Listening to Eagles general manager Howie Roseman give his post-deadline press conference one thing really struck me. The Eagles and Steelers could not have any more different philosophies when it comes to how to run their respective franchises. One quote in particular from Roseman caught my attention. He said “Our message to the fans, players, and coaches is that our foots always on the gas. We are trying to win now.” There is no gray in that quote. The Philadelphia Eagles see a window to win championships, and they’re going for it. It seems to be the way the league is going right now. Teams like the Rams and Saints also have become super aggressive in terms of making moves towards winning now.
On the other side of the coin we have the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s is a philosophy of building slowly through the draft. Adding bit pieces through trades and free agency. Avoiding “splash” moves that might upset the balance. It would be hard to argue with the results over the years. The team has six Super Bowl titles in their pocket to prove their point. The question is does that still work in 2018? Championship windows do not last long in todays NFL. That has been the rub with the Steelers the last few seasons. The Ben Roethlisberger championship window isn’t going to be open forever. Have Steelers management done enough to maximize having a franchise quarterback over the last few seasons? The results would tell you no, as the team hasn’t reached a Super Bowl in nine years. This, while having a top five quarterback the entire time.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will never have their “foot on the gas”. There will never be an all-in moment like a Khalil Mack trade for this franchise. In fact, the rebuild towards the future has already started. The team avoided drafting immediate help for this season. They instead chose to draft the quarterback and left tackle of the future. There were no big free agent signings, no impactful trades to improve the team right away. The Steelers want to be relevant today, and five years from now. It’s a solid, conservative way of thinking that has served them well over the years. The question becomes is this still a viable philosophy in todays NFL? If this team never wins another Super Bowl with Ben Roethlisberger, we will have our answer.