It's down time for the NFL, and especially for the Super Bowl participants. People are either gearing up for the Draft and the Combine or wringing their hands over the CBA. I thought it might be a good time to stir the pot a little and begin to get our heads into next year's challenges. So let's pretend we're the Steelers brain trust sitting in a room in the South Sid e facility trying to figure out the best and most efficient way to get that seventh Lombardi (and more) into the trophy case. So what follows is a series of issues that the team might or might not be addressing this off season. Feel free to weigh in.
Are The Steelers Too Old? This year's team struggled with consistent play (see Rebecca's series of articles on this subject). Over the past year complaints have been lodged against Aaron Smith and Charlie Batch (bodies breaking down, can no longer be relied upon), James Farrior, Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke, Hines Ward, ARE (losing or lost a step, can't get it done any more). Might this have been the real reason behind the Super Bowl loss? Which of the following three options resonates best with you;
•1. Steelers aging in places but not old. Don't panic. This team came within moments of winning a world championship. Let's keep this crew together, as best we can and take another shot at the title without not having to withstand being without he quarterback for a quarter of the season, among other issues.
•2. Push that panic button before these old farts die in front of our eyes. These guys can't get it done any more, and we're losing valuable young prospects because the older guys are hogging roster spots.
•3. Take a gradual course. Don't extend any of the contracts for the older guys. Thank them for years of service. Next!
Should The Steelers Retain (Extend) Their Two Coordinators (Offensive and Defensive)? LeBeau has done a fine job but has the rest of the League caught up to him? Is he too old? The lynch mob has been circling for Arians for years now. Is this a good time to consider a fresh start on both sides of the ball? Which of the following best represents your thinking;
- 1. Are you crazy? LeBeau is still the state of the art as far as defense is concerned. What failures his defense has experienced have been due to age, substandard personnel or the combination of each. LeBeau stays as long as he wants. And its time that folks grow up and face facts about Arians. He has been the scapegoat of chose for so long that his critics are in danger of losing touch with reality altogether.
- 2. LeBeau's had a good run, but its time to step aside. He's made it to the HOF. Keith Butller shouldn't be made to wait forever.
- 3. Arians goes. Can we help him pack? (If you choose this option, please take the extra step of suggesting a replacement and what that replacement brings to the job that makes him (or her) a better choice.
What Is The Greatest On Field Need(s) And How Should It Be Met? What do you think? Guard? Corner? Nose Tackle? Field Goal Kicker? All of the above? In each case how do you see that happening?
- 1. Sign a veteran free agent.
- 2. Trade up in the draft (player, draft choices or both)
- 3. Obtain necessary player in draft without switching positions
- 4. Sign free agent rookie
- 5. Obtain in player for player trade
What Player or Players Would The Team Be Better Off Without?
What Player or Players Would Improve The Team Because Of Talent Or Character?