Let’s talk about the Steelers

If you’ve still been checking into this site hoping against hope to find a new update, you’re quite simply the best. Needless to say, we’ve ignored you a little bit. The combination of the offseason in the post-draft, post-free agency months and the fact we had our day jobs occupying us just made a little difficult to give our baby the attention it deserved.

Now, I have some free time.

After spending the past two years covering the NHL for CBS Sports I was let go this week in a cost-cutting move. It kind of sucks, because I really enjoyed it even though it required a ton of work. I have a freelance thing or two lined up right now to keep me busy and keep my name out there, and a coal or two sitting in the fire, so we’ll see where it goes.

In the meantime, the Steelers report to training camp on Friday. So we should probably talk about that.

I’m still not sure what to expect from this team, and the fact that once you get past Ben Roethlisberger the strength of the offense appears to be the offensive line makes me think points might be hard to come by this season. Especially when you take into account the loss of Mike Wallace and the uncertainty around Heath Miller and when will be available (not to mention the black hole of suck the position would be without him).

Here’s hoping Le’Veon Bell and Markus Wheaton can step in as rookies and make an impact.

There is perhaps no player I’m more excited to see this season than Cortez Allen starting opposite of Ike Taylor.

This entry was posted in 2013 Steelers, Offseason, site news, training camp. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Canadian Steeler

    Sorry to hear about your job Gretz. I follow hockey a lot too, and thought you did a solid job over there. I’m sure you’ll be back at it soon.

    I’m eager for the Steelers to get things going. Been a long offseason, which I’m not ready to complain about after some recently. I think you can easily say there’s more questions marks than there have been in years. Although I thought the signs of Ben efficiently running the offence were great last year before the injury. it’s really going to be put to the test this year. Of the skill positions likely to start week 1, I’m comfortable with about 1 (Brown). Sanders and Bell/Dwyer have the ability to make an impact (of varying degrees), but they’re still at the prove it stage for me (obviously Bell is). I actually like the Spaeth re-signing. Although it’s a new offensive system, he’s started for us before and at least has some familiarity with Ben. Paulson had an okay rookie season, but realistically is too small to start in line. I’m okay with the line as long as there’s not more than one injury (Beachem), which will obviously never happen.

    The expectations clearly seem to be lower for the Steelers now, especially on defence. Recently the D has used the “us against the world” effect fantastically, but you have to wonder how much of that left with the leadership of Harrison and Farrior. I don’t disagree with their decisions, and am excited to see what Jarvis Jones can do, but there’s a leadership void waiting for a young player with some swagger. You’d probably call Clark and Foote the current lockerroom leaders, and they don’t have too much time left. Anyone see a natural fit here? Timmons, Woodley (praying for a bounceback season), Cortez et al don’t really seem like the natural type, with the rather large caveat being that I have absolutely no clue what the Steelers lockerroom is like. Like Gretz mentioned, seeing Cortez start full time should be exciting. I was lucky enough that one of the few games I’ve traveled down to see was beating the Pats two seasons ago. That was his first “start” when he was matched up against Gronk, a year after Gronk had just torched us (had been there for that game too, my Dad’s a Pats fan). It was great being able to see the full field and how (for my untrained eye) Allen did such a good job they stopped looking Gronk’s way as much.

  • Rob D

    Yep, sorry about the bad news Gretz…Keep you head up..something will break your way!

    The offense is a worry, of course. WE have a new coach, a new scheme and likely multiple new players holding down positions. New RB starter, IMO, in Bell. A receiving crew that looks kind of monochrome outside of Brown. Not sold on Sanders yet..nice talent but still mostly potential, IMO. WE need someone like Wheaton to break out badly. Heath may be walking without a limp but I don’t expect a whole lot from him until a 1/4 into the season or later. BEn is going to have to be near perfect for the first quarter of the season and not get hurt to the point where he misses games.

    I think the D will be fine, the ST’s improved and maybe Tomlin will have worked on his game management skills. WE’ll be in the thick of it but probably not a legit contender for the Lombardi.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Adam, good luck and welcome back. FWIW, I think Sanders will be a very reliable number 2. And it would be interesting to see how Ben would adapt if he had a good offensive line. I think he could be a top-3 QB by the end of the year.

    • Rob D

      Last year, he looked terrific until he got hurt. There’s a lot of non Steeler fans who don’t seem to realize that. If he can duplicate what he was doing whilst healthy, he could have a very memorable year. And I think he will.

  • Randy Steele

    Sorry to read about your job loss, Mr. Gretz. That can be brutally hard. My only advice, for what it’s worth, is to keep your skills sharp and make sure you keep in touch with everyone you know who might be of help. During the last five years or so, the people I’ve personally witnessed who landed jobs are the people who “knew somebody.”

    Oh, and always try to keep smiling, even if you have to fake it.

  • countertorque

    Adam, thanks for posting. Sorry to hear of your uncscheduled vacation.
    I think the offense will be fine. We’ve been complaining for years about the O-line and we finally might actually have one (too late to keep DJAnyreason on the site, I guess).
    My biggest worry is that our starting secondary features 3 guys who are 33+. We’ve been getting bupkis for turnovers a couple of years in a row. I see that trend continuing to get worse. I love all of those 3 guys, but I think 2 of them must be replaced in any scenario where we go to the playoffs. And no, I have no idea who replaces them.

  • drobviousso

    The magic of RSS. You post, we’ll read.
    Bummer about the job loss.