you know, after today i was mostly frustrated because I think in general - we can probably agree 6-7 of those 8 losses were self-induced. The last 3 minutes of todays game was an accurate synopsis of our entire season. I can't ever remember watching a steeler team literally hand victory to the opposition. several times. yet, I have to admit as much as this season was about missed opportunities - I would probably feel worse if we had simply been outplayed in all those games. Make no mistake, we handed victory to oakland, tennessee, cleveland and of course cincy today. Yet are we a complete rebuild or is it still perhaps another tweaking? i think it's probably the latter.

still, let's take a look at the problems that will need resolved.

we have a #1 defense except for the last 5 minutes of a game
we have (arguably) the best corp of young receivers in the game - yet they can't hold onto/catch the ball
we have been drafting O-linemen like crazy - but we can't keep enough healthy to have them gel into a unit.
we have a rookie punter who routinely bombs 60 yarders when he's trying to pin the opposition, and 30 yarders when kicking out of our end zone.
the team MVP this year will likely be suisam. how would that have sounded back in sept? and while that's not a problem - it's a total indictment for the rest of the team.
our young DLmen haven't stepped up and taken the jobs we drafted them for.
we rarely get pressure, rarely get sacks and for the last few years have been at the bottom of the league in turnover ratio.

here's the good.

we have a sound organization that will not overreact like we are and will in all likelihood rebound next year.
we have a HOF quarterback
the running backs are solid if not spectacular.
the injuries in the O-line resulted in mucho quality playing time for many rookies.

there are not many bright spots on the defense. a longer off season should help troy continue to heal - but does anyone really think we get 16 games out of him anymore? ryan clark had a very strong year. Timmons as well in my opinion. Larry foote played solid but let's be honest - he's not the long-term solution. harrison was just starting to get back to form. I think he still has 1 or 2 good years left. Is dick lebeau still a genius? still a master of the zone blitz? it sure seems like the league has figured him out. it's simple, spread us out - run 10 yard out patterns for high percentage gains and wait for the LB on the TE mismatch for the big play. serious work to be done for sure. does it start with a new DC? I kinda feel like the offense can get it's act together. Can we afford to wait a year or two while we shuffle personnel and scheme on defense?

ultimately, this season has been no fun at all. each week was frustrating, even the games we won. football is over, we got no hockey and we're staring into the fiscal abyss.

where are the mayans when we need them......