The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: What Steelers defender from the 1990s would you install into their current defense?
Even though the Steelers may not have always consistently fielded a top-class defense, they have pretty consistently at least had top-class talent. Think of somebody like Ernie Stautner or Jack Butler from their pre-70s teams.
Of course, that wasn’t a problem for their 90s teams, especially of the mid-90s, on the backs of whom they were able to make it all the way to a Super Bowl for the first time in a quarter of a century. Though they lost, it was largely because of two very costly interceptions on the offense.
Those teams had some truly remarkable talent, though, which could greatly supplement what they have now. I hope that it goes without saying that the question posed here is entirely hypothetical, but if you could take one player from that era and install him into today’s defense, who would you select, and why?
There are pass rushers like Kevin Greene and Greg Lloyd. One is a Hall of Famer, the other is credited by the aforementioned for getting him there. I’m sure both of these will be popular answers no matter how many first-round picks the Steelers spend on outside linebackers.
Another favorite will inevitably be Rod Woodson, a Hall of Fame cornerback, especially among the segment of the fan base that would love to see Ross Cockrell on the bench.
There is Carnell Lake, who can be a versatile piece in the secondary at either safety or cornerback, and who can even play in that moneybacker role that everybody was drooling for during the draft.
You want an inside linebacker? How about Levon Kirkland or Chad Brown? Or a ballhawking safety in Darren Perry, how does that sound? Not sold on Javon Hargrave for whatever reason? There’s always Joel Steed, who had nine and a half sacks without any impact on his run defense.
Pick your poison. There is a wide variety from which to choose.