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: Which player from each team playing in the Super Bowl would you want on the Steelers’ roster right now?
Since there’s only one game left to talk about right now, we might as well talk about it in some form or fashion. The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for where the Steelers and 29 other teams want to be, which is at the site of the Super Bowl, where one of them will be crowned champion.
Each have won before (the Chiefs quite a long time ago). Each have lost before. But this year they have the best team either has had in some time. It’s not just through coaching but also through sheer talent that they have been able to come this far.
With talented rosters, they obviously have some coveted players, so the question I’m posing today is, which player, from each team, would you want to make a one-for-one swap for on the Steelers’ roster? Practical implications are no concern, i.e. the salary cap. This is a purely hypothetical scenario. The answers should be considered separate from one another.
For me, the choices are easy. From the San Francisco 49ers, give me George Kittle. I wanted him three years ago and he’s only exceeded my expectations and then some. Tight end is also a critical position of need right now and Vance McDonald would be an easy sacrifice.
As for the Chiefs…I want Patrick Mahomes. He’s substantially younger than Ben Roethlisberger, obviously healthier, and the argument is easy to make that he’s better. This is almost a cheat answer, but in getting Mahomes you reopen an entirely new championship window, perhaps one in which you can add three or four trophies if you can keep the defense together.
If Mahomes is too easy an answer, please feel free to give two answers for the Chiefs. The whole purpose is to have a discussion.