Another 8-8, not what the Steelers had hoped for and not what many pundits expected out of this veteran laced team in 2013 but it turns out that’s what the team achieved for the second consecutive season.
After the 8-8 finish in 2012, the Steelers refused to say it was time to rebuild, they insisted that the team was only in transition. Having achieved no better record in 2013, will they say the same thing?
Many folks look to the 6-2 finish down the stretch after the 0-4 and 2-6 start and say the arrow is pointed up on this team, that next year they’ll be back and ready to contend and challenge for ring number seven. They’ll mention the team hasn’t had a losing season since 2003. While yes they finished strong in record, I have to say I don’t see the same arrow as these other folks.
Sure, the team hasn’t’ had a losing season in 10 years but they haven’t had a winning one in the last two. If anyone is happy winning as much as losing, they belong somewhere else because that is simply not acceptable, not in this town where failing to win a title is viewed as a disappointment. How could one be happy with 8-8?
Their 6-2 finish included two wins over the Browns, and wins over the Lions, Packers (without Aaron Rodgers), the Bills and the Bengals (who were promptly bounced out of the first round of the playoffs).
Anything impressive there?
The real lesson that must come out of this season is not that the team is close to getting back to championship caliber football but rather they may be further now than they have been in years. They wasted this season by not accepting this reality after 2012.
They have very little depth on the roster and are short on overly talented stars at key positions. While they have an elite QB (Big Ben) and WR (Antonio Brown) and an extremely talented set of linebackers (Lawrence Timmons and Jason Worilds) they have nothing else that stands out.
You could certainly make a case for Cam Heyward at defensive end as he progressed nicely in 2013 and LeVeon Bell will make strides moving forward but the list stops there. They need to trim the fat and bring in more talented youth as well as keep and develop the youth they currently have on this roster.
It’s apparent it’s time to part ways with some of the all-time Steeler greats. While these players have had major roles in the title runs the Steelers put up from 2004-2011, it’s time to say goodbye. It may not be easy but if the Steelers learned nothing from 2012, they need to learn it this time around, they can’t waste 2014 too.