Mandatory Credit: Bob Martin-USA TODAY Sports
In my humble opinion, I believe that the Steelers need to find a solution to their woes at the left tackle position as early as possible during the 2014 NFL Draft. No one on this team’s current roster possesses the ability to be a long-term “fix” on the blind-side, and I will beat the “upgrade the left tackle spot” drum until May.
Of course, the issues the Steelers have had at left tackle are not the sole reason this team in 0-4. In fact, Pittsburgh has issues at almost every position on their football team in the midst of their “rebuilding phase.”
One such “problem area” is the cornerback position, and I hope that members of the franchise’s brass are intent on upgrading that position at least once during the 2014 NFL Draft.
Why the Steelers Need Cornerback Help
The Steelers could find themselves in a very sticky situation during the upcoming offseason with veteran Ike Taylor. Although his contract is not set to expire until after the 2014 campaign ends, Taylor is set to earn $7 million in base salary alone next year.
Already pressed for cap space, Pittsburgh will probably ask the 33 year old to restructure his deal. If the veteran is unwilling to restructure or the Steelers are willing to simply let him walk after the 2014 season ends, Pittsburgh’s defense is set to lose their most experienced cornerback very soon.
In addition to Taylor, Cortez Allen’s current deal will expire after the 2014 season is finished as well. Although Allen is much more affordable than Taylor at the moment (set to earn 645,000 in base salary next fall), he still must prove that he is capable of becoming the team’s “number one” cornerback when Ike eventually departs.
While Allen illustrated a “nose for the football” last fall, his tackling this year has been shoddy, and Jerome Simpson completely tooled him in coverage last weekend in London. Allen possesses the physical tools to excel at cornerback, but Pittsburgh still needs him to realize his potential.
As far as the current backups are concerned, the Steelers only have the constantly torched William Gay (will earn $1.5 million in base salary in 2014 and 2015), Curtis Brown (who has only excelled on special teams), and two safeties (Robert Golden and Shamarko Thomas) who will probably be asked to take over for Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark in the immediate future.