Alright we’re edging closer to not breaking 500 for the season. We probably will be lucky to win two more games. What to do? We missed the opportunity to get anyone, but the yet to be seen Levi Brown during free agency, we have no star Wide Receivers or Running Backs, no Left Tackle, no Right Tackle for that matter. We may be permanently without the services of our star Center depending on what Maurkice Pouncey’s brother, Mike has to tell the Grand Jury about Aaron Hernandez, no rush Linebacker, no number one Cornerback and two 1st Round picks at Defensive End that are looking more like busts every day. That’s not even mentioning a starting Punter and a Place Kicker who might be cracking. Oh, Wait… I just did.
How did we get here?
WR - Hines Ward would probably be retired now, so I can’t beat that horse anymore. Mike Wallace is outrunning people and dropping balls in Miami. We don’t see Markus Wheaton. He was supposed to be the remedy for Wallace. Maybe in the future, but that ain’t now. Antonio Brown has proven he’s a solid No. 2 receiver. Emmanuel Sanders wants to be an ex-Steeler and plays like it.
RB - 3.3.Yds per carry is not star material. I like the way LeVeon Bell plays but there’s no telling if he’s going to develop into much more. The guy I wanted as our 1st Round pick, Eddie Lacey, who the Steelers passed up in 2nd Round is at a 4.0 runner and is already becoming a guy the DC’s have to plan for. Why won’t they play Jonathan Dwyer? What the hell did he do? The only thing he ever does is gain yards.
LT - We drafted two 2nd Rounder’s, Mike Adams who was unfairly pushed into the starting Left Tackle spot way to soon and has suffered as a result, It takes time to get used to the speed of the NFL game. Almost every star lineman in the league was broken in on the right (strong) side before moving over to the left. They are doing it with David DeCastro and it is working. Marcus Gilbert should have been the first one tried at LT, he had more experience. Now Adams confidence is so shaken it might take a change of scenery to get it back. RT - Marcus Gilbert is simply terrible. When he not getting a penalty, he’s blowing an assignment or getting knocked on his ass, nobody seems to notice this. Look at the game tape, he sucks.
Center - David Velasco looks solid at Center and that’s a very good thing, because the Grand Jury is no joke. Those ‘Free Hernandez’ ball caps don’t seem so funny now, if they ever were. Even if Mike Pouncey wasn’t involved in the murders outright, he is suspected in multiple instances of illegal gun trafficking. Seeing how inseparable the twins were, it’s difficult to believe Maurkice wasn’t involved or at least had guilty knowledge.
LB - Jarvis (the most wonderful linebacker to ever play the game of football) Jones has been a non-entity. He’s either injured or ineffective. The double ‘in’. He’s now benched in favor of Jason (We are the) Worilds. We had a great rush Linebacker; it was another James name, what ever happened to him? Maybe we could get him to come back and play after the Steelers flat out insulted him and gave him up for old. James Harrison is my Facebook friend and people are constantly wishing he was still with us. He’s a great guy, by the way.
CB - We never draft Defensive Backs high enough and it shows.
DE - I really thought Ziggy Hood was going to emerge as ‘The Man’. He hasn’t. Son of Ironhead, Cam Heyward has fared no better. They both seem unable to disengage blockers, even if they’re not double teamed. Aaron Smith made a possible Hall of Fame career out of taking two blockers out of the equation. It’s one of the lynch pins of LeBeau’s blitz centered defense.
Punter - We have veteran 34 year old Mat McBrier now, but we cut last year’s Punter Drew Butler who had a solid 43.8 ypp average for Zoltan Mesko and then cut Mesko and signed McBrier. This seems like a willy-nilly approach to an important position. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.
PK - Maybe this is the year Sean Sushaim crumbles, maybe not. I still would feel better if we had a kicker that didn’t have a look of dread in his eyes when he knows he’s going to be called on.
Todd Haley needs to be fired and he should be fired now. Try out RB Coach Kirby Wilson or my favorite QB Coach Randy Fitchner they couldn’t do any worse and they may be the long term solution. And don’t start about Dick Lebeau. He isn’t the problem. The players we have trying to implement his defense are. I saw the fans drive Don Shula out of Miami and they struggled for years to find a HC that was worth a crap.
Russ Grimm the Steelers former Offensive Line Coach is currently unemployed. Hire Him Now! The current guy Jerry Bicknell really hasn’t seemed to be the answer. There were never protection or blocking issues under Grimm.
Did the Steelers make the right choice for Head Coach?
The Rooney’s painted themselves into a corner with the Rooney Rule. We lost both Ken Whisenhunt and Grimm with the hiring of Mike Tomlin. Tomlin won’t be fired because the Rooney’s just don’t do that, but he is now showing himself to be what he was all along, an average or maybe a little worse NFL Head Coach. If you ask the fans in Pittsburgh what’s wrong with the Steelers his name comes up. Steeler fans are always ahead of Steelers management when it comes to these issues. This season will stretch the Rooney’s commitment to Tomlin. Another season like this could break it.
So how do we solve this? Lose, Baby Lose!
More in Part 2