I have over the course of the past several seasons turned to a series of articles around this time of year in which looked to explore the issues and questions facing the Pittsburgh Steelers during the upcoming season and trying to identify the range of possibilities in which any given scenario can end.
I started out with a dual series called The Optimist’s/Pessimist’s Take and switched last season to the Devil’s Advocate series. In an attempt to find a more streamlined solution with a title more suited to the actual endeavor, we are introducing a simple Buy Or Sell segment exploring whether the position statement is likely to be worth investing in as an idea.
The range of topics will be wide, from the specific to the general, exploring broad long-term possibilities to the immediate future of particular players. I will make an argument for why a concept should be bought into as well as one that can be sold, and you can share your thoughts on which is the more compelling case while offering your own.
Topic Statement: A linebacker, either outside or inside, that is not currently on the roster will make the team in September.
Buy: It is fairly often, one way or another, that a player a team adds to the roster late in the process ends up making the team. Whether it is a late free agent signing, a trade, or just a player that another team had recently cut, it’s a very common occurrence.
And the Steelers’ most likely position to find help is at linebacker, both inside and out. They only have three players at either position that are really established in their roles, so there is a least one opening at either position, and perhaps as many as three openings in total.
Pittsburgh is seemingly counting on getting two to three players worthy of contributing to the team out of the likes of L.J. Fort, Keion Adams, Farrington Huguenin, Matthew Thomas, and others. Journeymen at best, complete novices at worst. And there is always the reality of injuries playing a role in determining such things.
Sell: The Steelers have seemingly made pretty clear by their actions that they are overall content with what they have at linebacker, at least enough to get by, believing that whatever they can easily obtain would not be an appreciable upgrade from their current stock.
They appeared to pass on the opportunity to seriously pursue Mychal Kendricks, believing in Tyler Matakevich and Jon Bostic. They haven’t shown much interest in pass rushers either, counting on big seasons from their starters and seeing Anthony Chickillo as a solid veteran, while Adams is like a draft pick coming off an injury year.
No, by this point is seems likely that the plan is for them to stay put. They don’t have the same sort of resources this offseason to make any sorts of splashes during training camp to bring in talent as they did last year.