The Pittsburgh Steelers are going through a lot of change. Some of it was necessary, some of it wasn’t expected. Nonetheless, change is inevitable in the world of sports, and the Steelers aren’t immune from that in any way.
Over the course of this young offseason, many changes have taken place. Let’s recap.
Randy Fichtner — OUT
Tom Bradley — OUT
Shaun Sarrett — OUT
In their places are:
Matt Canada — IN
Adrian Klemm — IN
Grady Brown — IN
There were other changes as well, but those were new positions like Quality Control Coach and Assistant Offensive Line coach. But those also weren’t the only changes. Both Vance McDonald and Maurkice Pouncey calling it a career has changed the Steelers’ offseason approach in many ways.
Plenty of changes remain, none larger than Ben Roethlisberger’s final year of his current contract, and the one question I keep asking myself is this...are the changes which have been made good enough? Are they enough to see an actual difference in the product on the field? In winning more games?
Let’s take a look back at Mike Tomlin’s comments on change in his season ending press conference.
“Change is a part of our business.” Tomlins said. “I’ll acknowledge the possibility for that. We are just beginning the process of having those types of meaty discussions that usually produce changes or non-changes. And so, it is that time of year. I anticipate those discussions happening and happening rather soon as we plot a course to move forward.”
Those discussions happened very quick as Fichnter, Bradley and Sarrett were told their contracts weren’t going to be renewed the same week. But it was Tomlin’s next quote which really stuck out to me, and it was in regard to the late season collapses the past few seasons.
“It is something that I am in the process of researching and working to identify and to make necessary changes to ensure that we are not having similar conversations as we move forward.” Tomlin added. “It has been a disappointment. I will acknowledge that. I’m not going to maintain status quo and hope that the outcome changes. That’s the definition of insanity.”
Status quo. Maintaining status quo. This was where this entire article started. This was the crux of this entire piece. Are the changes which have been made, whether voluntary or not, enough to get the Steelers out of the status quo?
For those who are wondering, the status quo seems to be getting into the playoffs, and exiting as quickly as you arrived. This considering the Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since the 2016 season.
So, let’s come full circle here.
Is Matt Canada, along with Adrian Klemm, going to be the ticket to the team being able to run the ball better and have more consistent success on offense? Will they be able to do so without a veteran like Pouncey in the lineup?
Will the defense be able to withstand the loss of someone like Bud Dupree, and the potential of a few others?
Change is inevitable in the NFL, and I am aware these coaches deserve a chance to prove themselves. But I can’t help but sit and wonder if the changes which were made were enough. Were they enough to get out of the current status quo?
If not, fans should expect much bigger change after the 2021 season.