Per usual, the Steelers’ off season has barely made a ripple. They resigned backups and extended some starters. Parted ways with an aging Marvel Smith, tagged the younger Max Starks and extended Chris Kemoeatu. They kicked the tires on a few free agent backups at cornerback and wide receiver and found their name associated with veteran center Jeff Saturday who resigned with the Colts.
A version of the offensive line
Fans have little choice but to speculate. Will the offensive line remain unchanged? If so, will the youthful players improve with more time together, growing in consistency while mastering expectations? Or will we see another forty-eleven sacks of the quarterback? (Byron, you weren’t really planning to go elsewhere, were ya?)
Big Snack and Aaron Smith, forever young?
Furthermore, what to do with the aging defensive line, can the Steelers ignore it? Having all starters and backups in one position group over age 30 is asking for trouble. Decline is inevitable with precipitous decline more likely. Any significant falloff in production from the DL would wreck an otherwise young and promising defense. Better to address it before the problem cascades.
And what of the defensive backs? Cornerback Brian McFadden was allowed to leave upon expiration of his rookie contract. And while his replacement, William Gay, saw increased duty as the season progressed, there is no youth behind him. Perhaps another day one cornerback is due in this draft? But what of the OL and DL? Has it come to this? Do the Steelers need pluck a starter from the late rounds?
It’s just business as usual in Steelerland.