clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 things the Steelers can do this offseason to ensure they stay in “Win Now” mode

The Steelers are a team that plans ahead, but with the championship window inching downward...one BTSC writer urges Pittsburg to focus solely on 2018.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It's been pounded into my brain all of my life to always look to the future. Save that allowance for a rainy day, max out your 401K and watch out whose toes you step on...they might later belong to the boots that are aiming for your butt. I, in turn, preach to my kids about worrying about tomorrow. Annie has imbedded in our heads that the sun will come out then and it's only a day away. I have always firmly believed in looking down the road.

That is until now.

As a Steeler fan, I recognize the window is closing on the Super Bowl dreams with the current group of stars. That's why I feel that 2018 may be the last chance for a ring for guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey and Le'Veon Bell, With Ben Roethlisberger conceivably having three-or-less years left as the field general of the Steelers. Everyone would like to see the Rooneys and Kevin Colbert put all of their chips on winning in 2018 and temporarily put the future on hold for a season.

Now, I'm sure I'm going to get bludgeoned in the comment section, but that doesn't bother me at all. I know this is typically not how the organization is run, but these aren't typical times at all. In a way, I think they began already adopting this principle when they signed Joe Haden, and with all of the contract reworking they have done so far. In fact, Colbert is smart enough to put all of his chips in right now without mortgaging too much.

I got to thinking about a 2006 song by the Povertyneck Hillbillies that featured an appearance by (a younger and slimmer) Ben Roethlisberger called Mr. Right Now. I came to the conclusion that the Steelers may have to make some tough decisions and sacrifices to put their search for "Mr. Right" on hold and focus on putting rings on fingers now.

Here is a list of things to do to win now

1. By all means, do not draft a QB in the first round!

The Steelers have been lavishing a lot of attention on Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and (2016 Heisman winner) Lamar Jackson from Louisville. I know Rudolph has destroyed Pitt in back-to-back years and that some people believe that Jackson is Michael Vick 2.0. However, forgoing defense for a future signal caller is not going to help this team win in 2018. With Todd Haley gone, Ben Roethlisberger is committed to staying. Give him help now on defense. Any new player at that position picked that low is going to carry a clipboard and do nothing to fill glaring holes on the defense. Doing that is throwing away the season in April.

2. Trade up if you have to

All indications are that Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds will go very early. But the Steelers would still do very well with Alabama's Rashaan Evans or Boise State's Leighton Vander Esch. However, there are other inside linebacker-needy teams ahead of them like Buffalo, New Orleans and Tennessee lurking. The Steelers have done it before with Troy Polamalu in 2003, and later with Santonio Holmes. If a top inside linebacker is off the board, dealing (while not ideal) will help them get their guy. Also, I would consider making a move up in the second round to get a safety like Ronnie Harrison. That is, if he is still around.

3. Get a handle on the Le'Veon Bell situation

Bottom line, the Steelers need to make sure that they're getting Le’Veon Bell on Week One. That's easier said than done, but they can't afford surprises here. If there is high speculation that he will hold out for a majority of the season and fail to attempt to give the team a full 16...then pull the plug.

4. Have a Plan B for Kicker should Chris Boswell get a deal

I fully expect the Steelers to retain Boswell, but a team with salary cap to burn could overpay for the Pro Bowler's services. If that happens, they get a valuable second round pick. But they need to know who could jump right in and fill those valuable shoes. And no, not Roberto Aguayo.

5. Sign a locker room leader

While the need for a special teamer isn't paramount, players with experience, heart and leadership are never considered out of style. The Steelers could use a few more of those with Mike Mitchell and William Gay now looking for employment.