The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: If you could take back one move the Steelers have made since the end of the 2018 season, what would it be?
It’s fair to say that a lot has happened over the course of the past year. The Antonio Brown saga was just beginning to brew, and amazingly it’s still running, three teams later. In between, the Steelers made a number of significant moves, some of them rather out of character in their recent history.
Arguably, the offseason was primarily built upon three moves. The first was the signing of Steven Nelson in free agency. The second was the decision to trade up for Devin Bush. The third was, of course, sending a first-round pick to the Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
I’m going to guess that there are not many people who would take any of these moves back. But there are certainly others that fans would like to have a mulligan on. I suspect the most popular will be the signing of Donte Moncrief, who was supposed to be a starting wide receiver, but ended up largely inactive, and then released.
For me, personally, the move I would like to have been able to do over would be to correct the mistake of not re-signing Landry Jones in the offseason, before he committed to the XFL. Anticipating that Mason Rudolph would be the backup, I would have preferred Jones.
I imagine many will find this unrealistic, given the circumstances, and perhaps I can’t argue against that. Another move I would have made would have been to release Ryan Switzer in favor of Eli Rogers, who could have bridged some of the gap in the early portions of the season once it was obvious Moncrief would not be contributing.
There are plenty of options to choose from, not just pertaining to player personnel, so feel free to chime in, but please, endeavor to be realistic, and practical.