Steelers’ Offense is in Serious Trouble

Rashard Mendenhall The more I look at last season the more ticked I get about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 8-8 record. Clearly this team was better than that and there is enough blame to fill a ballroom. Unfortunately, when I start looking at the Steelers’ offense in 2013 I can’t say my anger subsides very much.

Let’s consider what the holes the offense has to fill as we sit here in early February just days removed from our arch-rivals winning the Super Bowl. Here is the good news; Ben Roethlisberger is the quarterback and should be for the next 4-5 seasons.

A young, and potentially talented offensive line with a new coach is also a positive but I could not argue that some may find negatives with that too. That about does it for the positives folks…

The negatives? Where do I begin?

Mike Wallace is as good as gone. If the story by the Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette is accurate in that Wallace turned down $10 million a year from the team then there is no way in the name of Stallworth and Swann that he is back in the black n’ gold in 2013. Immediate hole at wide receiver.

Emmanuel Sanders is a restricted free agent and I have no doubt that the team will look to re-sign him. The problem? Sanders’ short NFL career has already been marred by injuries to his feet. Throw in some untimely turnovers and dropped passes and what do you really have with him?

In 2012, Antonio Brown was a season removed from over 1,000 yards receiving and in the return game. His season started off well-enough with a big new contract but then evolved into an inconsistent season where he had two back-breaking fumbles and an ankle injury.

The tight end position has been in good hands for years now with Heath Miler who was the team MVP in 2012. He is now going to be coming back from ACL surgery and is very unlikely to be 100% by the season opener. That leaves you with David Paulson. I like Paulson, but not as a starting tight end in this league.

And then there’s the running back position. Rashard Mendenhall essentially signed his own walking papers by not showing for the San Diego game and then treated it almost flippantly. Mendy has never really become the back I think a lot of us believed he would and while I don’t put all of that on him, it is what it is.

Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman are both restricted free agents and if I had to lay a wager my thinking ¬†only Dwyer returns. He’s younger and a little more explosive, but he is not without issues. His physical conditioning is suspect and he once came into camp looking like a starting guard.

I’m pretty sure you’re all aware of the fourth guy who carried the ball and returned kicks last year as he is already off the team. Chris Rainey was given his walking papers following a domestic violence arrest several weeks ago.

So let’s review shall we? The 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers currently have a future hall of famer at quarterback and the potential for a very good offensive line. They have what amounts to one number one or number two receiver in this league in Antonio Brown and little else with the exception of veteran Jerricho Cotchery.

The tight end position is in serious trouble unless Miller makes a Herculean-recovery over the summer and starts using deer antler spray to speed that process up. Kidding!

The Steelers have no feature running back whatsoever and the one they potentially will keep can’t stay on the field for more than three straight plays. They are also in need of another kick returner and oh by the way, they are going to be cap-strapped yet again.

Steeler Nation! I present the 2013 offense!!

This better be the greatest Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft since 1974 or it’s going to be a long year.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.

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12 comments on “Steelers’ Offense is in Serious Trouble

    • Two issues with that David. Mendy and Wallace are already free agents so you can’t cut them or free up anymore space in terms of them. Second Jackson is older and will be looking for more money than the Steelers have to give. The starting back in 2013 will be Dwyer or a draft pick

  1. Pride commeth before the, well you know the rest. The steelers need to swallow just a little and franchise Wallace, they also need to bring back Mendenhall. Then in the draft they need to think Running Back and TE early along with getting a decent backup who is younger than thirty. For me Best available of each position in the first three rounds or get a markee guy in FA.

  2. One other thing about Wallace, yeah he was a bit disgruntled, but this is a business, he did a great job at bargin basement prices before this season. He is young hitting prime age for a receiver as Ben has a few more prime years. Why look for the next Mike Wallace when you have him.

  3. We all know Steeler’s have issues not getting in the free agent market ,and with players that don ‘t want to be Steeler’s Wallace done, mendy done ,this is a business don’t want to work move on.there r FA,out there that want to play might find some FA that want to play for less to get that ring .Look this team is not that far from winning it all again! The head honchos up stairs need to really do there home work this draft to find these missing players to win #7 like I said before this is a Business NO MORE RED FLAG PLAYERS,DO YOUR BACK GROUND CHECKS! TE!WR! RB GO WITH A 4-3 def,you have all the talent open your eyes coaches.ur players on def.r more suited for 4-3 try it .we have know pass rush low sack totals.Ben is ok we need back up QB what we have they SUCK,need two more o.line men just in case they get hurt basically let’s do our home work I’m a Die Hard Steeler’s fan c’mon team let’s do this!!!!!!

  4. Finally some wisdom. The Steelers would be foolish to let Mendenhall and Wallace go, but especially Mendenhall. We never put a decent OL in front of Mendenhall, and took away the FB, then expect him to succeed. When we had the Bus and FWP, we also had a very good OL.

    The Steelers front office has made some poor decisions in the last few years, by not drafting talent in the OL, and have been trying to catch up in the last two years. We’ve basically wasted Mendenhall, and he’s just tired of being the scapegoat for poor management decisions. Wallace is the only WR that coordinators have to account for, and we think that will be easily replaced!

    Yep…..pride does come before a fall, and this fall could take a few years to recover from, if Colbert and Co don’t get their act together.

    • Appreciate everyone’s comments here… Two questions. 1. At what price would you bring Mendy back and is it really worth it? 2. Is Dwyer or Redman a ‘feature’ back in the NFL and do you feel comfortable with either one being your starter? OK, so four questions…

  5. Good day Steeler Nation, I like to begin with agreeing with Mike Wormack. We need to keep Mendenhall but let Wallace go. We should go after a Joshua Cribb type, stong reciever/tight end and a good returner. Mendenhall can be that markee player we drafted him to be. He just needs to put in time in practice. There is no more excuse on his performance and fumbles. We need to draft a desent back up QB for Ben, but Ben is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    The Defence is the real questions. Where do you start? D line is short and slow (like tree stumps). Need a QB eater opposite of Woodley, Woodley will be back strong. Need a couple of safeties and cover guys.

  6. I agreed until you said having Ben. If Ben doesnt get his game together he needs to go. No one wants to say it. He doesnt throw the ball on the break of the routes and doesnt hit his deep balls well and thats why Wallace has been ineffective. All I can say is who is the AP coach of the year? Hint he was a coach in Pittsburgh before Haley. The only difference is he had a QB with the Colts also made the playoffs. Everyone keeps bringing up the defense as if they were the problem you cant have your defense on the field during the game 80% of the time because they will get scored on.

    • I don’t totally disagree with you regarding Ben. He hast to play better, especially in crunch time and he has never really thrown a great deep ball. Where I would disagree is with Wallace. Good receivers make tough catches and other than the one he made with his legs against KC, it doesn’t happen too often. He has great speed and is average in every other department.

  7. Pingback: Is Mendenhall Still an Option for Steelers? » Steel City Blitz

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