Between now and the 2007 NFL Draft, THN will be taking a look at all of the NFL teams off-season needs. Up next is the team with the fifteenth overall pick in the draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2006 Results: 8-8, 3rd in AFC North
2007 Projected Cap Status: $ 105,900,000 ($3.1 million in cap space)
2006 Season Recap:
The Steelers failed to build upon their Super Bowl XL championship despite finishing in the top ten in both total offense and total defense. After enduring a miserable offseason headlined by a motorcycle accident and the belief by many that he was rushed back into action too quickly, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled, throwing 23 interceptions. Running back Willie Parker had a very strong year, rushing for 1,494 yards and 13 touchdowns. But on top of missing out on a winning record and the playoffs in 2006, Pittsburgh now has to adjust to the losses of head coach Bill Cowher and highly regarded assistants Russ Grimm and Ken Whisenhunt. There was plenty of turnover with the coaching staff that came along with the hiring of new head coach Mike Tomlin.
1. Outside Linebacker Tomlin will implement the 3-4 defense along with the 4-3 defense this season, requiring agile, athletic linebackers who can also play defensive end. Recent history proves that Pittsburgh has had success with converting undersized college defensive ends in to Pro Bowl outside linebackers in the NFL.
2. Defensive End See "outside linebacker."
3. Offensive Line The Steelers are expected to focus on their offensive line this offseason. Max Starks is a free agent and a replacement for retired center Jeff Hartings is needed.