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: Who is the best player from the Kevin Colbert era in Pittsburgh who never made a Pro Bowl?
With the Pro Bowl coming up tomorrow, I thought this would be an interesting question to pose to the Steelers Depot community. I know we’ve got plenty of very dedicated fans around here who know their history, so I expect we might get some interesting answers today.
Who is the best player who was a part of the Steelers during the Kevin Colbert era as general manager (from 2000 onwards) who was never rewarded with a Pro Bowl honor during his time with the team? There are plenty of candidates, but one immediately jumps to my mind.
That has to be Marcus Gilbert for me. During the best part of his career, he absolutely played like a Pro Bowler. He was one of the best right tackles in the league during the three-year period from 2014 through the 2016 season, but after that, unfortunately, injuries (and a suspension) really screwed things up for him.
He absolutely should have been a Pro Bowler in 2015, however, at the very least, and I think it’s a shame he never got it, because he was undoubtedly deserving, shutting down guys like Khalil Mack and Von Miller in the process. Neither of them recorded a statistic in their games against Pittsburgh that year, despite playing their usual snaps.
So who’s your candidate for the best Steelers player of the Colbert era who never went to the Pro Bowl? You could go by total body of work or isolate one standout season if you choose. Ike Taylor would be an awesome choice. Ramon Foster would be another good one, in my estimation, as well as Santonio Holmes, Larry Foote, Max Starks, William Gay, Willie Colon, Vince Williams, and Kelvin Beachum.
Maybe even a Rashard Mendenhall or a Keenan Lewis if you want to do individual seasons. Stephon Tuitt is at the top of my list for the current roster for sure. And let’s not forget about Bud Dupree, and Javon Hargrave.
There are plenty of valid answers to this question, as I hope my namedrops above show, but I’m still sticking with Gilbert. I believe he is, above anybody else, the player under Kevin Colbert who was most deserving of a Pro Bowl distinction that he never received during this time. Dupree and Hargrave perhaps come closest.