The Steelers added WR Lance Moore to replace the reliable hands they lost when they allowed Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery to leave in free agency.
After two straight 8-8 seasons without a playoff appearance, there is a lot of speculation as to who in Pittsburgh may be on the chopping block if the team does not return in 2014. The Steelers are trying to keep pace with the younger and much improved AFC North with the powerhouse Bengals, the perennial contender Ravens and the ascending Browns. The Steelers did not have too many weaknesses to address in the free agency period, but they got a few very good depth players.
LeGarrette Blount – RB, Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR, Lance Moore – WR, Adam Podlesh – P, Mike Mitchell – S
A look at each player:
Blount is a former Patriots and Buccaneers RB with a career yards/carry average of 4.7, and two seasons where he averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry. He also had a 4 TD game against the Colts in the divisional round of the 2013-14 playoffs.
Heyward-Bey is a former Raider and Colt who once ran a 4.25 40-time in the scouting combine, but struggled as a full-time receiver. He adds a speed dimension that few in the league can match in a straight-line.
Moore is a former Saints receiver who has two seasons with over 900 yards receiving. While not a great deep threat, he does have reliable hands and a nose for the endzone, recording 38 TDs since 2008.
Podlesh is a reliable punter who has a career average of 42.4 yards/punt. In 467 career punts, he has only one that has been blocked.
Mitchell is a playmaking safety who recorded 4.0 sacks, 4 INTs and 2 forced fumbles with the Panthers in 2013.
It’s doubtful that Heyward-Bey and Moore can replace the production of Cotchery and Sanders, but it may not matter as long as Roethlisberger is playing at a high level. The Steelers added plenty of depth to a roster that still has one of the best all around defenses.