If you've been following BTSC for any length of time the name Lance Williams should ring a bell. If it doesn't, Williams is my co-host on the weekly BTSC Pittsburgh Steelers podcast "The Standard is the Standard". We are starting a new weekly feature where Lance gives his opinion on some of the questions surrounding the Steelers. He will give us his unbiased opinion for you to agree with, or debate.
Here goes nothing...
Question: Do you think it is a risky proposition for the Steelers to hold onto Martavis Bryant, or should they simply let him go?
Lance: From a risk reward and salary perspective keeping Bryant isn't an issue. Moving forward, Bryant must prove to the Steelers that he can relied upon.
Question: Would you consider the Steelers Free Agency to date a success or failure?
Lance: Not to discount the loss of Sean Spence, Kelvin Beachum, Terence Garvin, Antwon Blake and Steve McClendon, but the signing of Ryan Harris and Ladarius Greene makes the Steelers Free Agency period a success. The 7th championship will be won on the offensive side of the ball, plus the Greene signing will mitigate the loss of Bryant and help the Red Zone offense.
Question: Brandon Boykin remains unsigned, would the Steelers be smart to bring him back for 2016?
Lance: I think Boykin is a solid player but far from a No. 1 CB. He's a solid player. A solid rotational guy, but more of a slot CB. In fact, ProFootballFocus gave him a 76 grade(25th) In terms of the slot CB position, The Steelers drafted Senquez Golson for that role. Although I feel a bit squeamish about a rookie playing such a big role, the Steelers have addressed it. Pittsburgh needs a top flight CB that can play both man and zone coverage schemes that can be the linchpin of the secondary for years to come. For that reason, I hope they break their trend of not drafting 1st round cornerbacks and draft one in the first round.
Question: The secondary is still the glaring weakness of this Super Bowl contending team. What needs to happen for this area of the team to improve?
Lance: Although the secondary played better at the end of the season, the secondary is the Achilles heel of the Steelers defense. The collection of safeties and cornerbacks aren't scaring anyone. Its a unit that can, and will, get abused next year. The Steelers will always put more resources in the front 7 and getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Who can argue with the philosophy? It's tried and true, but with being so close to a championship its time that Colbert and Tomlin focus on fixing the last gap on this football team.
A secondary can be fixed in a few ways. make sure the QB is on his back, get better secondary players, and keep your defense off the field. Because a majority of the secondary consists of just guys outside of William Gay and Mike Mitchell, fixing the secondary will be about getting more pressure. The young guys have to become the guys. The Steelers need Bud Dupree to become the man, and overall they need more production in terms of pressure from the OLB position. If that happens, the Stairway to Seven is in the horizon.
If you've never checked out the BTSC podcast with Lance and me, you can do so by checking out our BlogTalkRadio page.