I hope this has a lot under the hood. Image courtesy of cartown customs.

The Steelers Retooling is in High Gear


“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.

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  • nateheath1

    I don’t think there are any more holes than there were last year. I think this article would be more fitting after a bad draft, but c’mon, when was the last time Pittsburgh had one of those? Realistically speaking, we have 10 mil to work with, which is more than enough to get back in the game. You may be right about not making it to the Superbowl, and that’s ok. But the Steelers have gotten good at falling, but only to the middle of the pile. It’s so much easier to climb back to the top when you don’t fall all the way to the bottom.
    Here’s what I see:
    QB: We’re set here, Big Ben is going to be around for at least a few more years.
    RB: Redman is better than Mendy in my book, but his backups haven’t really been proven yet. So we may lack depth.
    WR: I think we’ll keep Wallace, and even if we don’t – we still have Brown, Sanders, and hopefully Cotchery.
    OL: This is one of the weak points. We need to fill the holes and build around our pro-bowl center.
    DL: I still see this as a strength, but we definitely need to draft a replacement for Big Snack.
    DB: We got rid of the trash here, but need some backups (“future starters”). Taylor and Gay are decent, and Clark/Polamalu are still playing the game at a high level.
    Hopefully I didn’t say anything too stupid, but if I did, feel free to correct me.
    Steelers for life.

  • dbuzard

    @nateheath1 All good points. I like the “falling to the middle of the pile”. Better than bottom of the pile like some teams (cleveland) do with ease. I hope the draft is strong. It has been strong in the Colbert era but there is a large element of chance in it. Rock on.

  • davidrussell

     I agree on lamost everything.One thing that really bothers me is nobody is Gay.He needs to Go.I dont care what kinda of a mini decent season he had.This doesnt stack up against all of the bad onesand I dont believe he now is going to become a really good DB. Correct me if I’m wrong  but Ike is really the only one worth keeping

  • nateheath1

     @davidrussell I think he’s an upgrade as compared to previous years and DB’s. He can be especially dangerous when he’s allowed to stuff the receiver at the line.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s an all-around phenomenal player or anything like that. I just think that Carnell Lake has found his strengths and is using them, like a good coach should.