Regardless of what or whose offense the Steelers were running in the final half of the 2013 season, no one can deny that it was clicking.
Roethlisberger wasn’t being sacked, the running game was coming around in large part due to the successful passing game and Roethlisberger himself was playing extremely well.
Several months later the Steelers have seen two of their top three wideouts depart for seemingly greener pastures while the answer has been to bring in Lance Moore. While I believe Moore has an opportunity to do well in this offense, I have greater concerns now as the draft nears in roughly 45 days because of other moves and potential ones.
This past week, Pittsburgh re-signed tight end Michael Palmer who at his absolute best will be a special teams player. The team also entertained LaGarrette Blount who averaged 5.0 yards per carry behind a pretty good New England offensive line and they brought in Maurice Jones-Drew who at 28 years old may be a question mark.
All of these moves and potential moves have me concerned that an offensive weapon is no longer a consideration in the first round of the draft.
If the team goes ahead and signs Blount which is no guarantee, the question would be why? This offense does not need a pounder, it needs speed. Would the signing of either Blount or MJD signal a shift back to the power running game some long for?
I believe it would and I also believe it would alter the way many are thinking in terms of the Steelers’ draft direction with their top pick.
Common thought has the Steelers taking a wide receiver or defensive back with pick number 15 but now I’m not so sure. With Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews on the board as top offensive tackles, I’m not ruling them out.
Granted, it’s expected that Robinson will be long gone before pick 15 but Matthews and Lewan have been projected all over the first round.
With the influence of new offensive line coach Mike Munchak, could the Steelers draft one of these tackles? I don’t think it’s a stretch although I do think it’s a bad move. The team has so many other needs right now that his selection in the first round just wouldn’t fly.
The bottom line is that Art Rooney II has made it no secret that he wants to return to the days of old when running the ball was the only way to win. The recent moves have me wondering if that still the top priority on his list.
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 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.