Entering their Week 5 bye, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin vowed to make the necessary changes to the team in order to improve on their 0-4 start to the 2013 NFL season. Just as expected, Tomlin proved to be a man of his word and did what he felt was needed without hesitation.
Immediately, the team made a bold move and traded a conditional draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for offensive tackle Levi Brown after deciding that second-year left tackle Mike Adams wasn’t cutting the mustard. Then, Pittsburgh looked to the other side of the ball and cut linebacker Kion Wilson, who was standing in for the injured veteran linebacker Larry Foote, and re-signed linebacker Sylvester Stevenson. Wilson stepped in as the starter but was outperformed by rookie linebacker Vince Williams who is still trying to come into his own.
As for players who started the season on the roster, defensive end Ziggy Hood has been demoted and replaced by third-year defensive end Cameron Heyward.
Even injuries caused the organization to alter the special teams unit. Safety DaMon Cromartie-Smith was waived by the Steelers due to a hip flexor, and safety Will Allen was signed after being released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier this week. Just like Stevenson, Allen is also starting a second stint in the Steel City.
Seeing how much turmoil Pittsburgh is in at this point in the season, it doesn’t appear that the recently made moves will drastically change the fortunes of the team. Currently, there is still no indication of whether Brown will start at left tackle in Week 6 against the New York Jets, and in the event that he does, there is no sign of how well he will do. As for the two other additions, only time will tell if their presence will a positive impact on the team.
It will take more than a few roster moves to greatly improve the Steelers’ chances of making a run at the AFC North title and making the playoffs for the first time since 2011. But it’s a start.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+