Pittsburgh Steelers: Players Whose Stock is Falling
Pittsburgh Steelers: Players Whose Stock is Falling
For every upside to a story, there is a downside. Earlier I revealed five Pittsburgh Steelers whose stock in on the rise so far this season. Now it is time for me to unveil the five Steelers whose stock is on the decline.
I know that football is the ultimate teams sport, and that the team as a whole is held accountable for every win and lose, but Pittsburgh’s first two losses of the season can definitely be accredited to the performance of certain individuals.
The players who were on the rise happen to all be on the offensive side of the ball. Four of the five players, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, and tight end Heath Miller, all have been major contributors in Pittsburgh’s offensive success.
Big Ben is one of the top rated passers in the league, Wallace and Brown are the team’s leading receivers, and Miller leads Pittsburgh in touchdowns.
The other player mentioned, running back Rashard Mendenhall, has added the much-needed balance to the Steelers’ offense, and has revived their ground attack.
The players whose stock is falling is because of the inconsistency on defense and in the running game. Narrowing the list to just five players was a bit difficult, considering the fact that the running game and the defense as of late hasn’t lived up to the standard in which Pittsburgh football is known for. Much of this is contributed to injuries, unfamiliarity with new positions, play calling, penalties, and the inability to play.
Here are the players who are on the decline so far.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Willie Colon
Offensive lineman Willie Colon has had his share of rough times in the early part of this season. A severe knee injury to rookie guard David DeCastro forced the Steelers’ coaching staff to shuffle some players along the offensive line. One of those moves was moving Colon from right tackle to left guard. Colon’s transition has been a rocky one so far. The seven-year veteran has struggled on pull blocks in the running game, resulting in Pittsburgh’s inability to establish a solid ground attack. In addition to the troubles in the running game, in the Steelers’ victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last week, Colon was flagged four times for holding penalties. With four games under his belt at a new position, and having a much more explosive running back in Mendenhall in the backfield, Colon’s performance at left guard should improve in the second quarter of the regular season.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Isaac Redman
I believe an inconsistent offensive line, nagging injuries during the preseason, and the pass-heavy play calling of offensive coordinator Todd Haley has definitely played a part in Isaac Redman’s pedestrian rushing statistics in the first four games of the season. Redman has carried the ball 45 times for only 113 yards and one touchdown in Pittsburgh’s first four games. This lack of production alone will drop any running back’s stock, but what makes Redman’s stock plummet even further is Mendenhall’s return to the starting lineup. Mendenhall almost trumped Redman’s rushing total for the 2012 season in one game. As long as Mendy is healthy, there’s a good chance that Redman’s stock won’t rise much.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Ryan Mundy
One could argue that the stock of free safety Ryan Mundy should be rising. With Pro Bowler Troy Polamalu aggravating his calf injury in last week’s game versus Philly, you would think that the opportunity to of being in the starting lineup would be a positive thing. However, in the Steelers’ last two games, Mundy has been penalized for flagrant hits, putting Pittsburgh’s defense in vulnerable situations in crucial parts of games. These hits have made Mundy a liability. Even though Mundy will be named the starting strong safety in Polamalu’s absence, Will Allen will split time with Mundy on defense, giving Mundy fewer opportunities to be on the field.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Troy Polamalu
It’s pretty obvious why Troy Polamalu’s stock is on the decline. The same calf injury that slowed him down prior to the 2011 wildcard round of the playoffs has reared its ugly head once again. Polamalu has only appeared in two games this season, the first being the season opener versus the Denver Broncos, and the other against the Eagles last week. After the game against the Broncos, the 10-year veteran was sidelined for the next two games. Following an early bye week, Polamalu returned, only to limp to the bench during the first quarter in Week 5. This injury appears to be much worse than originally anticipated, and could keep him on the injured list for a while.
Pittsburgh Steelers-Mike Adams
Unfortunately, the stock of rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams plummeted in his first preseason game. Drafted in the second round of the NFL draft, Adams was said to be the future left tackle of Pittsburgh’s offensive line. I’m not saying that this won’t happen, but it turns out that Adams is more of a work-in-progress than most expected. The sprained knee he suffered during the preseason obviously did not help his maturation process. Unless an unfortunate turn of events happens to the Steelers’ offensive line, I don’t see Adams getting a chance to prove his worth until the start of next season.
Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller
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