This article actually kinda makes sense... due to our MONSTEROUS schedule in 08 and how much help we need in the draft/free agency, the reporter kinda has a point. If we go 8-8 next year "steeler nation" would be in a frenzy!!!! If we went out and spent a lil cash on a high price player or two ie: Faneca, Roy Williams, Randy Moss or *gulp* Adam "Pacin heat-man" Jones, went 10-6 or better and earned another trip to the playoffs, all would be good!!! So will we ever get with the times so to speak and start shelling out for top flight players!?!?!?
Taking risks not the Steelers' 'way'
Published: Monday, February 4, 2008 2:56 PM EST
The Steelers could significantly upgrade their team with two very easily made moves.
But they won’t, because it wouldn’t be the “Steeler way.”
Move No. 1: The Steelers should sign free-agent receiver Randy Moss.
Move No. 2: The Steelers should trade for cornerback Pacman Jones pending clarification on when the NFL will reinstate him and resolution of his remaining legal troubles. The Tennessee Titans have stated their desire to deal Jones.
Am I nuts? Maybe. But the Steelers won’t do what I suggest anyway. The organization prides itself on not tolerating bad actors. (Then again, neither Moss nor Jones ever shot at a police helicopter like the late Ernie Holmes. Wasn’t Jerome Bettis considered a problem child before the Steelers got him from St. Louis? Wasn’t Bam Morris a Steeler when they found four kilos of marijuana and one kilo of cocaine in his car? And how about the gunplay at Cedrick Wilson’s house the other day?)
Some admire that unofficial policy. But how many times has it kept the Steelers from the Super Bowl? The Steelers are great at assembling the foundation of a good team, but won’t add the final (costly) piece. Whether because of morals or money, the Steelers have reached just two Super Bowls since 1980. That’s simply not enough.
It’s laughable when the fans act like they approve of the Steelers’ “policy.” Why should fans care about anything but winning?
Ben Roethlisberger wants a tall receiver. Moss isn’t a tall receiver, he’s the tall receiver. He’s 30, and can obviously still play. If the Steelers get him, the Patriots lose him.
Jones, 24, is totally insane. But so what? The Steelers should do their Christian duty and straighten out that young man. Why must the troublemakers always be avoided? Why must the door always slam shut? Why can’t it be about rehabilitation just once?
Jones is an above-average corner with the potential to be a lot more. Jones had three punt-return touchdowns in 2006, so he would fill another important need. The Titans are aching to dump Jones and would likely let him go dirt cheap.
Isn’t Hines Ward a troublemaker? He just took potshots at his own quarterback in the media and has often aired grievances in similar fashion. Ward made more trouble in the Steelers’ locker room this past season than Moss did in the Patriots’. Why do the Steelers and Steelers fans embrace this particular malcontent while spurning others?
Don’t fool yourself: The Steelers don’t pull the trigger on big-money acquisitions because of cash, not character. The perceived morals clause is a nice PR out.
Some considered Bill Belichick ill-advised for taking a chance on Moss. But that worked out well for the Patriots, didn’t it? Jones is a lesser probability, a longer shot, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Given the Steelers’ difficult schedule for 2008 — and an absolute plethora of problem spots — this is a team that needs to take a chance or two.
If I were a Steelers fan, I’d be tired of underachieving. They’re too often pretty near, but not plumb. The Steelers never take a risk, so they rarely get a payoff.
Moss seems to have stabilized his career. He’s a reliable commodity once more.
Jones might come to Pittsburgh and implode once and for all. Or he might realize he’s at the Last Chance Saloon (and Strip Club), pick up the pieces of his shattered career, realize his potential and become one of the NFL’s all-time feel-good stories.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have that happen in Pittsburgh? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if the Steelers reaped the benefits?
When the Steelers go 6-10 this coming season — and rest assured, that is a distinct possibility — will you feel better that, as always, they took the high road?
Not really. But I bet you’ll talk yourself into it.
Mark Madden hosts a sports talk show 3-7 p.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1250.