Kevin Colbert said Ben Roesthlisberger didn't tell him to draft a tall receiver.But what's transpired within the team recently begs otherwise.
Regardless of whether Roethlisberger said that or not, the proof is and will be in the pudding.
This past month, the Steelers watched Emmanuel Sanders find greener pastures in Denver. Last week they lost Jerricho Cotchery to the Panthers. Pittsburgh did sign free agent Lance Moore but the move was more a necessity than an luxury.
Perhaps the strength of their team- their deep receiving corps-wll be almost brand new this season. Only Antonio Brown is returning among the team's top-three receivers a season ago that helped the team rebound from it's 2-6 start to finish 6-2.
I understand why Colbert will say that Roethlisberger didn't request a tall receiver, although it isn't a secret that it has been Ben's wish to have a tall receiver over the past several years. Colbert is doing this to protect himself and Roethlisgerber. He doesn't want his quarterback to come off as diva that mettle's in front office decisions. Colbert also doesn't want the outside world thinking that he just caters to his quarterback.
But since the rumors surfaced about Ben's request, the team has let go two receivers that would not qualify as "tall" in NFL standards. The Steelers now almost have to draft a receiver in the first round now to fill the void left by Sanders and Cotchery.
The Steelers will surely draft Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin in the first round. At 6-foot-5 and 234 pounds, Benjamin will satisfy Roethisberger's appetite for that tall receiver he so covets. The new Steelers receicing corps will most likely include Benjamin and Moore flanking Brown, the team's No.1 receiver.
While Roethlisberger is a Hall-of-Fame talent, it will surely take some time for the quarterback to gain a rapport with his new receivers. Let's hope the defense is up to par in case those relationships take a while to develop.
The unsettling thing for me is that the passing game was one facet of the team I felt so good about heading into 2014. Now there are question marks with that group while the team's more pressing issues - revamping a defense that has not been up to franchise standards the last two seasons- are still being solidified. I would have tried to keep the receiving corps together and use the draft and free agency rebuilding the defense. But this is why Colbert and company get paid the big bucks, and that's why Roethlisberger and Steelers fans alike need to have faith in the Steelers brass to get the job done.
The story today shouldn't be what Ben said or didn't say to Colbert. The story should be on what happens next. Sanders and Cotchery are out, Moore is in.
What happens going ahead will define what kind of the season the Steelers are in for.