It’s okay for fans to question Steelers way, but ultimately must trust it
By Eric Hassel
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a certain way of doing things that is okay for fans to question… just be sure to trust the process.
Steelers fans are no strangers to what is commonly referred to as the ‘Steelers way’, but what does that really mean? First, let me say this: I think it’s normal for people, in general, to question something that just doesn’t look right to them.
For fans, especially for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, it is OK and probably expected that we would question something that just doesn’t sit well with us, whether it be a draft pick who didn’t pan out or a free agent signing who contributed little to nothing to the success of the team.
It is in those moments where we fans say to the organization that we are not particularly happy with what is transpiring and that we believe changes are necessary. Conversely, when we are winning and everything is going ‘swimmingly’, are we questioning anything? Probably not.
Personally, there have been times over the forty-four plus years of being a Steelers fan where I have figuratively and literally bang my head against the wall when we have done something that I deemed highly questionable, but there have also been numerous occasions where I have jumped up and down with elation.
The Steelers way will be tested in the months ahead
With Ben Roethlisberger and Keith Butler announcing their retirements, the Steelers are in unchartered territory for the first time in a very, very long time. First, we know need a franchise QB, something we have not needed since 2004. Second, we need a new DC, something we have not needed since 2015.
So how does the Steelers way play into these two monumental decisions? As far as replacing Butler, I would bet that we promote from within because is what we typically have done; however, maybe this is the year we break with tradition and hire from outside the organization.
As far as what we do about our next franchise QB, your guess is as good as mine. If we opt to do what I think we will do because it is what we typically have done with the QB position, we will roll with the QBs we currently have on the roster and build through the draft.
Hopefully, one of the QBs we currently have on the roster will take command and will ascend to the role of being the franchise QB. Conversely, if that does not happen and whoever we draft does not pan out, we may be forced to go the route of signing veteran free agent QBs until we can draft our next franchise QB.
I think the Steelers would prefer to not have to keep drafting a QB in hopes of finding our next franchise one but are we really prepared to accept mediocre QB play because we are unwilling to trade for an established and elite QB?
Trading for an elite QB would be the antithesis of the Steelers way, but that is something we may have to consider. Of course, if we trade for an elite QB and mortgage the future in the process, would that be an acceptable risk?
That is something fans can and should question. Do we want to win more Super Bowls or are we happy with the six we already have? This is part of the reason that the Steelers way will be tested in the months ahead.
Personally, I think we are up to the challenge because we traditionally have made the right decision when it comes to coaches and players, but there have certainly been questionable decisions as well.
As I stated earlier, it’s OK for us to question the Steelers way, but ultimately we must trust it. I think the six Lombardi Trophies we have says we must trust.