The Steelers have so many things to fix and the NFL draft only represents a small piece of the Steelers jigsaw puzzle. Some teams might be able to pick up a prospect who can fit into their system with little adjustment and make an immediate impact. I just don’t see that happening with the Steelers this year. I was excited last year when I saw the Steelers focus on the offensive line issues with their first pick, but this year, I have lost a little faith. I’m still a faithful fanatical fan, but there are just so many questions about the overall team – from cohesiveness down to the coaching changes that I am mentally preparing myself for an average to sub-par year. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t be so negative before the Steelers even set their team up for 2013. But, I can’t shake the feeling that 2012 was just the beginning of the slide into some lean years. I watched it happen before.
The other thing that bothers me about the
cattle call, I mean, NFL combine is the commercialism attached to it now. It’s as if the NFL is trying to squeeze every last penny out of NFL fans while they pay their commissioner nearly $29M. Yes, it’s hard to run a business where the sport is violent. I get that, but really, after the economic problems so many people have had, the NFL and the team owners are going to cry hard times and STILL pay this kind of money? And they begrudged the referees some extra money this year AND brought in ill-prepared substitute referees? How many die-hard Steelers fans do you know working on a clock and taking time off just to go to a game – a once in a lifetime dream that they spend a lot of time saving to get to? Plenty. It’s just mind-boggling how much money actually goes into this business. Yet, here I am, still support it because I love the game. The NFL knows it and they exploit it. I guess as long as you know it and still support it, you can’t complain too much.
So, with the Steelers struggling with the salary cap issue and how to put a team together next year that can actually play together and not bash each other too much in the locker room, I see the team having a hard time during 2013. I realize that the cap amount is probably a moving target, but I have not seen the same number twice in any of the articles I have looked at. The predictions about how it is going to work out all sound very dire from a perspective of keeping any veterans. I’m not off the Woodley bandwagon either. I think he is an excellent player and should not be singled out for what was a collective team problem. Yet, how do they put together a team that doesn’t fall apart when one player has a bad week? Injuries are part of the game, it’s the depth that begins to matter and not just the starter.
The rest of the NicePickCowher staff writers are doing a fabulous job talking about the Combine and the prospective draft picks. I enjoy reading the articles, but I am just not excited about the actual draft in the end of April and I did not watch any of the Combine coverage this year. I hope that Steelers make some brilliant picks who, if they train hard and stay healthy, will make it onto the regular season team. However, a lot of things have to fall into place for the Steelers to make it to the Superbowl and it goes beyond the playing field. That will be what I’m watching to see as they put the full team together and start practicing.