With the 2017 NFL Draft officially behind all 32 NFL teams, I was asked a question the other day which I felt deserved it’s own article.
“Where do you see the Pittsburgh Steelers in 5 years?”
Well, obviously, the person asking this question wasn’t referring to the city, they won’t be living the Steel City anytime soon, but more about the personnel and the organization.
It made me think about it, and in 5 years a lot can certainly change with this team. Here are 5 things I believe will be almost certainties for the black and gold in 5 years:
1. Bye Bye Ben
First, and probably most important, Ben Roethlisberger will have most likely moved on to his life’s work, as Chuck Noll would have said. Roethlisberger hinted at retirement at the conclusion of last season, and it is highly doubtful he is still under center 5 years from now. Life without Ben won’t likely be pretty, so fans should soak it up while they can.
2. Tomlin and Colbert still kickin’
While most fans will be disgusted to hear this, I predict Mike Tomlin will still be the head coach of the Steelers, and Kevin Colbert still the GM, in 5 years. Tomlin has a chance to add another Super Bowl title to the team’s trophy case in the next 2-3 seasons, and doing so will buy him plenty of time in the future. However, how this dynamic duo handles the future of the QB position could be the ultimate test of their longevity in Pittsburgh.
3. Aging skill positions
In 5 years, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell might be on the “back nine” of their careers. Bell has logged a lot of miles, and injuries, throughout his young career, and Brown will be at the tail end of his new contract. It could be the end of a very dynamic dynasty in regards to offensive weapons who were second-to-none in the NFL.
4. Strength to potential weakness
The one facet of the Steelers’ offense which often gets overlooked by mainstream media is the offensive line. Anchored by Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert, this stellar unit could also be seeing the end of their tenure in Pittsburgh. How the team drafts their replacements will be huge to the success of Roethlisberger’s heir to the throne. Think back to the early portions of Roethlisberger’s career. Thankfully he had the escapability to avoid pressure, or else he would have been clobbered on a weekly basis. In just 5 years, the aforementioned players along the offensive line could be off the team, or out of the game all together.
5. Back to the ‘90s
As I read what I’ve written above, it becomes clear to me the team could find their way back to the style of team they displayed in the 1990s, and I mean the early 90s. Bradshaw was long gone, and the Steelers turned to multiple quarterbacks trying to fill the quarterback void. They eventually turned to Tommy Maddox at one point in the early 2000s, for crying out loud, but those 90s teams weren’t built around the offense, but more the defense. The Steelers have had several defense-heavy drafts in the past few seasons, and those draft classes could pay dividends in 5 years. I’m not suggesting the return of the Steelcurtain, or even the reincarnation of Blitzburgh, but a team who relies on the defense to win, while the patchwork offense tries to stay afloat.
What about you? What do you think the Steelers will look like in 5 years? Let us know in the comment section below!