View Full Version : Offseason Analysis: Pittsburgh Steelers

05-29-2010, 01:02 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers
Patriots 2010 Opponents Offseason Analysis: Pittsburgh Steelers
2009 record: 9-7, Did not make playoffs.

2009 record vs. Patriots: N/A
http://www.patspulpit.com/2010/5/28/149 ... -offseason (http://www.patspulpit.com/2010/5/28/1491446/patriots-2010-opponents-offseason)


The Steelers offense took a huge hit in the offseason with Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension and the loss of Santonio Holmes to the Jets. In addition, receiver Limas Sweed is out for the season with an Achilles injury suffered in minicamp. This leaves receivers Hines Ward and Mike Wallace, tight end Heath Miller and running back Rashard Mendenhall to carry the load. Holmes production (79 catches, 1,248 yards, 5 TDs in 2009) will be missed on the field. Deep-threat Wallace will be asked to step up in his place. Miller and Ward remain steady sources of production, and Mendenhall (1,108 rushing yards, 7 TDs) has shown signs of being a reliable feature back. The Steelers have brought back a number of former players, including wide receiver Antwaan Randle El from Washington. Look for a few of those gadget plays they ran in the past with him throwing the ball deep. Former back-up quarterbacks Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch also return to compete for the starting job with Dennis Dixon while Roethlisberger serves his suspension.

I doubt Roethlisberger will be suspended for more than the minimum four games, and those will come against Atlanta, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The Steelers need to take at least one of those games if they hope to remain competitive in the division. They will likely lean heavily on Mendenhall and use their trademark pound-the-ball style while taking a shot deep every so often to keep defenses honest. When Big Ben returns it will be interesting to see if he still has the same swagger. His presence will allow for a more balanced attack, but Pittsburgh took center Maurkice Pouncey, and a big running back in Jonathan Dwyer in the draft. Their offensive line is one of the largest in the NFL, and they will continue to be a run-first team.


The Pittsburgh defense was not the same all-conquering unit last year. The missing link seemed to be feared safety Troy Polamolu, who missed much of the season after injuring his knee on opening day. He will be back, along with defensive end Aaron Smith who was sidelined 11 games with a shoulder injury. Cornerback Bryant McFadden and inside linebacker Larry Foote return after spending a year in Arizona and Detroit respectively. Nose tackle Casey Hampton and safety Ryan Clark were re-signed, and safety Will Allen was brought over from Tampa Bay.

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of the best in the business. He has a deadly outside linebacker tandem in James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, and Pittsburgh added to their depth at the position with rookies Jason Worlids and Thaddeaus Gibson.

The Steelers will be hoping they can return their defense to the dominant force it was for their Super Bowl-winning campaigns of 2005 and 2008. Their division is one of the toughest in the NFL, but Pittsburgh loves to be underestimated. They have a very experienced group of players who know how to grind out tough wins, and the entire second half of their schedule should be cold weather games. There is a lot riding on those four games without Big Ben, but I see the Steelers defense keeping them in the playoff hunt. They are not a team you want to see on your schedule late in the season.

05-29-2010, 01:09 AM
they will continue to be a run-first team

You can tell this writer really pays attention. :roll:

05-29-2010, 01:18 AM
they will continue to be a run-first team

You can tell this writer really pays attention. :roll:

He writes stuff for a Pat's rag they are still looking at the old tapes