What if? Poaching a non-quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers
I had an interesting conversation with a Kansas City Chiefs and an Oakland Raiders fan a week or so ago, and the question came up, ‘if you could have any player from any other team in the NFL who would you take?’ The Chiefs and Raiders fans both piped up quickly with quarterbacks, the Chiefs fan asking for Aaron Rogers and the Raiders fan opting for Tom Brady. We kept talking and decided it would be more interesting to have to think beyond the quarterback, since so many teams are in dire need of a signal caller. After some debate the Chiefs fan then turned his attention to Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware and the Raiders fan said he wanted Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Once they had made their choices they turned to me and wanted to know who Mr. Football Smartypants wants for his Pittsburgh Steelers. Well here is who I picked and how I got there:
I immediately had 3 positions in mind: running back, cornerback, and wide receiver. I feel like the offensive line is coming together nicely, and most other positions are in solid shape. But adding an elite player at one of those spots made the most sense to me.
First the running back. Picking a back is never as simple as selecting based on statistics. You have to get a guy that fits your system. If I were putting my dream running back on the Steeler roster, it would be the Houston Texans‘ Arian Foster. He’s a one-cut-and-go type of back and that fits what the Steelers want to do. There are some backs that ran for more yards last year and caught more passes, but I want a guy who will keep moving the chains, and Foster would be my guy.
Next is a cornerback. I realize that the prevailing wisdom is that you must select New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis but I’ll pass. Give me Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. His potential as a cornerback is almost unlimited in terms of a coverage player and he’s one of the most dangerous return men in the game. Give me what he brings, especially going forward, over Revis anytime.
Finally, a wide receiver. There are so many tremendous wideouts in the NFL right now, so this was far from cut and dry. It really came down to three names. Cardinal Larry Fitzergerald, Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson, and Texan Andre Johnson. All very similar players, so I took one big thing into consideration: age. I don’t think I could go wrong with any of them, but at only 26 years old with a freakish skill set, Johnson is my guy.
So, I got it down to three and, at this point, my friends were rolling their eyes. I realize I over analyze things like this, but they’ve learned to love me, so you will too. Foster, Peterson, or Johnson? Johnson, Foster, or Peterson? Tough decision. By process of elimination based on need, assuming all would have a similar impact, I went with Foster. This offensive line is so much better, and the Steelers running back situation is tenuous. Foster could rush for 2,000 yards behind this line with this set of skill players. The Steelers’ defense would give him leads and let him just lean on opposing defenses late in games. So the short answer to a long decision is give me Foster as the guy I poach for my Steelers.
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