NFL Rumors: Should Pittsburgh Steelers Make Any Moves Before the Regular Season?
The Pittsburgh Steelers are undoubtedly the AFC North favorites heading into regular-season play. That does not mean they should not look to improve their team in any manner they can. Should the Steelers look into any of the remaining free agents or seek a trade at this point in time?
Let's look at each aspect of the roster.
Offensive skill positions
The team has four quarterbacks on the roster that have been playing under offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for multiple seasons. It is safe to say that the signal caller is one position that does not to be adjusted.
The tailback position lost a little bit of its potential when training camp standout Baron Batch went down with a season-ending injury. The backfield lacks sexy names outside of Rashard Mendenhall, but that does not mean they need to make a move.
Isaac Redman will get more carries this year. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season and he will prove this year that his stocky YPC was not a fluke. Mewelde Moore is one of the game's best blocking running backs and has experience starting for the Steelers.
The wide receiver position went from lacking depth to having plenty of depth when former New York Jets Jericho Cotchery was signed. Antonio Brown will provide the Steelers with a lot of splash plays as well.
Do the Steelers need Offensive Line Help?
AB is having a great camp and has a higher ceiling than Emmanuel Sanders. Obviously, Mike Wallace and Hines Ward round out the wideout rotation to give Ben Roethlisberger five legitimate targets.
An invariable topic in the Pittsburgh media has been whether or not Jonathan Scott can consistently block Roethlisberger's blind side. It is moderately surprising, considering that Scott was the team's best offensive lineman in last year's playoff run. He will astonish a lot of people with his play this season.
Injuries will occur on the offensive line—it is inevitable. The team could still use some depth, even if Tony Hills provides them with some solid snaps. A logical answer could come from an old friend if the money is right. Yesterday, Max Starks tweeted:
"Hello tweeps, been a while since my last check-in. Quick update, doing great and feeling stronger everyday."
Starks would only be a candidate as an addition if somebody would go down. The team does not have the money to make a big time move and quite frankly, they do not need to.
Defensive Front Seven
This can be short and sweet. The Steelers' front seven might be the best in football and might be the deepest as well. Ziggy Hood will make a considerable impact and be in the steady rotation on the line. Cam Heyward's snaps will be limited, despite his fierceness and decent camp, but he might be capable of making a few splash plays while seeing partial action.
The linebackers are incredible and the depth will allow them to stay fresh. Steven Sylvester will spell James Farrior a lot this season. Larry Foote is a very serviceable backup and Jason Worilds will see an increased role.
No moves necessary.
The cornerback situation is a massive question mark—again.
Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden are both banged up, but expected to be ready for the regular season. William Gay still struggles with execution and that will never change. Keenan Lewis is finally showing signs of production, but probably is not ready to be on the field for a long period of time.
The team could use help at corner, but the options are limited. The Steelers have always been reluctant to make a blockbuster trade and it is even more unlikely with the regular season quickly approaching.
The Philadelphia Eagles would be willing to part ways with corner Asante Samuel, but that would demand a high price tag and taking on a high salary—two things the Steelers would not be willing to do.
Rookie Curtis Brown was put behind the eight ball with the extended lockout and it will be tough for him to get on the field this season.
The team does have plenty of bodies to play corner, but production remains the key. The market is relatively empty, as it usually is this late into August and Kevin Colbert rarely overpays.
Ike Taylor will lead the young crew into the season. Taylor's broken thumb will not prevent him from being the same corner as he has been the last few seasons. Let's face it, he cannot catch with a healthy thumb.
The safety position could use some depth. Ryan Mundy is a smart player, but simply is not athletic enough to stick slot receivers or talented tight ends. Deon Grant would have been a solid addition to add depth, but he recently re-signed with the New York Giants.
Lawyer Milloy is still available and was useful with the Seattle Seahawks last year at the tender age of 36. Darren Sharper is two years younger, but had a forgetful 2010 campaign. Do not be surprised if one, or even both, end up in New England. The Steelers would only take a look at either one if one of the starters went down for an extensive amount of time.
The Steelers do not need to make a move and history says they will not make a move unless an injury calls for it. Defensively, coordinator Dick LeBeau's scheme is too complex to bring in someone who does not have experience with his playbook.
Offensively, depth is not an issue. Tight end is the only position that could use depth, but five competent receivers erases that problem. Heath Miller simply needs to stay healthy.
Head coach Mike Tomlin's priority is to make the current roster better, rather than bringing in additional help. The AFC North will not be one of the better divisions in football and this roster is more than capable of winning the division crown.
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