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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A flawed thoery

Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert has now delivered his 2012 recap interview and in doing so Pittsburgh's disappointing 8-8 season has concluded.

2012 was the season many Steelers fans were pointing to as a pivotal year for the organisation. With ageing superstars on both the offence and defence success in 2012 was vital, Now that the 2012 season is in the books we can see that the reason the team didn't live up to expectations was down to a few telling factors.

The strength of the Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers over the past 6 seasons has been consistency. Tomlin was fortunate to inherit such a deep and well-established team when Bill Cowher resigned after 15 years at the helm of the Steelers organisation in 2006. The team and staff that Cowher assembled had a massive influence on the success that Tomlin experienced during his first few seasons in Pittsburgh.

The Steeler mentality has always been to avoid splash investments in free agency and to draft smart! This method has lead the Steelers to great success in the past. But in the last couple of seasons the thing the team has always been revered for has started to regress, that being the organisation's ability to assess talent and draft quality players. In the past three seasons the Steelers have drafted Markuice Pouncey, Cam Heyward and David DeCastro with there three first round picks. The teams second round picks Jason Worlids, Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. Excluding perennial all-pro centre Pouncey, the rest of the Steelers early draft picks over the past three seasons have all failed to live up to their early draft billing.

Poor draft classes are not the only significant factor why the Steelers under-achieved in 2012. Injuries, bad luck and poor conditioning are all reasons circulating at the moment trying to determine a defining reason why Tomlin's Steelers finished with a dismal .500 record. In my opinion injuries were a factor, But more importantly a lack of adequate replacements in significant skill positions was far more telling.

Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder injury in week 10 against the Kansas City Chiefs was the beginning of the down-fall of the Steelers 2012 campaign. The Steelers left the Chiefs game with an impressive 6-3 record, the following three weeks saw them drop two of three games in the absence of Big Ben. Back-up QB's Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch were both called upon during the stretch to lead the Steelers and both failed shockingly. Showing a definite weakness in the set-up of Mike Tomlin's Pittsburgh Steelers. Many Steelers fans like myself, were left rather dumbfounded by the Steelers total and utter lack of a contingency plan behind our starting quarter-back?

Todd Haley, Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin, Poor drafting and the running game have all be used as scape-goats for the Steelers 2012 campaign collapse. Honestly, all played a massive part in why the Steelers did not find success in 2012. With the 2013 season now fully on the mind of all Steelers players, coaches and fans alike, The 2012 season can now be used and examined to make sure that the nest season's Pittsburgh Steelers do not suffer the same offencive frailties and personnel mishaps that hampered the progress of the 2012 version.

Onwards and upwards in 2013, beginning Thursday April 25th at the 2013 NFL draft.

Follow me on Twitter @MattM_44

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