The 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers defense looks like a mirror image of their 2013 selves, except this unit could be worse. The time has come to make some changes.
Soft coverage, surrendering big plays and can’t defend against the run.
That was the theme of the 2013 season, and it looks to have carried over to 2014 with a new cast of characters. Gone are Ziggy Hood and Al Woods, enter Cam Thomas. Gone is Ryan Clark, enter Mike Mitchell. Gone is Larry Foote, enter Ryan Shazier. You get the picture.
The 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers season very well could be defined by the team’s ability to change. Not scheme, but personnel.
I have seen enough of Cam Thomas to know that I’ve seen too much. If you are going to trot out a large human being to just get pushed around, you might as well put someone out there that has a little bit of an upside. That is where Stephon Tuitt comes in.
Tuitt might not be any more effective than Thomas, but he sure does have the ability to improve throughout his rookie campaign and better himself for the future.
Mike Mitchell very well could be a ghost on the field, because the only time he is seen is by taking bad angles or drawing penalties. Possibly a bigger issue is his counterpart in the secondary, Troy Polamalu, hasn’t been much better.
In my humble opinion, it’s time for Shamarko Thomas. I’m not suggesting Thomas replace either safety as the full time starter, but the young man needs to see the field. He plays the run better than both safeties and has the speed that seems to be lacking on the back half of the defense.
Ryan Shazier hasn’t been awful, but it is time to give the rookie time to collect himself every now and then. Asking a rookie to step in and play every down isn’t easy for anyone. The preseason showed that Sean Spence is more than capable of stepping up and stopping the run and playing that role within the team.
Change is necessary to success. It is a pretty simple concept.
The Steelers now have 10 days until they play another football game. 10 days for them to implement this change. 10 days for the coaching staff to put something together resembling a functional defensive unit. 10 days to at least put a band aid on the gaping hole the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens have left through the middle of the defense.
10 days to put the first two performances behind them and start fresh with some new personnel eager and ready to go make a difference on Sunday Night Football.
The time for change, is now.