View Full Version : The Steelers are not too old, just old in key areas

10-06-2011, 09:11 PM
I was doing a little digging this afternoon and came up with some information on our Steelers in regards to all of this "old" talk being thrown about this year.

When you factor in every player on the roster, including those on injured reserve and on the practice squad, the average age of this team is 26.9, so basically 27 years old. That's pretty much right where you want a good team to be . A mix of youth and experience all over the roster. When you look at it that you, you could say to yourself, well hell this team isn't old they should be in the thick of the hunt competitively speaking. Especially the Steelers who are always in the thick of the post season race.

On Offense, the elder statesman is Hines Ward at 35,the next closest is a group of 29 year olds that include Ben Roethlisberger, Mewelde Moore, and Max Starks. Heath Miller, Willie Colon, Chris Kemoeatu, and Trai Essex are all 28. Basically you can see that the offense is in the prime of it's careers right now. With the exception of Ward these guys figure to be around for a good 5-6 years or so.

On defense we see more of where the "old" talk starts getting it's merit:

Out of every player over 30 on this roster, the only ones on offense are Ward, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich and Arnaz Battle. Ward being the only one that gets significant playing time with the offense.

30 - Troy Polamalu
31 - Ike Taylor, , Ryan Clark, Larry Foote,
33 - Brett Keisel, James Harrison
34 - Casey Hampton
35 - Aaron Smith, Chris Hoke,
36 - James Farrior

Everyone of these guys is either a starter or gets significant playing time in the rotation at their position. All of these guys also are Bill Cowher holdovers. You're talking 9 out of 11 starters on defense that have been together for all this time. Which is all well and good until you realize who the Steelers have brought in to replace them in recent years.

Ziggy Hood - so far not living up to 1st round expectations.
Cam Heyward - rookie, but does look promising.
Sly Sylvester - 2nd year player with potential but still has a ways to go.
Jason Worilds - clearly regressing from a promising 1st year.
Curtis Brown & Cortez Allen - rookies who have barely seen the field even in preseason.
Ryan Mundy - A very capable backup who actually might be better than Ryan Clark on a regular basis.
Lawrence Timmons - Clearly a future pro bower and long time staple at linebacker
Lamarr Woodley - streaky player, when he's hot he's on like gang busters but when he's cold he's all but invisible.

That's pretty much it folks, and from what we can see this team waited entirely too long to start fixing the age discrepancy and they continue to pay for it. The future at linebacker appears to be in good hands, the future at defensive line "could" be in good hands but the jury is still out. The future in the secondary is a total question mark. Even more alarming than the lack of good replacements until recently is the lack of busts that were brought in via the draft. Offensive lineman, defensive lineman, cornerbackers, all mostly traditional day 2 picks that never panned out.

Age has caught up to this team perhaps quicker than they would have liked. Guys like Hampton, Smith, and Farrior all seemed invincible over the years and the coaches were hoping to get another year or 2 out of them. So far though the first part of the season that has not been the case. The lack of regular off season workouts certainly didn't help their cause but you can't blame it all on that. After all the Steelers were supposed to be one of the teams that had an advantage because they had so many veterans.

Now having said all of that, the season is certainly still not a bust. This team is certainly capable of sucking it up, getting pissed off, and making 1 last run to the playoffs before some of those old vets ride off into the sunset and give way to what we hope is a new generation of Blitzburgh. I for one am certainly not throwing in the terrible towel just yet, however the time to get back on track is now.

10-07-2011, 12:56 PM
I don't know what the problem is...I am not seeing the drive, energy and strength I expect from a Steeler D. If the difficulty isn't their age, then what is it? Lazy? Not interested? I refuse to believe either of those things are true. Although that is what I am hearing from the Steeler haters I am surrounded by. I think they are slower than they were last year. I don't know why they aren't getting turnovers, the Dline and linebackers aren't hitting like they are capable, or why Coach L isn't doing something to resolve or define the issues. It may very well be that they (vets) are all too old to keep up and the young guys missed too much during what would have been the off season to fully scheme the D. I'm frustrated like everyone else. I do think the secondary is actually better this year which is an improvement. I just hope they get it together this Sunday. I can't take what I'm seeing so far.

I will say, I think this is the time for a breakout game. It seems when it looks the darkest, my perspective is that the Steelers generally surprise everyone. I don't know why it has to get to the point it is now but I am hoping for the play and determination that got the team that won SB XL to its goal. :tt02::tt02::tt02::tt02::tt02:

10-09-2011, 09:42 AM
Let's hope that breakout game is today, atleast it better be. I saw a glimpse of that excitement, drive, and dedication that we're used to seeing; in the 3rd quarter of the Texans game. Then it all got shot to hell in the 4th. Gotta start somewhere I guess.