to pass on him.
Al Bello/Getty Images
The benefit of giving wedding gifts is that sometimes you can never have enough watches or blenders, and your gift is bound to make the groom happy if not now, then later.
Ben already has a stacked receiving corps of Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. Antwan Randle El showed the ability to set up, but getting more players at this position would really open up the spread style both Bruce Ariens and Ben have stated they want.
The most recent Steelers Digest shows the the Steelers have a "strong interest" in Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor for a late-round project. He could very well be the next Randle El convert who makes the Steelers' offense all the more dangerous.
Furthermore, wide outs Niles Paul of Nebraska and Randall Cobb of Kentucky could also be options.
I'm guessing that the staff is thinking Ben would like a Paul-type receiver to mold after Ward rather than Paul, especially after the failed Willie Reid experiment.
A New Playbook
Al Bello/Getty Images
This year’s NFL draft could be the year that Steelers fill some gaping holes on offense with enough talent, both from the draft and healthy returns, that they become a model of the 1995 team that made it to Arizona for Super Bowl XXX.
With the emergence of Antonio Brown coupled with the maturity of Mike Wallace, the Steelers passing attack already looks like one of the best in the AFC.
With many people whispering that the Steelers want to lower Rashad Mendenhall's carries, and the ability to strengthen the offensive line, the time looks ripe for Arians and Tomlin to get together and make up a new, more spread, more quarterback-oriented playbook.
Ben has shown that he can sling the ball around with accuracy and power, so if on the big day Ben is happier with this gift than the actual ceremony, we all know why.