Remember those five weeks of losing? Yeah, they still sting, but it’s amazing that heading into week 17 with a five game losing streak still on their resume, that the Steelers have any chance whatsoever to play in the postseason. To me, too much has to happen for this team to make the postseason, as teams like the Jets, Texans and Ravens will play all out, while the teams they are playing very well may not.
With that said, it’s going to be tough to have to write the final chapter on the 2009 season Sunday night. On one hand, I would like to see the team take care of business in Miami and end the year on a three-game win streak and see what happens. Then again, a loss means a .500 season, and that would mean a higher draft pick.
I like you know that a lot has to be done this offseason. More than likely gone are Casey Hampton, Willie Parker, Ryan Clark and from the rumblings going around, the team may cut ties with kicker Jeff Reed, who seems to like to get in a little too much trouble off the field.
With that said, here are some rather obvious things that need to happen as we enter the final week of the season:
1. The 2010 Draft is Critical – The Steelers need desperate help on special teams, which means that they will have to draft players that can step in right away and help on special teams. Too often this season they have put themselves behind the 8-ball with poor tackling and allowing big returns on special teams. This unit must improve as quickly as possible.
2. Troy needs to get back to 100 percent – Even if the team sneaks into the playoffs, I would sit Polamalu for the wild card game the following week. We have seen in the games missed this season just how important Polamalu is, and I think it would be dumb frankly to rush him back. Mind you that I write this before Mike Tomlin says today if Polamalu is expected to play this week, but I think rushing him back at this point would be a bad mistake.
3. Could we Finally Make a Free Agent Splash – Here’s two ways of thinking on this: 1. It’s going to likely be an uncapped year, which means that you can open the pocket books, and 2. the team could have new money coming in with the investors on board, so maybe this could be a year where they do get a player or two they would not normally get. The Steelers will never be a top 10 team in spending, but it would be nice to see what would happen if at least once they spent over what they usually do. Plus, think of it like this – where would the 09 team be if they would have not lost out on CB Bryant McFadden?