The Pittsburgh Steelers have made plenty of changes this offseason, but there is still a lot of time before training camp and they aren’t done changing yet.
The Steelers franchise is in the midst of a major transition. Gone are the problems and attitudes that derailed it. They are back on the right track and on the same page but the window to win is becoming smaller by the day. More changes are needed and it’s time to take a hard look internally at everyone to the players, coaches, and team philosophies.
The NFL is and always will be a fluid transitioning sport and you need to stay ahead of change. This offseason has been a very unSteeler like media (and social media) circus that no one was happy with. These changes and moves the Steelers need to make now.
Making the running game more of a focal point of the offense.
The offensive needs to be more balanced. The running game was all but forgotten last year and this lead to having one of the worst running offenses league-wide. The Steelers were second to last in attempts, yards, and yards per game average(besides Green Bay). Conversely, the passing game had the most attempts in the NFL.
The run and pass percentage was 66-33 in favor of the pass for the Steelers in 2018. The Super Bowl champion Patriots was 54 to 45 which is more obviously much more balanced and what the Steelers should try to get closer to. James Conner looked great as the new lead back but he was hamstrung by the offensive scheme. To have a better offense and better results, run the ball more.
Sign another running back or draft one.
There needs to be another running back with talent in the backfield. The NFL trend is that you need two or three RBs to be successful. There is a dire need to sign another back or draft one. James Conner was great last year but he does not seem to be durable enough to be a 300 touchback.
Jay Ajayi will be a good addition, he is young (25) plus he is unsigned at this point and the price should be relatively cheap. The Steelers have 10 draft picks in this year’s draft and they should be able to draft one to help the running back depth.
Mike Tomlin needs to step up and be more of a disciplinarian.
I know this might not be his style but Tomlin is older now and needs to be more of a leader than just a coach to these men. Ex-Giants coach Tom Coughlin changed his disciplinarian approach late in his career and the Giants won a Super Bowl. It is time for Tomlin to do the opposite, instead of relaxing your coaching style as Coughlin did start being harder on each player.
Develop a culture that makes the players responsible for their actions. The first change should be to start a social media policy and possibly ban cellphones during or directly after games.
The Steelers need to draft a TE high in this year’s draft.
This draft class the end position is thick with potential receiving threats that the Steelers can use to help the run and pass. If you stuck two on the field at the same time with both having the ability to catch the ball that would make the offense difficult to defend or predict. There would be no problem throwing out of this formation since McDonald and the rookie can catch the ball. The offense can set up in a tight formation to run or possibly motion out of for a pass play.
If the Steelers want to win and change the ways of the recent failures I have outlined some moves that need to be made. I know that with a few key deals and tightening the ship here and there the wins will come. This franchise has been one of the most successful in NFL history.
The changes the Browns have made will make it very difficult to win the AFC North title next year but the Steelers are never a team to back down. I know there may be even more changes on the horizon but for now, the ability is there to still be a contender.