Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey (53) blocks for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) against Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Sean Lissemore (95) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Offseason Team Needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers missed out on the playoffs in 2012, but they’ll be right back in it in 2013. The Steelers have a pretty loaded roster, and they struggled with a ton of injuries and mainly last season, they lost their identity completely.

What identity, you ask? The Steelers lost the ability to consistently run the football. Rashard Mendenhall was injured and will be let go this offseason. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman simply were not able to consistently get the Steelers where they wanted to be in terms of running the ball, and as a result, they ranked 26th in the league in rushing.

The Steelers are still well-coached and they have tons of talent, so they will be back. Here are some of their biggest needs this offseason, in no particular order:

1. Running Back

As I stated, Rashard Mendenhall will not be back, and the Steelers had to let go of Chris Rainey after an incident late last year. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer are solid backup options, but neither is capable of being a featured back for a full season. The Steelers could legitimately use a first round pick on a back because that area of the team is such an important part of who they are.

2. Wide Receiver

Mike Wallace is as good as gone, and Plaxico Burress is not going to solve this team’s woes. The Steelers still have Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, but they need a #1 to step up like Wallace did two years ago to be as effective as they can be. This position could be addressed in the first three rounds for the Steelers, potentially in two of the first three. It’s a big area of need this offseason.

3. Rush Linebacker

Pittsburgh may have to cut James Harrison this offseason, which would be hard to do but probably necessary. Harrison’s contract is too big, and he’s getting old. There are some really good rush linebackers available in this year’s draft, making him somewhat expendable. The Steelers did not have a player with double digit sacks last season.

4. Cornerback

The Steelers are not getting turnovers like they used to. Ike Taylor is still a good player, but he’s not getting any younger. Keenan Lewis is an unrestricted free agent, and the Steelers have a couple of young guys behind him who could step up. Still, they at least need to look into adding some depth at this position this offseason.

5. Backup Quarterback

Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch are both free agents. With Ben Roethlisberger’s health as of late, the Steelers’ backup QBs have been very active. They need to make sure they have someone back there they can trust if Big Ben goes down again.

6. Safety

Backups Ryan Mundy and Will Allen are both free agents this offseason. Troy Polamalu has had some injury problems as well, and had a down year in 2012 it seemed. He has played one full season in the last four years.

Tags: 2013 Nfl Draft Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Noah Fabian

    cornerback is probebly there deepest most talented position on the roster

    • SayreBedinger

      Not seeing the production in terms of forcing turnovers there… Like I mentioned, they have some young players but could use some depth.

  • Craig

    Rushing Linebacker is the biggest need followed by defensive line. Steelers won’t be bringing Hampton back and need to shore up the D-line since Keisel is just about gone too. Safety is third, followed by backup QB, then running back. Receivers will probably come late in the draft.

    • SayreBedinger

      They have some really good young pieces coming up on the defensive line. We’ll see if they make that a priority but there are some young guys coming in who have promise.

  • bruce donohue

    Who is backing up Clark or Troy ? Mundy and Allen are FA, Cromartie-Smith or Robert Golden? Seriously S is a priority in the first 2 rounds.

    Batch, Redman and Dwyer are gonna handle running the rock for us next year? RB has to be a priority in the 2nd -4th rds.

    We need to resign Harrison for around 4-5 mil a yr he got healthy the 2nd half of the year just too late. Carter and Worilds are the backs ups for Woodley and Harrison. If OLB Ansah the freak is not there @ 17 cuz I know J.Jones will be gone then we should trade back to get more 2nd rd picks.

    Safeties like Reid and Elam and Vaccaro are all late 1st rd early 2nd picks. We definitely will have the option to draft the best safety in the draft @ 17 but S is a deeper position this year.

    If Foote is gone then ILB will be a thin position. I think we need to draft 2 LB’s in this draft and TEO is not one of them. I want to see Sylvester start and make an impact the boy is a beast on special teams. Spence will not be ready till at least mid season he is young and flies around the field he needs to take his time recovering. I like Khaseem Greene (brother of Ray Graham RB PITT) he plays OLB but can play inside as well. His versatility would help with LB position with the Steelers. Its good to have LB’s that can play the Buck or Will and play OLB. Sean Porter and Zaviar Gooden are 2 more versatile OLB’s that can do it all and will be available in rds 3-4. Faster LB’s are needed now since the league is all about passing. A couple of LB’s that are tackling machines are ILB V. Williams underrated LB but got alot of attention at the Senior Bowl another ILB that can play the Buck is Bruce Taylor from Vtech these 2 should be available in rds 4-6

    DT is a position that I feel we could wait on we moved last yr to get Ta’amu? Exactly. We gave the clown another chance and we picked up Fangupo who if he is what he used to be would be great. Mcclendon will start dude to blow up whether he plays NT or they move Hood and he plays DE. None of these DT’s are worth a 1st rd grade to me. Get a DT later in draft

    I would like to see the Steelers trade back and draft with the first 3 picks:

    1st) RB Eddie Lacy (early 2nd) looks like the young BUS!!! with better spin moves

    2nd) S Philip Thomas ( 2nd rd) Ball Hawking beast 8 ints and 3 for td’s in 2012

    3rd) Khassem Greene (Mid Late 2nd rd) aggressive OLB that can play all LB positions