Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
I certainly hate to be a “Negative Nancy,” but the “door” to the “postseason” is basically shut for the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.
With an 0-4 record and a lack of talent and competent coaching, this team looks primed for a nose dive of epic proportions. Now in the midst of their bye week, the Steelers, particularly their veterans, must do some “soul-searching” before their next game against the New York Jets.
Although Pittsburgh is in a rebuilding-phase at the moment, they are in desperate need of some leadership from their older players on the roster who have seen both good times and bad during their respective careers with the franchise and as professional football players.
Veterans like Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Jerricho Cotchery and even Larry Foote are nearing the ends of their careers in the NFL, and all could be in danger of being released or not re-signed by the franchise after the 2013 campaign ends.
The cap-strapped Steelers must get “younger” and “cheaper” over the coming seasons, and these six stalwarts could be suiting up for the final 12 games as members of this franchise this fall.
With their 2013 campaign all but finished, the four healthy players I alluded to above will be essentially forced to play for pride during the last three-quarters of the regular season. So outside of helping this team make a miracle run to the postseason, the biggest question that Pittsburgh’s veterans must ask themselves is the following:
How does this group want to be remembered for finishing their careers with the Steelers?
Essentially, they can either be remembered as the leaders of the team that “mailed it in” during their final seasons and posted the worst record in franchise history since the NFL merger in 1970.
Or they can be discussed as the group of veterans who banded together, played for pride, and inspired the rookies to do great things and carry on the winning tradition.
Regardless of what transpires, I am simply intrigued to see how inspired this team plays during their final 12 regular season games.
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