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Steelers Going All-In With Additions Of McDonald, Haden

Grand Theft Auto 5 is one of the best video games of all-time. Maybe the best. Not just for the graphics, the size of the map, or the uncanny freedom the game allows. The characters are the dealbreaker, what sets the game over the top. The game took a risk by adding three protagonists (and at the same time, antagonists): Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. All three were captured perfectly and are now pop-culture names. Trevor has become a legend on his own, allowing voice actor Steven Ogg to boom his career (most notably, Simon from The Walking Dead).

Though all three were really good but none of them were the best character That honor goes to Lamar, who had the best one-liners in the game. One of those summed up the Pittsburgh Steelers’ philosophy from these last two days.

“Big dog. Big nuts.”

That’s the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Big dog.

Big nuts.

Whether you or I like the additions of Vance McDonald or Joe Haden, there’s no denying the Steelers have been aggressive. Know their needs and making big pushes to change it. Jesse James struggled in camp. So the Steelers went out and got a garage sale deal on McDonald. And when Ross Cockrell struggled, the team was first up to the plate to court Haden. He had 11 other teams interested in him but Pittsburgh closed the deal. There was, to me, no question. The Steelers wanted him. And so the Steelers got him.

The window for a Super Bowl is small. Ben Roethlisberger may be in his final year. It’s hard to imagine him playing any longer than another two after this one. Le’Veon Bell’s future is murky and though I expect the team to tag him after the season, who knows what happens. Defensively, the front seven is poised to take the next step and select pieces in the secondary, Artie Burns and Sean Davis, will follow.

The Steelers aren’t just giving this roster a nudge. This is a two-hand shove that would knock Casey Hampton over. There’s no a guarantee these moves will work or how long. It’s conceivable McDonald and Haden only last a year and if you’ve read my report on Haden, you know I’m not convinced he’ll be as good as people think.

But it’s about risk assessment. Getting Haden on the team’s terms, what essentially amounts to a one-year deal, mitigates the risk and why the team didn’t trade for him. And McDonald offered essentially no risk. There could wind up being only a ten pick difference in draft position from the Steelers traded 4th rounder to the 49ers 5th.

For a team with Super Bowl hopes, they’re appropriate actions.

Mike Tomlin preaches not living in his fears. The Steelers certainly aren’t scared.

I’m guessing the rest of the league is.

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