It's only one week into the season, but one thing is obvious. It is time to blow up the Steelers. Perennial Super Bowl contender Pittsburgh Steelers season is over quicker than Billy Bob Thornton saying yes after he read the last third of the "Monsters Ball" script. Their defense is too old and their porous offensive line and turnovers will plague them all season long.
The Steelers fielded the oldest starting defensive lineup in the NFL during week 1. If the average age, 31 years old, is converted into NFL years, then Pittsburgh is the Methuselah of defenses. Longer in the tooth than Joan Rivers, and almost as many makeovers, the Steelers most recent plastic surgery (paying an injury plagued Troy Polamalu a record setting contract for a safety) underlined exactly what is wrong with this team. They're inability to find defensive replacements for their starting corps through either free agency or the draft.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is their inexperienced offensive line which gets magnified by Rashard Mendenhall's fumbling issues and Big Ben's propensity for forcing passes (see last Sunday). On top of that, RT Willie Colon was placed on IR and is out for the season. One can only assume that things will get worse for the Steelers, since they are accustomed to having a cohesive stable line up front.
Mendenhall has fumbled in two straight games dating back to the Super Bowl last season. The Steelers should go ahead and trade him for a more reliable ball carrier such as Chester Taylor (he hasn't lost a fumble since the 2007 season) before Mendenhall loses all of his trade value.
James Harrison, after his (7 non-impact tackles and no sack) performance Sunday has all of a sudden lost it. Steelers should release him immediately. His lack of impact Sunday is obviously a microcosm that he is on the downside of his career.
Ben Roethlisberger had 3 interceptions and 1 TD pass. This lackluster performance symbolizes his overall lack of dedication in getting ready for the season. Signing a noted hard worker like David Garrard could go a long way in resurrecting the Steelers passing game by hopefully forcing Big Ben spend more time studying film. I mean if Roethlisberger can't get ready for his arch rival, the Baltimore Ravens, then how can they trust him?
Roethlisberger wasn't the only issue on the passing end in week 1. Unlike Buffalo TE Scott Chandler and Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin, Steelers supposed #1 receiver Mike Wallace didn't even catch a TD pass against the Ravens. His failure to do so, only proves that preseason sensation Antonio Brown, who actually had 2 TDs in one game during the preseason, should immediately be bumped up the depth chart.
Mike Tomlin was one of only 16 coaches whose team lost in week 1. Tomlin was already on the hot seat after the Steelers lost the Super Bowl last year. A testament to his inability to win the big game. There are plenty of former NFL coaches ready to jump back in the ranks such as; Jim Fassel and Mike Singletary and would probably take the Steelers job if Tomlin isn't able to right the ship very soon.
Sure the NFL is only 1/16th through it's season, but it is never too early to panic. Unless you get to play Tarvaris Jackson and Seattle at home in week 2.
Til next time...
Bryan Nichols doesn’t always blog, but when he does …