The Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves in an odd position after the 2012 season. NOT in the playoffs. For a team that has been as consistently good as Pittsburgh it left a bad taste in the mouths of Steelers players and fans. In fact, Pittsburgh went 8-8, not even a winning season.
There aren’t a lot of Super Bowl players left on this squad and that could be considered a good thing or bad thing. The big names like Roethlisberger and Polamalu are still there though. Roethlisberger still appears to be at the top of his game. If he stays injury free the Pittsburgh Steelers have a Super Bowl winning quarterback who is as tough as nails. Unfortunately his favorite target, Heath Miller, is still in a long recovery period from a torn ACL and his availability for the entire season is in serious question. Then there’s the subject of wide receivers. Mike Wallace is gone so Mike Tomlin is talking up Antonio Brown as the next big Steelers receiver. After that Pittsburgh gets old quick as Plaxico Burress leads the list of recognizable names.Newcomer Marcus Wheaton is a promising draft choice and if he develops quickly the Steelers passing game could use the help. The running game is going to be interesting in 2013. Pittsburgh used a draft choice on LeVeon Bell in the hopes that he can step in and be an immediate starter. If he can’t there isn’t much behind him.
Defensively the Pittsburgh Steelers also took some hits to a good defense. Cornerback keenan Lewis signed elsewhere and James Harrison, long a stalwart of the defense, left in a pay dispute. LaMarr Woodley needs to up his game from his outside slot and provide more pass rush in 2013 than he did last season. This is still a sound defense, they need to be more opportunistic and find a way to get the ball in the hands of Ben Roethlisberger.