I have over the course of the past several seasons turned to a series of articles around this time of year in which I looked to explore the issues and questions facing the Pittsburgh Steelers during the upcoming season and trying to identify the range of possibilities in which any given scenario can end.
I started out with a dual series called The Optimist’s/Pessimist’s Take and switched last season to the Devil’s Advocate series. In an attempt to find a more streamlined solution with a title more suited to the actual endeavor, we are introducing a simple Buy Or Sell segment exploring whether the position statement is likely to be worth investing in as an idea.
The range of topics will be wide, from the specific to the general, exploring broad long-term possibilities to the immediate future of particular players. I will make an argument for why a concept should be bought into as well as one that can be sold, and you can share your thoughts on which is the more compelling case while offering your own.
Topic Statement: Jon Bostic will be a starter in Pittsburgh for more than one season.
Let’s start out by talking about the simple fact that Jon Bostic would not be the first free agent that the Steelers have brought in only to watch them become something quite beyond what they ever were previously in the league. Top recent examples would be Ryan Clark and James Farrior, both of whom more than exceeded expectations when they were signed.
Bostic was a low-key signing at a salary that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to start. But he can, and he will, because he is good at a little thing called football. He came into the league with some bad luck, suffering a couple of out-of-character injuries and being shuffled between shifting coaching staffs and regimes.
But he can settle down and become a really solid player in a stable environment, and he will get that shot in Pittsburgh. There’s really no competition for him this year, and even if they bring somebody in next year, he could still potentially start over Vince Williams, assuming the latter is re-signed.
The Steelers were clearly looking for a starter at the inside linebacker position in the draft, hoping to try to trade up for Rashaan Evans. The Titans beat them to that maneuver. That right there gives you the indication that they are not settled on Bostic by any means, as though his salary were not already an indication.
It’s within the realm of possibility that he starts for more than one season, but that isn’t the plan. It will mean that something has gone wrong. Addressing the inside linebacker position will be a top priority in the offseason next year.
He still has to prove that he’s not actually an injury-prone journeyman, which is how he is being viewed by many because of his history. That’s the first step before we start talking about 2019.