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18 March 2009

On The Right Track

I looked at the roster from last year's Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers and couldn't think of anyone else I would want on this team. In saying this I mean that I figure if we sign a majority of our free agents and come in next year with the same team, we would be in good shape to repeat. I know, I know, Coach Mike Tomlin says we aren't allowed to say that word because every year, every team is different, but I am saying it because it is so close to the same.

I see us only getting better now that we have resigned some of our key players. I know we lost Bryant McFadden to Arizona and Nate Washington to Tennessee, but out of the starters, the only important piece that we lost is McFadden. We have some strong backups in William Gay and Fernando Bryant. Grant it, they aren't as strong and McFadden, but I see him as replaceable. I mean that players like Troy Polomalu and Ben Roethlisberger aren't in the replaceable category. Out of all the Free Agents we have signed from last year, I believe the most important was Max Starks and Chris Kemoeatu.

I know its our dreaded offensive line, but we need some players to bridge the gap until we get the proper replacements. I figure the draft will help us there. We did release Kendall Simmons and didn't try to sign Marvel Smith, but I think those were very smart risks to take, as the Steelers always seem to do.

Another plus that will make us stronger this upcoming year will be the return of Daniel Sepulveda. I know he is only the Punter, but come on, look at our statistics from one year to the next and it is like day and night. In 2008, we were a combined, between Mitch Berger and Paul Ernster, 78 punts averaging 39.8 yards per punt. We had 4 total touchbacks and 23 inside the 20. Now, looking at 2007, Danial Sepulveda had 68 punts for an average of 42.4 yards per punt. A significant improvement, also, he had 2 touchbacks and 28 inside the 20. Those are much needed yards.

I am excited to see how our top two rookies from last year pan out this year. I know Rashard Mendenhall only had 19 ruches last year before breaking his collar bone, but he showed alot of spark that we needed. Willie Parker definitely need the break to keep his career going longer. Limas Sweed is the other important player now with Washington gone. I am interested to see how he answers all the criticism from last year. I would love to see him as everyone in the draft saw him, a big threat.
The last item I want to cover is the defense. We have the exact same defense as last year, minus McFadden. We should rank in the top 5 at least. I would love to see us accomplish #1 in all categories, unlike last year where we came so close, but didn't quite get there.

I am prepared to say that with this team, and the 4th easiest schedule next year, we should make another huge splash in the postseason. I am hoping, as always that we give a 7th reason for all other fans to hate the Steelers!

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