The Senile Curtain?

September 17, 2011 by

In the wake of last week’s 28-point loss to the Baltimore Ravens, countless commentators and fans have opined about whether the Steelers’ defense is suddenly “too old.” Only time will tell, but one factor that often goes unmentioned is that the team’s D could get considerably younger overnight if the coaches decided to replace certain veterans with up-and-coming youngsters already on the roster. For example, the Steelers could move longtime starting DE’s Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel to the bench in favor of recent first-round picks Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward, both of whom have shown every indication of being the future at their respective positions. The team also appears to have wiggle room at linebacker and cornerback, leaving nose tackle and free safety as the only two positions in dire need of a youth movement. Nose tackle remains a particular source of concern, as starter Casey Hampton is in his 11th season and backup Chris Hoke is in his 10th year. In other words, it’s a position that figures to be addressed early in next year’s draft. Personally, I expect Pittsburgh’s defense to make a statement tomorrow versus Seattle, enabling the team to win relatively easily.

Jason is editor of Failure Magazine, and occasionally blogs about the Steelers at The Steelyard.

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