The issues the Pittsburgh Steelers face this offseason have been discussed ad nauseam since the Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs. There are major concerns for this team moving forward, but how the team handles these concerns will be the most telling storyline of the offseason.
In the past, the Steelers have focused on making marginal free agent acquisitions and building through the draft. Bringing in players like Jeff Hartings, Kimo von Oelhoffen and Ryan Clark were not headline acquisitions, but each of those players has their stake in a Super Bowl championship.
The team has continued that specific trend in recent years, but their draft classes have left much to be desired. General Manager Kevin Colbert and company have swung and missed on more picks than they have hit out of the park. This is how you develop holes in a roster as the 2015 organization now faces.
With the general population now focusing on the 2015 NFL Draft, it would be foolish to believe the Steelers' many glaring concerns could be answered with a stellar draft class. No, the Steelers will have to be players in free agency if they want to fill those gaps and be a Super Bowl contending team in 2015.
The needs for the Steelers at cornerback, safety, offensive tackle as well as outside linebacker aren't typically positions rookies can come in and contribute immediately, which is why the Steelers might be more inclined to try and fill those spots with veteran free agents in hopes of getting more immediate production at those positions which desperately need it.
Will the Steelers be major players in free agency? Probably not, but there are players available who would be major upgrades at several positions for Pittsburgh. Making solid moves in free agency will only help assist the Steelers' draft philosophy and making wise selections which will benefit the organization down the road.
The Steelers very well could be a player or two away from having a championship caliber football team in 2015. Whether they are able to acquire those one ore two players could be the deciding factor in their success, or failure, next season.