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View Full Version : So, Now that the Season is Officially Over....



AkronSteel
02-06-2012, 11:56 AM
I wanna take a good look at the offseason coming up for our Pittsburgh Steelers. There are changes a coming....and to me it almost feels like the end of an era. There will be players missing from next years roster than have been around here for a very long time. New players will have to step up into leadership roles and begin to move the team into the future. I wanna take a look at the team position by position and analyze needs, weaknesses and strengths.....This is a huge offseason in the terms of finding players that will continue the tradition of Pittsburgh Steelers football...

Lets Look at the team from an offensive prospective.

QB: Obviously there isn't a huge need at the starter position. Big Ben had another exceptional season as the cornerstone of this franchise. Until he was injured in the first Cleveland game, Ben was on his way to what might have turned out to be his best year statistically. He struggled with his accuracy after the injury and didn't have to much to put on throws because of his inability to step into them, but he is not a concern going into 2012.

The organization is not so lucky with the backup situation though. Byron Leftwich can never seem to stay healthy, Charlie Batch....though servicable....is 106 years old, and Dennis Dixon seems to have his eyes and aspirations set on playing in a different uniform next year, whether that be in the UFL or not. The Steelers need to address the QB position later in the draft in my opinion to try to find an future backup QB, or at least someone to compete with Troy Smith for the number 3 role. Hopefully, they can scratch another season out of Batch in the primary backup role. It's time for Lefty and Double D to mosey on down the road.

2012 QB's: Roethlisberger, Batch, Troy Smith

RB: This could be a tricky position going into next season. Mendenhall's injury at the end of the regular season could put the Steelers in a bind at the start of 2012. Rashard is entering the final year of his rookie contract and I'm sure is going to want an extension but he needs to not only prove that he is healthy but that in fact he is the Steelers present and future at the position. He may start the season on the PUP list which will give Issac Redman some more opportunities to show that he is more than capable of handling a more extensive workload. If he can follow up his playoff performance with a good start to next year, he may indeed be the team's feature RB for most of next season.

The Steelers have many options at backup spots with Jonathan Dwyer and John Clay both showing well in their limited opportunities in 2011. Baron Batch will also have a shot at training camp to show that he is healthy and ready to make the squad after an unfortunate injury ended his season last year before it started. I would figure that Mewelde Moore has played his last game in a Steelers uniform so the team will need to find an adequate replacement in his role as 3rd down back. Batch may just fill that role.

It will be interesting to see how the team fills the H-Back/Fullback position....being a Steeler traditionalist, I would really prefer the team find a tradition FB style player to fill that role. I would like to see more of a balanced attack on 1st and 2nd down. A hard nosed FB to lead our running back's into holes would be a nice added bonus. I'm not really sure at this point how or where the Steelers will find such a player but it would be nice.

2012 Running Backs: Mendenhall, Redman, Dwyer, Batch, Rookie/Free Agent FB

WR/TE: This is a position with two elements. The first element is the young 3 that the team possesses at the top of the depth chart. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Manny Sanders represent the future of the Steelers offense in many ways and are truly one of the strengths of this football team. Wallace and Brown could possibly be multiple time pro bowlers before their respective careers are finished. Sanders, if he can stay healthy, can be a big time threat for #7 next year and for the years to come. The Steelers can create big match up problems for teams with the way these three guys can possibly mesh their talents.

After those three though there are huge questions. Will the Steelers bring back Jerricho Cotchery? It would be nice to have this sharp route running, consistent hands veteran back to pair with Young Money but I don't know if the team will be able to match what he can receive on the open market. Is the team going to bring back Hines Ward for one last swan song? The fan in me says why not give the guy one last hurrah but the realist in me says I believe it would be a waste of a roster spot because the guy just can't perform at the level needed anymore. I don't know??? Either way the team has to find at least competent 4th and 5th wide receivers to fill in if something happens to the top three. Arnaz Battle is most assuredly headed out the door with the contract he is due.

The TE position will probably not change much as Heath Miller is one of the most reliable and trusted veterans on the team. He always seems to be under-used but at the end of the year his stats always suggest that he has contributed. Weslye Saunders will have the opportunity to get in a full offseason with the team and I believe that that will lend to him being a bigger and more complete part of the team in 2012. He contributed in 2011 without that luxury. David Johnson is a restricted FA but I would expect the Steelers to bring him back as a 3rd TE. Tomlin loves players who are versatile and I wouldn't expect Johnson to command much on the free agent market considering his skill set. Status Quo for 2012 at TE, at least in my eyes.

2012 WR's: Wallace, A.B., Manny Sanders, Hines, Rookie WR (UDFA or late rounder)

2012 TE's: Heath, Saunders, D.J.

OL: This is the biggest area of need for the Steelers on the offensive side of the ball but unfortunately I don't see too much change on the horizon. If there is one thing we know about this unit, it is that Maurkice Pouncey will man the pivot and will play at a high level. I believe that a full off-season with the team trainers monitoring his rehab on that ankle will do wonders. He needs to be healthy because we really don't know what else we are going to get out of this unit. The tackle position will probably not see much turnover in personnel as I expect Marcus Gilbert to move from the right side to the left side and I expect Willie Colon (if he can stay healthy) to man the right. The team needs Colon to come back strong after the contract that he was given. I would expect Jonathan Scott to be back at a reduced rate to be the swing tackle and I'm sure the team will invest a mid to late rounder on another tackle. The guard position is in complete chaos and has been for a couple of seasons. Foster can be a serviceable RG with good talent around him and I expect him to fill RG next season. Kemo is most surely gone, and Legursky is a better interior swing guy than a starter. The team needs to invest an early draft pick on this position to protect their 100 million dollar QB. Glenn or DeCastro would be huge upgrades from what we have witnessed from the B&G the last couple seasons. This unit needs some tinkering and adjusting, I just don't see wholesale changes.

2012 OL: LT: Gilbert, LG: Draft Pick, C: Pouncey, RG: Foster, RT: Colon
Backups: J. Scott (T), Legursky (G-C), Rookie T

Now on to the Defense.....

Oviedo
02-06-2012, 12:05 PM
Good analysis, but we need two new Guards not just repalcing Kemo. We need better than Foster too if we want a better run game. Foster, like Legursky, is great value as a back up but not as a starter.


You forgot to address any details on the Tight End position, much like Arians at times. That position could be a valuable weapon...just look at the Patriots. We are good with Heath and Saunders, but David Johnson is a waste as a TE and as a FB/H-back. He needs repalced. Heath is one injury away from giving us a serious issue at the TE position. I don't think either Saunders or definitely not Johnson could step in and do the job Spaeth did last time Heath was out for an extended period.

How nice would it be to have had Henry Hynoski versus Johnson.

AkronSteel
02-06-2012, 12:15 PM
Good analysis, but we need two new Guards not just repalcing Kemo. We need better than Foster too if we want a better run game. Foster, like Legursky, is great value as a back up but not as a starter.


You forgot to address any details on the Tight End position, much like Arians at times. That position could be a valuable weapon...just look at the Patriots. We are good with Heath and Saunders, but David Johnson is a waste as a TE and as a FB/H-back. He needs repalced. Heath is one injury away from giving us a serious issue at the TE position. I don't think either Saunders or definitely not Johnson could step in and do the job Spaeth did last time Heath was out for an extended period.

How nice would it be to have had Henry Hynoski versus Johnson.

My Tight End analysis was in my first draft but for some strange reason it didn't save....it's been updated accordingly!!!