The Steelers 2007 season was full of ups and downs. From the great, fast start with wins over Cleveland, Buffalo, and San Francisco, and the Monday Night shellacking of Baltimore, to the inexcusable losses to Arizona, Denver, and the Jets, the Steelers couldn’t gain any consistency or momentum.
A few weak areas kept coming through as the season progressed: The offensive line is in dire need of talent. The Steelers have had a tough, physical o-line for years, but not now. The were blown off the ball by bigger, more physical defenses. 3rd-and-short was a problem all year. This needs to be addressed during the offseason.
The defense could not consistently pressure the quarterback. The defense was still stout against the run (until Aaron Smith was injured), but they could not put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Even blitzes were often picked up. Opposing QB’s had too much time to find receivers. This too needs to be addressed via free agency and/or the draft.
The Special Teams were an embarrassment! Missed tackles on returns, poor return yardage, penalties, poor punts in critical situations! The only bright side of this unit was Jeff Reed’s kicking. He was outstanding. I don’t know whether this is coaching or lack of talent, or both, but this needs to be addressed big time!
In spite of the weaknesses, we have to acknowledge that the Steelers won the division and were the fourth seed in the tough AFC! In that regard, we need to consider this season a success. The word underachievers comes to mind, but only because we KNOW they could have been better. They had the talent but appeared to lack the drive and motivation of past seasons. Are they missing Cowher, Bettis, and Porter – all “cheerleaders”and motivators? Who is in that role now? I guess we will find out next year. They got great play from Ben. Give him better protection by the line and he would have had an even better season. They also saw some good signs from rookie linebacker LaMarr Woodley. He looks like the real deal!
Will the Steelers step up to their potential and improve in 2008? I think with the addition of an O-lineman or two, a d-lineman or two, and some depth at cornerback, they will!!
HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!!!!