The Real Work Begins Now for the Steelers

052913-NFL-Pittsburgh-Steelers-Sean-Spence-PI-BR_20130529151527454_660_320Today is not only the end of the 2013 National Football League season, but it is also the beginning of the 2014 NFL Offseason calendar as well.

With last night’s Super Bowl blowout now in the rear-view mirror, today is the first day teams may waive players.

The NFL statement on today reads like this:

Waiver system begins for 2014. A 24-hour claiming period will be in effect through the Friday prior to the last regular season game (waivers requests made on Friday and Saturday of each week will expire at 4 p.m. ET, on the following Monday.) Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons whom a club desires to terminate are not subject to the waiver system until after the trading deadline.

Honestly, this isn’t the most important date on the offseason calendar by any stretch but that doesn’t mean it lacks merit.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, their offseason began over a month ago but now with no more games to be played, the real work begins.

The Steelers must now sharpen their evaluations of current players and decide who stays and who goes. They face decisions about players currently under contract like Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and LaMarr Woodley.

There are questions about when or if Ben Roethlisberger will receive a new contract. What is the status of Sean Spence and how is Maurkice Pouncey’s rehab coming along?

With just three weeks until the NFL Combine, Steelers’ scouts and front office personnel will start zeroing in on players who could fill positions they need the most. That doesn’t mean they won’t fall in love with someone at a ‘non-need’ position but their goal is to find guys to plug into holes.

Coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons, the pressure will be immense but then again, the pressure is always there this time of year because only one team can say they achieved their goals.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.

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