Dec 2, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M

Pittsburgh Steelers lack of team speed is concerning

With a ton of free agent decisions upcoming and some looming salary cap issues, Pittsburgh Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert has a lot of work to do.

One of his biggest jobs is addressing the need for speed as the Steelers don’t have a lot of speed on either side of the ball.

They always say speed kills, and often not having speed creates negative matchup problems. That’s the road the Steelers could be headed down a dangerous path.

December 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey (22) returns a Cleveland Browns kick-off during the second quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On the offensive side of the ball, wide receiver Mike Wallace likely won’t be back and running back Chris Rainey has officially been released.

That leaves Baron Batch and restricted free agents Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman likely in the backfield and Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery at wide receiver. In addition the team’s best receiver- tight end Heath Miller- is recovering from a knee injury.

Other than Brown, who has a decent set of wheels, there is nothing coming back that even resembles a guy that is capable of making big plays either on offense or in the return game.

Add to that the fact that Brown isn’t exactly a straight line threat in the passing game and it is even more concerning. Brown’s role is defined in the passing game, but expect things to be much more difficult for him on the other side without teams having to respect the speed of Wallace.

The Steelers are missing one key element at each skill position on the offensive side of the ball and that is speed.

The same problems are there on the defensive side of the ball, where the big plays have been missing for the past two seasons.

Lawrence Timmons has a motor at linebacker and the Steelers hope LaMarr Woodley can return to form. But the rest of the defense is a year older. The secondary is in decent shape if the Steelers can re-sign Keenan Lewis, but overall they are missing speed as a team on that side of the ball as well.

In a league blessed with great athletes and some of the fastest players the league has seen in some time, the Steelers are suddenly without many of these types of playmakers.

There are plenty of holes for this team to fill before the 2013 season begins, but the need for speed is something that needs addressed.

The Steelers need playmakers on both sides of the ball.

Adding quality speed to this roster isn’t an overnight fix as it may take the Steelers a couple of offseason’s to get up to par in terms of legitimate potential playmakers, but it is something that has to be addressed nonetheless.

At the end of the day speed kills and the Steelers don’t have it.

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Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers

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