Overview of Madden Teams - Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have been an up and down team for the past few seasons. Madden-wise, they have a very talented roster, and one who almost anybody could use online and start to rack up a few wins. There are, however, a few areas where they can improve, but overall this is a great football team in madden 15.
Quarterback - Ben Roethlisberger (94 overall, 32 years old) is still an elite quarterback, with decent mobility (70 speed, 68 agility), a good arm (93 throw power), and great accuracy (87 short, 90 medium, 85 deep). He can lead this offense straight down the field for touchdowns regardless of his supporting cast. His ability to throw on the run is the best in the game (95), and he is always capable of making something out of nothing. He is 32 years of age, however, so the Steelers will have to start looking for his replacement soon. Perhaps Pittsburgh's future franchise quarterback is already on the roster in Landry Jones (68, 25)? At first glance, he doesn't seem very impressive, with his 68 overall, 55 speed, and 53 awareness, but his throwing ratings are decent enough to wonder how good he could be if developed properly. His arm is nearly as good as Big Ben's (92 power), and his accuracy is pretty good too (82 short, 77 medium 71 deep). He deserves a chance to start, so if not in Pittsburgh, then try to trade him elsewhere so he can try to find his opportunity.
Running Backs - Le'Veon Bell (95, 22) is one of the best and brightest young backs in the NFL. He has an elite rating at the young age of 22. His surprising speed (90 speed, 95 agility) mixes very well with his trucking (84), stiff arm (92), juke move (97), and the maximum rating you can have in carrying (99). He truly is an elite, all-around workhorse of a running back. All players get tired, however, and behind him are an unproven group of guys who can attempt to pitch in as well. Ben Tate (75, 26) comes in with decent speed (87 speed, 79 agility), good trucking (86) and good carrying (89). He has a low injury rating, however, with a 77. Rookie speedster Dri Archer (67, 23) comes in as a one-dimensional running back, as his speed (98 speed, 92 agility) is the best part of his game. He can catch the football well (76), so if he can get his carrying developed (69), then he could be a reliable threat on screens, wheel routes and in the return game. I wouldn’t use him too much, with his injury rating (77), but a screen pass or toss every now and then would be a refreshing change of pace from Le'Veon Bell and the offense. Fullback Will Johnson (80, 24) can definitely contribute through run blocking (84), plowing up the middle, opening up holes for Bell and the other runners.
Wide Receivers - Antonio Brown (97, 26) is a top five receiver in the league, with good speed (92 speed, 96 agility), and absolutely elite hands and route running (99 catch, 98 catch in traffic, 99 route running). With a good ability to beat the press as well (85 beat press), Brown can make a case of being called "the best receiver in the game". The 6'4" rookie, Martavis Bryant (78, 22) can take advantage of all the attention Brown will command from defenses, and become a great receiver in his own right. Bryant has good speed too (93 speed, 90 agility), good hands (84 catch, 86 catch in traffic), and decent route running (75) - which can (and should) be developed. Lance Moore (74, 31) would be my pick for slot receiver over Markus Wheaton (75, 23) because of Moore's hands (81 catch, 76 catch in traffic) and route running (77). Wheaton is decent in those categories too (79 catch, 73 catch in traffic, 70 route running), but he is another player who should be developed a little more before he sees the field as a starter.
Tight Ends - Long time Steeler, Heath Miller (85, 31) is a solid, reliable starter in this offense. He isn't fast (74 speed and agility), but his hands are good (82 catch, 85 catch in traffic), and he's a good run blocker (78 in that category). Behind him is 30 year old Matt Spaeth (78 overall) who is primarily a blocking tight end (78 run blocking).
Offensive Line - Pittsburgh has a great, young offensive line who will be able to protect Roethlisberger (and whoever their next passer will be) for a long time. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (87, 25) and center Maurkice Pouncey (88, 25) highlight this group. Left guard Ramon Foster (82, 28), right guard David DeCastro (83, 24), and right tackle Marcus Gilbert (82, 26) round out this great offensive line unit. The depth concerns me, however, as there aren't many backup linemen on this roster who can step in and fill the void should one of these players go down to injury.
Defensive Line - 25 year old Cameron Heyward (88 overall) teams with veteran Brett Keisel (77, 35) to form a solid duo coming off the edges. With Keisel being 35 years old, Pittsburgh should be looking to acquire a defensive end in the upcoming draft to pair with Heyward. Defensive tackle Steve McLendon (85, 28) also needs someone to back him up at that spot. This defensive line has everything: a stud (Heyward), a solid player (McLendon), an ageing player (Keisel), and a couple needs to fill (right end and defensive tackle).
Linebackers - Jason Worilds (86, 26) starts at the left outside linebacker spot. He has good (but not great) tackle ratings (82 tackle, 81 hit power), good pursuit (89), and below average zone coverage (67) to go along with average athleticism (80 speed, 75 agility). In other words, Worilds is not irreplaceable. On the right side, the ageless wonder James Harrison (86, 36) returns for another season. He isn't very quick (78 speed, 72 agility), but he's very intelligent (93 awareness), and can hit (82 tackle, 90 hit power). I suggest giving 24 year old Jarvis Jones some playing time (71 overall), with his tackle ratings that can be improved (74 tackle, 86 hit power) and his 84 in pursuit, it is better to roll the dice with a younger player than a veteran past his prime. In this case, however, I am suggesting Jones and Harrison split time on the right side, unless middle linebacker Ryan Shazier can do it full time (we'll get in to him shortly). In the middle, Lawrence Timmons (90, 28) owns the area, with good speed (85 speed, 84 agility), great tackle ratings (93 tackle, 88 hit power), and great pursuit (95). Rookie Ryan Shazier (76, 21) should more than definitely compete for (and win) a spot on the outside. He should either beat out both Harrison and Jones on the right side, or Worilds on the left. It honestly doesn't matter which position he wins, this guy just needs to see the field (but the right side is slightly more preferable). He has great speed (92 speed, 88 agility), very good tackle ratings (85 tackle, 91 hit power), and great pursuit (90). With all this said, Ryan Shazier is a superstar in waiting.
Cornerbacks - The Pittsburgh secondary could use some work. Cortez Allen should get the nod as the top corner (78, 25) with his 82 man coverage and 77 zone coverage (although he'd fit better as a number two or three on other teams). Ike Taylor (78, 34) is past his prime and is no longer a shutdown corner. However, he is still good enough to start opposite Allen in this secondary, because of his 73 man, and 84 zone coverages. William Gay (86, 29) could fit more as the nickel back in this unit, with his 77 man, and 89 zone. I would be lying if I said Williams' 86 speed didn't have an effect on his slot corner role, however. Brice McCain (73, 27) and B.W. Webb (67, 24) back up these starters, but this unit needs an overhaul.
Safety - Former Carolina Panther Mike Mitchell (82, 28) starts at free safety, and has good speed (88 speed, 84 agility), decent tackling (71), good hitting ability (90), and good zone coverage (78). He is a solid starter - although nothing too special. 33 year old future hall of famer Troy Polamalu (87 overall) should be playing a backup role in this secondary to Shamarko Thomas (77, 23). He has Polamalu beat in most ratings, including speed (91 to 85), jumping (92 to 88), tackling (70 to 68), hit power (90 to 83), pursuit (84 to 82), zone coverage (76 to 67), as well as injury rating (85 to 79). At this point, Polamalu is just an expensive backup, madden-wise.
Summary - The Steelers have a great offensive unit with few needs (future quarterback, running back depth, tight end depth, and offensive line depth), and a mixture of good and bad on defense, with many needs (starting right end, defensive tackle depth, linebacker depth, and a starting cornerback or two). If the majority of these defensive needs can be resolved soon, this will be another perennial super bowl contender as well - just imagine those playoffs games against the Ravens...