Buy Or Sell: The coaching gap for the Steelers to the Super Bowl teams is wider than the player talent gap.
Explanation: Yesterday’s Super Bowl featured two of the game’s most respected head coaches and football minds. Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs has solidified a Hall of Fame career. The San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan is making a strong case for himself. Mike Tomlin may go into the Hall of Fame one day, as well. But do his teams ever make it look easy? Does looking easy matter?
The eye test is significant with this one. Just go back and watch last night’s game and watch how other teams operate. The offensive side of the ball is easier to evaluate in that regard. All you have to do is notice how many “easy” completions both sides had.
When you watch a Steelers game, they seem to have to scratch and claw for every blade of grass. A large part of that is the fact that they don’t often enough get their schemes to work for them. At least that’s what the visual results indicate.
Shanahan very nearly won a Super Bowl with Brock Purdy. He wouldn’t have been the worst quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl, but let’s be honest, he’s not supremely gifted. He’s smart and knows what he’s doing within the structure of his system. And he can make the plays that are asked of him.
Maybe thing would look easier if the Steelers had more talent. And things did look easier when Mason Rudolph was under center, didn’t they? All of a sudden they popped off for 150 yards on the ground and 250 through the air. Here 30 points, there 34. There were times they looked like an actual offense, I dare say.
The limitations of the offensive and defensive lines continue to hinder them as well. And the Steelers lack a cornerback pair like Sneed and McDuffie. They have Joey Porter Jr., but they need another. T.J. Watt can’t win all of your games for you. And you really shouldn’t lose nearly every game he misses.
With the Steelers’ 2023 season in the rearview mirror following a disappointing year that came up short in the playoffs once again, it’s time to start asking more questions. Questions about the team’s future in 2024 and beyond. Questions about The Standard.
The rookie class of a year ago was on the whole impressive, but they need to step up into staple starters in 2024. And they likely need a strong influx of talent in both free agency and in the 2024 NFL draft yet again. In addition to a revisitation of the coaching staff.
These sorts of uncertainties are what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).