Pass interference or just a friendly shove? You decide…
Since I began this series, former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher gave some validity to the exercise. In today’s Tribune-Review Cowher had this to say:
You have to be careful not to tinker too much some times. Sometimes it is a play here and a play there that doesn’t allow you to move forward. You sit there and go back and overanalyze and make changes that they don’t necessarily need to make. The biggest thing sometimes is to recognize where you are.
I think they are very close [to a championship.] Easily, you can sit there and say if their young running back doesn’t fumble in that game that they could’ve beaten the Denver Broncos. They were a team that nobody really wanted to play. They have a great window of time with a young nucleus. Their quarterback still has many good years ahead of [him.]
Cowher, according to writer Mark Kaboly, warned against tinkering too much, although he said the secondary needed some attention. But it seems clear Cowher thought this year’s Steelers could have very well been the AFC team in this year’s Super Bowl. So with Cowher’s blessing, whether he meant to give it or not, I’m going to continue with my speculations.
In Part 1 I addressed the quarterback position. Not surprisingly, the conclusion was the Steelers were certainly qualified to compete with the Panthers at the quarterback position, based upon how Roethlisberger had played this season. However, you can’t really take these things in a vacuum, so today I’m going to look at how the three offenses under consideration managed against other defenses.
Part of the issue is the relationship between quarterback and receivers (and for that matter, who they had), part is how much of a threat of a running game they had, and part is how proficient the opposing defense was in dealing with that type of offense. Although it is pretty much impossible to say what would happen in any given game, even with powerful computer simulations, there are some things we can look at.