Time To Answer The Biggest Question Of 2014

By Michael K. Reynolds

A strong argument could be made the Rooneys invested in assembling the finest group of football coaches in the league. It’s time to prove this theory.

Following a few seasons of veteran releases and an infusion of youth and speed via the draft and free agency the Pittsburgh Steelers are in seldom charted territory. It’s been many years since the team has consisted of such a young and potentially brilliant roster than that coming to shape in 2014.

What’s needed now is good ol’ fashioned coaching.

Pound for pound the fastest player on the team may actually be newly drafted Daniel McCullers. A 6’ 7’’, 360 pound man who can run a 40 in 5.20? That’s fast. What does he need now?

Speaking of fast, how about a player the Steelers coaches claim clocked under a 4.2 40. What will Dri Archer need now in order to have a significant impact in the NFL?

A defensive lineman in the name of Stephon Tuitt who would have been a top ten draft talent without injury issues in 2013. How will he rise to his full potential as a pro?

Ryan Shazier. A linebacker with sprinter’s speed. How will he best be used? Martavis Bryant. A receiver with the size and speed combination to be a dynamic game changer but with much work needed in his game.

Then there is Kelvin Beachum, David DeCastro, Cortez Allen, Le’Veon Bell, Steve McLendon, Cameron Heyward, Jason Worilds, Shamarko Thomas…and yes, even Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. These are players whose development will provide the foundation of future Steelers greatness.

Will Mike Mitchell become one of the league’s best safeties? Has Darrius Heyward-Bey finally found a team that could harness his raw ability? Can Antonio Brown become a perennial All-Pro? Will Ben Roethlisberger experience prime-time glory?

Want to know what coaches really want? Think they want a team full of “Rudys”? Guys with heart and soul and paper thin on ability. Not a chance. Coaches want raw, off-the-chart talent.

Kind of like they now have in Pittsburgh. This is the clay of champions.

Certainly this year’s draft class arrives with a host of unanswered questions and the full roster is peppered with uncertainty as well.

But this year’s team provides a dream scenario for a talented coaching staff. It’s why each of these brilliant men got into the business.

Mike Tomlin. Dick LeBeau. Todd Haley. John Mitchell. Mike Munchak. Keith Butler. CarnellLake. Richard Mann. Danny Smith.

How good are these guys really?

2014 is the year we find out.

About the Author

Michael K. Reynolds

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic and author of the acclaimed Heirs of
Ireland series. MichaelKReynolds.com

  • Brian Tollini

    Nice post.

  • WilliamSekinger

    This draft class has the potential to be very special. It’s all up to coaching and the individuals will to be great.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I know they need safe and steady players. But I love players with potential as we do get a chance to see future studs grow in the system. You are right on the money when you say it’s up to the coaches now. Tomlin has the job of motivational leader. Can he inspire them to greatness? I believe he can. And I’m pretty certain the rest of the coaches are great teachers. I am ecstatic about this draft class for the Steelers.

  • scott2443

    once espn and nfl network start to bad mouth this draft i will know they cant handle it and we will give them a steeler salute a blitz right up there know it all reports

  • Ben Saluri

    Time to put up or shut up…the standard is the standard. ..we shall see.

  • RW

    I’d say 2015 is the time to find out. Gotta give these more than one year for full evaluation of impact, but I agree – 2014 should be much better.

  • Rod Hedrick

    Big Ben won’t last forever, We have to get tools around him and I think they did. Lets hope Munchak gets the oline up to speed.

  • charles

    Questions remain about the Steeler’s ability to put pressure on the qb. Here’s hoping that Shade Tree offers the opportunity to move on from the Big Snack

  • joed32

    Kiper actually liked the Steeler’s draft a lot. A-

    I liked last year’s draft a little better but a lot of potential with this group, both good and bad.

  • Weiss Chad

    Is Tuitt gonna make Jarvis Jones a better player?Will Munchak make a big difference in o line?Will shazier be defensive rookie of year?What o lineman and linebackers make this team?Lol but seriously who win punting competition?Will Cortez Allen be able to be a number one cb?Will Troy stay healthy.How good is Wheaton?

  • William Bigelow

    Very excited to see what the new additions from FA & the draft can do as well as the core players that have been with the team …. Can’t wait for training camp & the 2014 season to get under way !!!

  • michael young

    “This is the clay of champions.” This truly sums it up. They have some rare yet raw talent on the roster now. The question now is what will they do with it? It’s really time for some “coaching up” to be done. I do feel a lot better about a few positions. DE and ILB look a lot better than they did before the draft. I like the Bryant and Archer picks as well. These two can add an explosive dynamic to our O that we really didn’t have last year.

  • scott2443

    out all the coaches its haleys time to shine hes been here few years now there have been spots of wow factor but also oh no why that play playes ….lot times i blamed coaches last year for some of calls and not excuted way should been cause took to long for players to be in right spots or they were not where they were suppose to be and left plays wide open ….coaching left team down as much as players did last year maybe the new coaching blood will fix it all