Sunday, January 15, 2012

Question: Was the Steelers' Season a Success?

Coda knows.
In the week following the Steelers' loss in Denver, the local sports-talk hosts debated ad nauseum whether the just-concluded season was a success. 

Joey Porter's Pit Bulls have the answer. 


An immediate, resounding, emphatic, unequivocal, no-doubt-about it, no-need-to-think-about-it noNyet.  Nada.  No. No! No!! NO!!!

The goal every season is to win the Super Bowl. Enough said. 

Yeah, but they were 12-4 and ... ?  NO.  But they had the league's leading defense and ...  NO.  But they had so many injuries ... NO.  But Big Ben was hobbled and ... NO.

No excuses. No complaints.  They didn't do it.  Other questions persist, and we have months to debate them. If you want to debate just how good this team really was -- whether they coulda woulda shoulda had a better record or a worse one, that's one discussion.

Other topics open for debate include:
  • Was the coaching largely ineffectual or mostly superb (just to get them to 12-4)?
  • Is their talent mostly excellent, or is it sub-par in too many places?
  • Are they geared to improve, or about to take a step back next season?  
  • If your leading tackler is a safety (Ryan Clark), isn't that usually a bad thing?  
  • Were some of the defensive stats a mirage?
  • Were some of the weak spots in all three phases masked throughout the season?  Don't those weak spots merit some serious scrutiny?
  • Doesn't the offensive line need to be rebuilt? Bye-bye, presumably, to at least of couple of the guys on the offensive line.
  • What should they do in the draft and in free agency?  
  • Will Bruce Arians return?  Should he?  
  • Wouldn't it be nice to have more confidence in the place-kicker? 
  • How about the status of some of the older and injured players?  Casey Hampton, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Chris Hoke, Max Starks, Larry Foote, Mewelde Moore, Willie Colon, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch, etc.  Lots of question marks.  Just sayin'.  The status of some of these players is clouded by injury.  Some will retire.  Others, perhaps, should retire.  If they don't, will the Steelers welcome them back or bid them farewell?
  • What about some of the young guys who still have a lot to prove?  Those would include Jason Worilds, Ryan Mundy, Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward, etc. Not that the high draft picks are in danger of losing a roster spot, but they will be expected to step up their game next season.  They will need to, big-time -- otherwise, the Steelers will struggle big-time.
Lots of questions. Whether the season was a success, however?  Well, that's not really even a question.