Food for thought as the second game of preseason sneaks up on us.
I do believe there is a time and a place to step over the elephant in the room. In fact I'm a big fan of stepping over the elephant. I will basically go out of my way to avoid confrontation and problems, but today, I'm putting my foot down. I'm listening to what any good doctor would tell you and admit there are problems.
Problems may be a strong word in describing the Steelers situation. But I can promise you there are a ton of questions that need to be answered in order for me to be comfortable saying this is a playoff team. Let's start from the top shall we?
Elephant No. 1: Oddly enough it's the old line - the size of the elephants. On one hand, the offensive line may be the strongest unit for the Steelers. If you look at the track record you will understand why I consider this group and elephant. Thanks to Mike Munchak, I will meet you in the middle and at least say it's a baby elephant.
Elephant No. 2: The absence of Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel "I forgot who Ben is" Sanders. Markus Wheaton and Lance Moore will hopefully allow us to forget who Sanders is.
I understand a few rookies are in the mix as well, but I'm only allowed a few hundred words (dammit I just wasted a few). Let's move onto another elephant I'm used to stepping over but refused to do so anymore.
Elephant No. 3: The defensive line and yes, same joke about size mentioned earlier. If these guys don't get to the quarterback or allow the linebackers to do so, I don't care who they have behind them it will be a very very long year. It all starts in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Elephant No. 4: Another elephant worth bringing up is the linebackers group. This might be the biggest Jason Worilds, Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier are gigantic question marks. If they come up big the Steelers are in the playoffs this year and Kevin Colbert looks like a genius. Sadly, if they don't come up big this team will barely win eight games and Kevin Colbert's name may be brought up in a less positive fashion.
Okay bear with me just a few more elephants to get to before kickoff.
Elephant No. 5: The defensive backs are sadly dragged into this talk because of Ike Taylor's age and Cortez Allen youth and inexperience sprinkled in with William Gay. There's also Troy Polamalu's age, not to mention Mike Mitchell thrown into the mix after the departure of Ryan Clark. I will say this about this unit, they will have an opportunity to look amazing if the elephants in front of them can get to the quarterback.
I would love to bring up the punting situation and the long snapping situation but I'm afraid of run out of words.