They are still a proud organization – maybe just a little misguided. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been out of the playoffs the past two seasons, showing wear on their defense and misdirection on offensive at times, which has made for a less than stellar offseason in both 2013 and 2014.
The Scouting Combine ends, free agency begins and drama begins of who stays and who goes.
There is plenty of lobbying amongst position coaches to keep players who have been part of the framework that is everything Black and Yellow.
The Terrible Towel that has waved for decades at opponents may be turned on the organization if the right moves aren’t made – mainly because there is such a deep love for the Brett Keisel’s and Ryan Clark’s of the team.
While there is a time when teams must say goodbye to the past and look to the future, the pain is no less severe for the fans who line the seats week after week at Heinz Field.
The Steelers have many free agents which they must make decisions on – taking into account the work of the older veterans and the players who are younger, but have not given them the productivity they wanted.
Among those names, here are the ones this team must keep to remain an active competitor in the AFC playoff chase in 2014.
He and Antonio Brown are so important to this team as targets for Ben Roethlisberger. If they cannot keep Sanders, the team could make a bid for a free agent (Eric Decker) or possibly look to draft one in the second round (Odell Beckham, Jr., should he slip).
He is still an important part of the Steelers' secondary. Clark is a leader on and off the field and if cap hits mean other defensive backs are released, his role becomes even more important to the success of this franchise. The Steelers could still draft a defensive back in the first or second round.
Came to the team after the season started and played admirably in place of Maurkice Pouncey. Velasco should stay because of versatility and value to the team.
He is a former first round pick who still means a lot to the front line of defense. Hood is one of those players who is Pittsburgh through and through. He plugs the middle of the defensive line and stops the run.
The most popular beard in all of football. Keisel is aging, but he is another one of those lunch pail type players who is a natural Steelers player. I would not be surprised if he stayed for one more season, or was allowed to test the free agent waters. If he goes, New England could be calling.
He is the new generation of Steelers linebacker. Worilds and Jarvis Jones along with the still very capable Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley will still cause havoc for the opposition.