Scunge wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:39 pm
I get the idea that there is a camp that wants to see Ben decide when to hang it up. That they want to see him play his last season, games in front of the home fans in Pittsburgh, and of those displaced fans in other cities. What makes any of you think that Wolf will allow fans in the stadium come this fall?? That things will return to normal and 66,000 fans will return to the stadium at a mere snap of the fingers???
Many criticize me and my supposed treatment of our beloved vets at the end of their careers. Think of me as a disciple of Chuck Noll, the greatest coach this team ever had. He was not sentimental, he knew when the time had come and that players should, "Get on with their life's work"
A couple years back when Ben was doing his, will I come back, I will have to think about it, pray on it, shtick/gimmick/routine, I wondered how Chuck Noll would have handled that. I daydreamed what Noll's response would have been. I do think Ben would have quickly gotten a message and never uttered those words again.
I keep coming back to this, why would Ben want to come back? With the exception of David DeCastro at RG, the rest of that O-line will be different.
Who is the LT? Okorafora? A 1st//2nd/3rd round rookie?
Who is the LG? Does Matt Feiler resign with the Steelers? Is it Dotson instead?
Who is the C? Do they rely on a 2nd or 3rd round rookie? Do they play Hassenauer?
Who is the RT? Do they keep Okorafora at RT? Does he move to LT and Banner comes back to play at RT? Is Feiler resigned and he plays at RT?
Who is the TE? The TE to complement Ebron? Will Ebron be cut as well??
Will JuJu leave for the NY Jets or some other bigger city?
Will Conner leave as well?
Matt Canada will be challenged with all of this upheaval on the offensive side of the ball. And to make his job more difficult he will have an old QB who doesn't move well. That O-line is not going to gel overnight and it will probably get Ben hurt. I suspect that Rudolph might easily get 3 starts anyway.
The way I look at it, rip that band aid off now, encourage retirement, then you have a full $19 million to help for the rebuild effort and you don't have to deal with dead money in 2022. And again, if you start Rudolph and go 8-8, or 6-10, then so be it. Having the 12-15th pick in the draft gives you a great start in rebuilding this team.
Great perspective here, Scrunge. Thanks for posting.
And that's what I keep coming back to in all of this: it seems like there's a disconnect between Ben and the reality facing this team. "I don't care what I get paid this season! We'll bring my bud Pouncey back, and my safety net Juju, and Big Al and Bud... let's run it back! Let's win one more... for me!"
Juju and Bud are gone. Bud was gone the second they decided not to sign him long-term and slapped the franchise tag on him. I would gladly bet anyone on here $100 he'll be playing with another team next season. It's over, Johnny! As for Juju, why would he want to come back here? To sign a long-term deal just to play one more season with the Gipper and then what? To come back and be a glorified dump off option to get 4-5 yard passes where he has to fight for every single yard while getting his clock cleaned damn near every reception? I can't remember the last time I saw a Steelers WR punished as much as JJSS was this past season. He played his ass off but he was getting lit up by 2-3 defenders damn near every catch. And he knows the Steelers plan this offseason is to rejuvenate the run game and get back to running the ball. I'm sure he's pumped! There is more money and better situations to be had on the open market.
Next season is year 1 of a rebuild, whether they want to admit it or not. There is going to be a mass exodus of players. We will not be as good a team next season as we were this year. This isn't a championship roster with or without Ben. He wants to have some fairytale career ending like his idol Elway did or like Bettis got to go out with... that isn't going to happen with him. For every Elway there are scores of other great players who went out like a fart in the wind... like Marino getting destroyed against Jacksonville in the playoffs, or Brett Favre knocked out on a sack in an awful 6-10 season wearing a Vikings uniform and never playing another down. I figure Ben's end will be pretty similar to Favre's. That Vikings team reminds me of the Steelers in some ways... holding out hope they can run it back again, traded a 3rd round pick to New England to bring back Randy Moss with Favre, traded up in the second round of the draft to grab Toby Gebhart to pair with AD, being aggressive, trying to hold it together... then Favre fell apart, Moss was cut a month into the season, and it all went to shit from there. Then they really bottomed out the next season. I hope that doesn't happen here.
I still think there's a legitimate chance that Ben ends up hanging it up this offseason for many of the same reasons above. When it sets in that Bud is gone, and Juju is gone, and Big Al is probably gone, and Hilton and/or Sutton are gone, and Vance is already gone, and shit now Pouncey is sticking to retiring, and Fichtner is already gone and they're rolling with this Canada guy who runs shit I just don't like... what is he coming back to?
If he wants to come back then he's definitely earned that right. But the Steelers can't pretend like time is just gonna stop and ignore that they're gonna have a team post-Ben. Their moves now need to be about securing as many quality young players as they can, acquiring as many lottery ticket draft picks they can, and finding the next QB ASAP. Their focus this year can't be on keeping all their vets like Ben, Pouncey, Haden, DeCastro, Alaalu, Big Al and letting their promising young players leave in FA just to run it back with Ben. Look in the mirror and make the right decisions for the future of the club.