Checkdown Audible: Too Soon To Label Steelers As Next Dynasty

Steelers 2014 Checkdown Audible

As a Steelers fan first and foremost, then a guy who covers them as a sports writer, I pay attention to the whisperings and buzz surrounding the team.  Recently, I ran across a piece by SBNation that predicted five NFL teams that would be the next dynasty in the league.  I was pleasantly surprised that Pittsburgh made the list considering the level of disdain among league fans who say they are sick of hearing about the Steelers’ six Lombardi Trophies.  At the same time, I feel that the Steelers have the potential to reach that lofty goal as champions once again.  One thing I have to say is that I believe it is too soon to attach that label onto the current team.

Danny Kelly had this to say about the Steelers:

They’ve got the franchise quarterback in Big Ben, known for his knack for big plays in big-time moments. Ben Roethlisberger, 33, isn’t getting any younger, but still has at least five years left in his illustrious career if he stays healthy. He doesn’t do it all himself, though, and it doesn’t hurt that the Steelers appear to be the league’s best evaluators in wide receiver talent, giving Roethlisberger an unending supply of speedsters to catch his passes. A focus on balance is pretty important as well, and you could make the argument that Le’Veon Bell could emerge at the top as the NFL’s best back after Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch retire. Pittsburgh’s explosive, star-studded offense doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

That’s only part of the equation. The Steelers also have an extremely stable and consistent owner in the Rooney family, a highly respected GM in Kevin Colbert and a tenacious and long-standing coach in Mike Tomlin. That consistency and continuity in system and philosophy helps makes Pittsburgh perennial contenders. They’ve got two Super Bowl wins in the past 10 years, which gives them a big head start in the legacy department.

The Steelers’ leadership core on defense is aging — Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor retired; James Harrison is 37 — and Dick LeBeau is gone. However, there’s been an infusion of talent through the draft on that side of the ball that could help them continue their tradition of defensive excellence. Their young defensive talent is still a wild card, which makes this projection a little more difficult.

I never underestimate the power of the system and philosophy in Pittsburgh, and it starts from the top-down.

Kelly makes very valid points about the importance of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and a handful of talented receivers like Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant on offense with the ever-consistent Heath Miller.  The Steelers haven’t even entered training camp yet and league insiders are impressed with the potential the Steelers have this upcoming season.  Many are predicting the Steelers offense will lead the league.

There are a couple hiccups though. Brown created some early ripples with what was viewed as a possible holdout before he reported and attended OTAs voluntarily.  Brown is in the final stretch of the forward-thinking contract extension the Steelers gave him instead of Mike Wallace in 2012.  Wallace left, but is making more money per year.  With Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys) and Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos) now threatening holdouts for better career earnings, it sets the tone for Brown to plead his case to the front office in 2016-2017, the final year of his contract.

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About the Author

S Dean
S. Dean is a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan. The former owner of 'The Beam in Pittsburgh', Dean has worked in the sports media field for several years. S. Dean graduated with a degree in physical therapy and sports medicine, has a minor in journalism and is a Mt. Lebanon, PA, native. His favorite Steelers players (all-time) are Jerome Bettis, Lynn Swann and Joey Porter. You can follow him on Twitter @NFLHotTopix and Google Plus. To see his full bio, please visit the Meet Our Staff page.

2 Comments on "Checkdown Audible: Too Soon To Label Steelers As Next Dynasty"

  1. The dead stretch of time between the draft and the start of the preseason is tough on football fans and sports writers alike. Danny Kelly was no doubt obliged to entertain SB Nation readers with something — and came up with this silly dynasty idea. It’s better than nothing, but not by much.

    The terms of the latest collective bargaining agreement make it far more difficult for teams to retain their senior talent than in days of old. The intent was to improve parity in talent among teams, and the CBA has done that. But it has also made creation of a dynasty, such as the Steelers had in the 70’s, highly unlikely.

    Instead of retaining star veterans, the CBA now places an emphasis on excellence in recruiting and developing talent in order to building depth to replace senior stars as their contracts terminate. Bill Belichek and the Patriots have proved superb at executing this strategy. The Steelers were reluctant to part with their veterans, but they are getting better at it. However, no team is likely to build a dynasty — in the sense of winning four Super Bowls in one decade — under the prevailing CBA. It isn’t going to happen.

  2. Kelly didn’t know Polamalu and Ike are gone? Smh

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