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Mack: Time For Steelers, Colbert To Make Move Is Now

Antonio Brown, Ramon Foster implore Steelers to go after Patrick Peterson

Chris Mack
October 23, 2018 - 11:48 am

Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson wants out of Arizona and wants to play for a Super Bowl contender. The Steelers are in need of help at cornerback and have a championship window that’s open despite a slow start to the season.

Before you give me the same old, tired excuse of why the Steelers won’t go get Peterson because they don’t like trading high draft picks, or because they may have to get creative with the salary cap in order to make it happen, let’s ask a question that should be posed point blank to Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert: If not now, when?

For years the excuse for the Steelers not making big, bold trades that affect their immediate chase for another Super Bowl ring has been “Well, that’s just not the way they do business.”

But if not now, with Ben Roethlisberger in his 15th season and just a year and a half remaining on his current contract, when?

With a 1-2-1 start behind them, a modest winning streak at their back, and a chance to grab the AFC North in a chokehold over the next two weeks, the Steelers have spent October going from “What the heck’s wrong with these guys?” to “Here come the Steelers, rising from the ashes yet again.”

What better way to patch the most glaring position of need than to go aggressively after a game-changing player before next Tuesday afternoon’s NFL Trade Deadline?

If not now, when?

Le’Veon Bell may never wear a Steelers uniform again. The starting offensive line is averaging 30 years of age and two years remaining on their contracts. Antonio Brown is the best wide receiver in the league, but it also feels like he’s a quiet quarter away from a meltdown on any given game day. The championship contention window is slowly closing on a team that’s won just three playoff games in the last seven years.

If not now, when?

Since the Steelers secondary that included Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, and Troy Polamalu received its final demolition following the 2014 season, the search for defensive backs that could make the kind of “splash” plays this defense should thrive on has been incessant.

Sean Davis, Doran Grant, Senquez Goloson, Artie Burns, Cam Sutton, and Terrell Edmunds have all been selected on the first or second day of the draft.

I’d tell you can to add up the number of Pro Bowl appearances between them, but 0 + 0 still equals 0.

Morgan Burnett, Nat Berhe, J.J. Wilcox, Coty Sensabaugh, Brian Allen, Ross Cockrell, and Justin Gilbert are among the names that have been brought in to try and make up for the misses on some of those defensive back draft picks.

Not exactly an inspiring bevy of ball-hawking talent there, eh?

The Steelers’ biggest success in the secondary over the past four seasons has been one that came via trade, even if it did essentially fall in their lap: The acquisition of Joe Haden before the 2017 opener, which came at the behest of many of his former college teammates and current Pittsburgh Steelers.

Enter stage left Brown, who’s never been inept at making waves via social media, tweeting his interest in adding Peterson.

I asked Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster Tuesday morning if he and his teammates sit and imagine what it would be like to have a player of Peterson’s caliber in black and gold, and he doubled down on Brown’s tweet.

Yes, to be completely honest with you, absolutely," said Foster.

"That's no disrespect to anybody on our roster at all. I feel like when you have an opportunity to get a guy like him, or position yourself with a defensive player of his magnitude, you gotta see if your management team would take the shot.”

Foster essentially said, if not now, when?

“I'm more worried now about getting a ring and getting to the show again more than anything else,” Foster told us on The Fan Morning Show.

“Those windows close, whether it's talent, whether it's contracts, whatever the case may be.”

Related: Ramon Foster Advocates 'Taking A Shot' On Acquiring Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson

When will General Manager Kevin Colbert admit that the players he’s brought in in the effort to rebuild his secondary have fallen short of the mark, and that it will take big, bold, sweeping moves to make up for the  misses of the past?

When will he realize his organization’s championship window may be closing?

When will the Steelers make the kind of move that the New England Patriots seem to pull out of thin air every year in an effort to capitalize on what is an annual quest for another Lombardi Trophy?

If not now, when?