Pittsburgh Steelers: Has the offense improved enough?

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Coming off of a disappointing 8-8 season in 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

As badly as they needed playmakers on the defensive side, they also needed some on the offensive side as well.

Last season, the Steelers offense finished a disappointing 21st in total yardage and 22nd in points per game. Disappointing seasons by Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall were a major reason for this poor performance.

Dec 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles against the Cleveland Browns during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Wallace and Mendenhall are gone, which ultimately could be a good thing. Tight end Heath Miller also must be replaced for the short-term as he is coming off an ACL injury suffered late last season.

Give Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert credit for addressing the need as they focused on the offense in the middle rounds of the draft.

But did they do enough to dramatically improve a struggling offense?

Let’s take a look position by position:


Any time you have Ben Roethlisberger under center, you are in better shape than three quarters of the teams in the NFL. The problem is that Big Ben often can’t be counted on to play 16 games. That being said, the backup quarterback position needed addressed. There will be a lot of talk about Landry Jones, who the Steelers drafted in the fourth round, but if things go right then Jones will never have to play a snap.

The biggest improvement the Steelers made wasn’t drafting Jones, but it was the signing of Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski isn’t anything special, but he represents an upgrade over both Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich. In addition Jones gives them a quarterback with upside. Overall, the Steelers are in a much better spot with Gradkowski and Jones behind Roethlisberger instead of Leftwich and Batch.

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