As the snowflakes fall on what the calendar says is supposed to be the first day of Spring, I can’t help but take stock of other things in life. You know? Death and taxes and what the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting offense will look like on opening day of the 2013 season…. The usual things one might ponder this time of year.
In all seriousness, have you really thought about this?
Obviously I can’t tell you what the Steelers are going to do in this draft anymore than I can tell you tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers because this team simply has many areas they can go in every round of the draft. At this point, I must optimistically opine that the Steelers will draft a starter with the first pick but which side of the ball it is will remain a mystery.
Therefore I’m stuck in the here and now as to what 11 guys will be on the offensive side of the football when they open the season against (insert team here but we all know it won’t be Baltimore). Regardless of who these 11 men are, would the following line-up really scare you if you’re an opposing defense?
At quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger begins his tenth season for the Steelers and will no doubt be called upon more than ever to create plays for this offense. His backfield will consist of Jonathan Dwyer and since this is a Todd Haley offense, a fullback who will more than likely be named Johnson. Whether it will be Will of David is to be decided. Either way, does either pose a threat to your defense?
The offensive line will be young with each guy being 27 or younger. At the tackles you’ll have Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert. The guards will be David DeCastro and the old man of the group, Ramon Foster and at center, the perennial all-pro in Maurkice Pouncey. Not too bad on paper, but could we still see some movement here? It’s very possible.
Let’s assume Heath Miller will be back, but not ready to start the season just yet. My guess is that he sees little, if any time during the preseason games. Therefore, the starter becomes Matt Spaeth or David Paulson. These two combined last year for a whopping 13 receptions and about 100 yards receiving. Not exactly guys you have to game plan for….
The two wide receivers will be Antonio Brown and Plaxico Burress. We know what Brown is capable of doing, but can he do it as a number one receiver? I have my concerns as do many in the Steelers’ Nation. I believe Plax has a good year or two left in him. He’s still a big target and can go up and get the ball, but I ask once again, does this offense concern you?
It’s feasible that we could see a different running back or another wide receiver by the time the season comes around or even changes along the line, but right now this is not an offense that is going to strike fear into any defensive coordinator’s heart.
Regardless of who else is on the field in 2013, Ben Roethlisberger’s health will once again be the key to a successful year. I certainly hope the coaching staff and front office recognize the need to start emphasizing the offense in this draft because right now it doesn’t strike fear in anyone.
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.