Steelers must improve on the defensive side of the ball to soar in 2016:

Photo credit: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Pittsburgh Steelers looked outstanding offensively in 2015. That was despite the fact that they seen several injuries to key players including Maurkice Pouncey and Leā€™Veon Bell. The team at the end of the day still had enough firepower to get the job done. On defense though things were a little bit of a different story. The once proud Steelers defense from the 2008 defense is starting to transition to a new Steelers defense. They have some good young talent in players like Ryan Shazier and Cameron Heyward. Players that can serve as a nucleus moving forward and can be somewhat the cornerstone of this franchise. The thing that needs to be addressed first is the rushing defense though. The Steelers ranked 28th against the run and were just leaving too many holes for runners to slip through. One way to improve a 3-4 defense is to put a great nose tackle in the middle to help against the run game. That position is so important in controlling both A gaps and allowing the linebackers to play freely. Aā€™shawn Robinson, Andrew Billings, and Kenny Clark all fit that mold perfectly and would serve as a great fit in that particular scheme. By drafting one of those players the Steelers make a commitment to sure up that defensive front. Which ultimately should result in more tackles for losses, and the Steelers winning in the trenches more often. Itā€™s not everyday that you can add an uber talented 300 plus pounder to your roster and the Steelers need to take advantage of this opportunity in the draft. With that pick and the addition of another outside backer or defensive end. Maybe through free agency or through the draft and that would be a huge step in the right direction defensively for this team. You have to think that a franchise that has developed the nickname Blitzburgh would understand the importance of an outstanding defense. Expect them to make the right decision and at least go defense first in the first round of the 2016 draft. Remember the old adage ā€œdefense wins championshipsā€.

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