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.