“It’s not a rebuilding, it’s a retooling” Those were Kevin Colbert’s words when he referred to the challenges the Pittsburgh Steelers face in this off season. To take Colbert’s analogy further; the shop is going to be a mess for a while, there are going to be pieces scattered about and we’re not sure this son of a bitch is going run right when we get it put back together.
Rooney’s Repair Shop is open for business and the work has begun on the machine that will be the 2012 Steelers. Some rusty, yet still working parts have been taken to the dumpster (Ward, Farrior). The worn out Aaron Smith has been moved from the front line, then to the work bench, and finally to the curb. And a majorly defective piece (Kemeuato) was returned to the service desk after the warranty expired.
Let’s leave these stalled metaphors by the roadside and thumb it to the next exit. 2012 doesn’t look, at least to me, like a season where the Steelers will be making a serious run at a Super Bowl. Management appears to be creating more holes in the roster than they can reasonably expect to fill with high caliber players. So why not strip the old girl down to the frame and give her a total makeover? If you’ve already sent Farrior and Smith down the road why not follow that pair with Hampton and Foote. Hampton is costing you some serious cash money for all the more he has played recently and there is the matter of that pesky knee surgery that he put off for over a month after the injury. Larry Foote is/was a solid linebacker but is the wrong guy to fill James Farrior’s leadership role in the defensive side of the ball. His brief stint in Detroit is proof of that.
The offense is in no better shape really. Ward and Big Juicy have gone the way of the Pinto wagon so why not add Mendenhall, Moore and Wallace to the list of Former Steelers. I think the Steelers front office will be back to making noise about how badly then want to keep Speedy Mike as soon as The Bounty Situation dies down a bit (and yes the Bounty Situation is very much like the Bonnie Situation). I believe the Steelers declaring their steadfast determination to keep Mike Wallace is a secret black ops campaign to make him even more valuable to the rest of the league. Muh ha ha ha ha ha (evil laugh). More draft picks is more better! Plus it frees up some W.A.M. (walking around money, as the old man would say) for when Colbert wakes up and screams: “Holy shit! We’ve cut too many players”! Yes. The Steelers are going to need a few free agents. Sepulveda is a free agent and is often injured. Capinos is OK?? The kicker is not great. The other cornerback spot is weak. There are some holes now at receiver and offensive line. Not all of those spots can be filled with the current “Starters in waiting”.
And here’s something random for you (oh no, Dave… your thinking is usually so linear….). Isn’t it Omar Kahn’s job to keep the Steelers out of salary cap Hell? Was he thinking “I can get one more Super Bowl win out of these guys and then Bill Cowher and I will be making beautiful music together rebuilding the Dolphins, Rams, Giants, Titans……….”. Letting a starter or two go every year due to money is expected but there sure seems to have been a lot of cap constipation this season. A fact that for the last two seasons has been repeated by every jabber jaw play by play and color commentator team in the league. Omar must not get them stations…..
So continue twisting the wrenches, touching up the paint, going to the parts store, and back to the parts store, and the parts store just one more time before they close, and checking the fluid levels. But this ain’t no rebuild; it’s a retooling.