The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Who is your favorite player on the current roster?
After writing about Rod Woodson yesterday and hearing from people about how he was their favorite player growing up, I got to thinking about the Steelers’ current roster and which players would go down not necessarily as all-time greats, but as all-time favorites.
It’s easily to like great players, but not every great player is accepted into that favorite status as the likes of Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller were. In spite of the fact that he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, for example, I’m not sure how many people would actually say Ben Roethlisberger is their favorite.
Now Antonio Brown is obviously going to get a lot of votes, even with his occasional eccentricities that might rub a small sampling of the fan base the wrong way. He is quite literally one of the very best football players in the entire world, after all.
Le’Veon Bell is high up on the list, too, but he has lost a lot of good will within the fan base over the course of the past year and a half thanks to his stance with his contract. That is not to cast blame on him for his approach, but just an accounting of where we are with him and why.
Some of the most-loved players are actually the guys like Roosevelt Nix and Mike Hilton, the latter having only been here for one season so far. Cameron Heyward, after making his first Pro Bowl, is I think ready to break out into that Hines Ward-esque spotlight of on- and off-field recognition of greatness. I think I might choose him as my favorite. David DeCastro has that potential as well, even as a lineman. I’m personally a fan of Ramon Foster, and not just because we share a birthday.
And then there’s Ryan Shazier. He is technically on the current roster, so you can name him if you want to—it’s almost impossible not to—but if you choose to do so, please list another player as well.