The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics 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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Which current Steeler do you most want to see win a Super Bowl ring?
One of the most common topics during a Super Bowl, especially because fans of 30 teams who are not in the game are also watching, concerns specific players, usually players who have been in the league for a long time and have done a lot without reaching a championship before, and how they deserve to win one before they retire.
The Los Angeles Rams had at least a few notable players who fall into that category, like quarterback Matthew Stafford, who floundered for a decade with the Detroit Lions without ever winning a postseason game before going 4-0 and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy last night. Aaron Donald and Andrew Whitworth are two other very immediate candidates, as well as Eric Weddle, who literally unretired for a month for this opportunity and promptly noted that he is retiring again.
Who are those guys, for you, for the Steelers? Let’s assume, for the sake of interest, that Cameron Heyward is going to be at or nor the top of everybody’s list. He’s been in the league for over a decade, and has only been on the field for one postseason win, in 2015 (he was injured in 2016 when they won two games), and he has become a perennial All-Pro in the second half of his career.
This is obviously a personal question, so who are some of the other guys, if you have any, that you would really like to see have the opportunity to experience winning a title, for them on a personal level, before they retire? You can include pending free agents, since right now we don’t know whether they’ll be back or not.
For obvious reasons, this conversation tends to skew toward older players, since they’re nearer to retirement with fewer opportunities to make it back. And so I think Tyson Alualu will be on the top of my list. He’s never even experienced a playoff win—joining the Steelers the year the Jaguars finally made the postseason and beat Pittsburgh.
Joe Haden is another, who I’m going to include even though I think he’s more likely to leave in free agency than to stay. Outside of those names, this is actually a pretty young roster, but I’m also including Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt on my list, guys who just play at such a high level that they deserve to experience the highest achievement of their profession, in my mind. Are there any more off-the-radar names on your list?