The 2017 season is over and in the books, the Pittsburgh Steelers coming up far short of their goal. While they had a regular season record of 13-3, they went 0-1 in the postseason, and that will be the legacy of this previous campaign.
The task at hand is working toward improving that postseason record and assuring that it has a zero in the loss column instead of the win column. We can take a position-by-position look at how they can work toward that goal based on their personnel.
Total Positional Figure: 5
Sean Davis: A key draft pick from 2016, Sean Davis did not take the step forward that was expected, and that was a concern. Most suspect is his tackling, as he has missed far too many tackles, and that needs to stop immediately. New defensive backs coach Tom Bradley is regarded as a fundamentalist. Davis needs to clean up or he could lose his job.
Robert Golden: At the moment, you have to look at Robert Golden as the second on the depth chart, I think, as we watch how things develop. He does have starting experience, serving as the bridge before Davis was ready. He’s more serviceable than most give him credit for.
J.J. Wilcox: As of the time of this writing, J.J. Wilcox is still hanging on. There was even a report that he may be given a chance to compete to start. Or he could get released. Who knows right now. I will say I would be surprised if he is on the roster at his price tag. Needs to come down by at least $1 million, ideally twice that.
Jordan Dangerfield: The man has been kicking around for so many years now. Jordan Dangerfield is already 27 after originally being a 2013 undrafted free agent. He’s been in the Steelers’ camp since 2014 and was on the roster in 2016, but was limited to the practice squad last year. I believe he has one year of eligibility left.
Malik Golden: An undrafted rookie last year who showed a bit of promise, Malik Golden suffered an injury in training camp after he intercepted a pass and was waived with an injury, but the Steelers brought him back as a Reserve/Future signing.
Mike Mitchell: After four seasons, the Steelers have chosen to part with Mike Mitchell, according to reports, and also indicated by his own social media postings, which is why I’m including his name here before the announcement is official. He is on the wrong side of 30 now and has been slowed by injuries. The team is reportedly open to bringing him back at a lower deal, but this wouldn’t be in the organization’s character.
Offseason Strategy: Upgrade As Much As Possible
From top to bottom, safety is the weakest position on the team, comparable only to inside linebacker. With Mitchell gone, they need to find at least one starter in free agency or the draft, but they need depth all around, and it wouldn’t even hurt to find two starters, or at least one that can develop into a starter.