Is this just the beginning ?


There has been a vibe around town the past week, whether this Pittsburgh Steelers team is on the verge of becoming a dynasty. It’s a very good argument, there is many reasons why you could say they are on the verge and why there not. I believe that the Steelers are going to be a special team for the next 3-5 years, but a Dynasty, that’s a tough call. They have all the right pieces in place, starting with their coach Bill Cowher and GM Kevin Colbert. Bill Cowher may run the show but Colbert deserves a lot of credit for what he has done. Look at the draft picks since 02. Kendall Simmons ( right guard ) – nothing special but is a solid guard who gets the job done. 03 Troy Polamalu ( safety ) don’t even have to the explain the impact he has. Have to give Colbert credit on this one, for moving up 11 spots and landing him. Cowher wanted Larry Johnson, who would have been phenomenal here, but Polamalu is a perfect fit for this defense. 04 Ben Roethlisberger ( franchise quarterback ) the reason there is dynasty talk around the burgh. 05 Heath Miller ( tight end ) phenomenal player, who is going to keep getting better. Other than the first round picks look at the players they picked up in Ike Taylor, Willie Parker, James Harrison, Brett Kiesel, and you’ll have to put Cedric Wilson in this category after the numbers he is putting up in these playoffs. Cowher and Colbert know how to find talent and no matter who the Steelers lose in free Agency they find players who fit the system.

At quarterback you have Ben Roethlisberger who going into next season is going to be the best quarterback in the AFC. I would take him over Manning or Brady anytime of the day. So the Steelers are set at quarterback for the next decade. Despite the loss of Jerome Bettis to his pending retirement after the Super Bowl, this team is set at running back for the next 3-4 years with Willie Parker. For next year Duce Staley will do a fine job replacing Bettis. Wide receiver is up in the air. I feel this team needs another deep threat going into next year but the coaching staff likes this recieving corps so there’s a good chance i wont get my wish. The big question is how much longer will Hines Ward be a pro bowl type receiver. Hines doesn’t look like to me that he has lost a step although some talk show hosts say he has. Hines has another 3-4 (65-85 catch seasons in him). With Heath Miller this team will be fine at receiver for years even if Randel El leaves via free agency. The offensive line will be strong for the next 3-4 years. Marvel Smith is relatively young, Alan Faneca isn’t slowing down, Max Starks, Simmons are young and still developing. The only question mark is Jeff Hartings and I feel he can be replaced when needed.

The defense is the glue of this team, but how much longer does this unit have together. The defensive line is in very good shape. Aaron Smith is in his 7th year and has another 3 pro bowl caliber seasons in him. Casey Hampton in his 3 rd year will be around for the long haul. Kimo is another story, he’s up there in age and I see him possibly playing next year but coming off the bench. Kimo can be replaced and Brett Kiesel looks like he’s ready to become a starter in this league. The linebacking core is getting up there in age. James Farrior has been around for a while and he has possibily 2 more seasons at the high level he has been playing the past 2 seasons. Larry Foote is young and locked up for another 4 years, Joey Porter the heart and soul of this team in his 7th season but doesn’t look like he is slowing down one bit. The secondary will be strong for years to come with Polamalu and Ike Taylor developing into a premier #1 shutdown corner.

Now people will say that they have no chance of putting together a dynasty because of how rare it is in the NFL these days with free agency and parity. They may be right they may be wrong, but how could anyone say they don’t have a chance when you have a superstar quarterback that is going to just keep getting better, and players who are relatively young playing key positions. I may end up wrong in my assumption that this is the beginning of something special for years to come, but I would take the odds of them becoming a dynasty over the odds of them not becoming one in a heart beat.

Other headlines:

Pens news
– Defenseman Rick Jackman has requested a trade if he keeps getting scratched.
my take: im not a big fan of him and he has been terrible this year, but he’s a better option than Melichar being out there. He does have some offensive skill and is effective at times on the powerplay so a team may offer up a late round pick and a bag of pucks for him . One possibility is to package Jackman with Malone and see what teams would offer… just a thought

Pitt VS U Conn tuesday night….

– These next two games against U Conn and Georgetown are going to be a big test for the Panthers. Well see if this team is for real and can take it to the next level. My prediction ….Pitt plays well in U Conn and they have the bench this year to stay in a close game if key players like Krauser and Gray get in early foul trouble. I believe Pitt is for real so what the hell …. Pitt 73 – U Conn 68

National Headlines:

Brett Farve cosidering retirement. Not a big shocker there after the season he had. My guess is he’ll be back for another year but a 5% chance not in a Green Bay uniform

T.O meets with Mike Shannahan in Denver. Rumors have been swirling around that Terrel Owens may end up in Denver. I just don’t see it happening, If T.O. thinks Donavan Mcnabb was a sub par quarterback, wait till he starts catching passes from Jake Plummer. Possible destinations Denver, Miami, NYJ, Washington, and surprise team that could be in running is the Green Bay Packers.

Carolina Hurricanes wins the sweepstakes to Doug Weight. The addition of Weight makes this team a lot scarier for the present but for the future this was not a good deal. Gave up a couple solid young players and 3 draft picks. Way to much for a free agent this summer.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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