Missing the playoffs in successive seasons for the first time since he became the Steelers general manager in 2000 apparently has Kevin Colbert rethinking how to manage the salary cap.

The Steelers were mostly successful from 2001-11 by keeping a core group of players, even as they negotiated the second or third contracts of their careers. But the longer the players stayed, the more salary-cap space they consumed.

Colbert contends the Steelers are not mismanaging the cap, even though they've been forced frequently to restructured contracts just to get under the cap, as they did with cornerback Ike Taylor at midseason.

But Colbert said Wednesday the Steelers “have some work to do” to get under the cap by the start of free agency March 11; they're $10.65 million over, a number exceeded by only the Cowboys and Saints.

Might the success that teams such as the Broncos and Patriots have despite regularly turning over their rosters cause the Steelers to reconsider how they do business?

“There's not one model for each team to follow. You had the Super Bowl champion (Seahawks) with a very young quarterback (Russell Wilson), so their model is completely different than ours, Colbert said. “How it comes together over the years when you're trying to keep it (a winning team) together, it varies from team to team.

“But when you go 8-8 in successive years, you have to be open to changing it because we don't want to be 8-8 again.”