I also dont' feel as optomistic about this season as I normally do, but still ready for it to get here. If they can keep Ben upright and uninjured, anything is possible. The loss of Decastro though is big, as well as Adams not playing well in the preseason. I have faith in Starks, but he's coming off an injury as well. For the first time in recent years, I was excited about the oline, now it's as big of a concern as ever.
We've been thinner than usual at the running back position too because of injuries. And with Wallace holding out as long as he did, not sure how long it will take him and Ben to get onto the same page and get their timing down. I also hope Sanders can stay healthy. I didn't get to see the Bills game because I was at a soccer tourney, but in the prior 2 games our red zone production didn't look much better than last year.
The main concern on defense is our linebackers/depth. Who knows how Harrison will hold up. It seems like Worilds and Sylvestor can't stay healthy either. I don't remember a time when our LB depth was this spotty.
I know all teams sustain injuries and have to deal with that, but I just hope we can get some guys healthy and keep them that way. Ben's not getting any younger and can not continue to take the hits he has in the past.
I don't think it will be under .500 or feel doom and gloom, as long as we have a healthy Ben. But I'm a bit more reserved about how I think they do.
I'm fine with that and you backed yourself up with a thought process instead of resorting to ad hominem argument. That is how it should be done.
Originally Posted by flippy
I don't want to derail the thread, but the CB's are new. They may be exciting, but until we see them in games it is still a potential question. Foote is also aging just like James Farrior did so the question is can he remain steady the entire year. I tend to believe he will be fine, but its one I've seen people throw out. I'd be happy to discuss the ups/downs/concerns on D if you want to do another thread.
This Offense knows it MUST score points and not depend on the D to be "#1" year and year out. A healthy slimmed down BB and a nice receiving corps makes me excited more than previous seasons, ESPECIALLY IF they can get to scoring in the red zone.
If our D can produce more TO's (and not just fewest yards and TD's etc) the O will have a much shorter field to work with. Getting the ball inside the 10 more than any other team in the league just hurts (after our D makes stops - but not turnovers) this teams ability to score. The D was just utterly PATHETIC in creating turnovers last year.
Will Todd Haley's offense pay dividends?
Aug. 28, 2012
2011 record: 12-4 (Second in AFC North)
2011 statistics | 2012 Preseason Statistics | Roster | Tickets
Mike Tomlin wants the Steelers to return to their running roots, but the lack of a franchise running back will force Ben Roethlisberger to shoulder the offensive load again in 2012.
Prediction: 9-7, third in AFC North
The Steelers will be legitimate contenders as long as Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and Dick LeBeau is running the defense. However, a lot of moving parts need to come together on offense, and the older defensive stars must avoid injury.
Prediction: 8-8, third in AFC North
I'm very concerned about the offensive line, the health of Rashard Mendenhall, the happiness of Mike Wallace, whether or not Wallace will learn the new playbook and the dynamic between Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley.
Prediction: 8-8, third in AFC North
The Todd Haley-Ben Roethlisberger union will bear huge fruit. The Steelers' offense will ring up a lot of points and let the defense tee off.
Prediction: 11-5, second in AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Schedule
Wk Date Matchup TV Time
1 Sun, Sept. 9 at Denver Broncos NBC 8:20 p.m.
2 Sun, Sept. 16 vs. New York Jets CBS 4:25 p.m.
3 Sun, Sept. 23 at Oakland Raiders CBS 4:25 p.m.
5 Sun, Oct. 7 vs. Philadelphia Eagles FOX 1 p.m.
6 Thu, Oct. 11 at Tennessee Titans NFLN 8:20 p.m.
7 Sun, Oct. 21 at Cincinnati Bengals NBC 8:20 p.m.
8 Sun, Oct. 28 vs. Washington Redskins FOX 1 p.m.
9 Sun, Nov. 4 at New York Giants CBS 4:25 p.m.
10 Mon, Nov. 12 vs. Kansas City Chiefs ESPN 8:30 p.m.
11 Sun, Nov. 18 vs. Baltimore Ravens NBC 8:20 p.m.
12 Sun, Nov. 25 at Cleveland Browns CBS 1 p.m.
13 Sun, Dec. 2 at Baltimore Ravens CBS 4:25 p.m.
14 Sun, Dec. 9 vs. San Diego Chargers CBS 1 p.m.
15 Sun, Dec. 16 at Dallas Cowboys CBS 4:25 p.m.
16 Sun, Dec. 23 vs. Cincinnati Bengals CBS 1 p.m.
17 Sun, Dec. 30 vs. Cleveland Browns CBS 1 p.m.
7-9 is absolutely the worst case scenario.
Yee of little faith, we will be 11-5 and will win the AFC North. The offense will be better with Haley and hopefully the defense can be at least a the level they were last year (minus the Denver game).
Ravens will take a step backwards as will the Bumgals. Both will be 9-7.
Browns will be 5-11 or 6-10 as Weedan gets hammered.
The Ravens are dealing with almost exactly the same problems that people list as reasons for the Steelers doing poorly this year:
Age on Defense
Inconsistent Offensive Line
Uncertainty at WR
They might have Ray Rice, but our QB is a lot better than theirs...
Used to be, when this board was first getting started that the only opinions not lambasted were ones that involved slurping the Steelers and all that they do. For the most part, if you were negative, you were on the outs. In the past few years, I believe things have mellowed. This is still a mostly positive place were "negative" opinions often find instant resistance. But, in general, there are a lot of open minded folks around who are willing to take off the rose-colored glasses and see this team for what it is (good or bad).
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
I certainly think it is possible this team could struggle. I believe that they will have a winning record and be in the playoff hunt. But, I think a subpar season is absolutely a possibility (especially with injuries).
We play one game at a time.
The first one is scary Due to no Ryan Clark witch makes Troy Polamalu just another good safety.
(Kind of like a Cryptonite effect)
Previewing and predicting the Steelers
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
Drum roll please ... my prediction for first place in the AFC North is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now, before you crack open an Iron City in celebration, I should let everyone know my track record when it comes to predictions. I'm very good at predicting games week to week. But I'm absolutely terrible at season predictions. Last season, my forecast for the division (from first to worst) was: Steelers, Ravens, Browns and Bengals. In other words, I was wrong on every team.
Here's the preview page for the Steelers. And here's five things you need to know about them:
1. They want to run the ball: At least, run the ball more than they did last season, when they kept it on the ground 42 percent of the time. The 434 rushing attempts in 2011 were the Steelers' second-fewest total in the past 20 years. New offensive coordinator Todd Haley has returned the fullback to the Steelers' offense, and set the tone in training camp by running on nearly every play in the first full-team drill. With starting running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) expected to miss the first month of the season, the Steelers are turning to Isaac Redman, who has averaged 4.5 yards per carry in his two-year career and ran for 121 yards in the playoff loss at Denver. Durability is a question mark for Redman, because he's had double-digit carries in only four career games and missed time this preseason with an injured hip.
2. Top-ranked defense isn't satisfied: The Steelers' defense finished No. 1 last season for the third time in Mike Tomlin's five years as coach, but the players don't feel as if they were dominant on that side of the ball. Pittsburgh was tied for 17th in the NFL with 35 sacks, and ranked last with 15 takeaways. The Steelers either had no takeaways or just one in 13 of 17 games last season (including the playoffs). Increasing the pressure on quarterbacks should increase turnovers. Healthy versions of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley -- they missed a combined 11 games last season -- would boost both sacks and takeaways.
3. Stability on offensive line is much-needed: The blockers for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were stuck in a bad game of musical chairs last season. The Steelers used a league-high 25 different offensive-line combinations, and they started four players at left guard. Pittsburgh showed its commitment to creating some continuity on the line by selecting offensive linemen with its first two picks in the 2012 draft (guard David DeCastro and tackle Mike Adams) and by re-signing tackle Max Starks. The Steelers moved Willie Colon from tackle to left guard, and started DeCastro at right guard from the start of the preseason. DeCastro, injured in the preseason against Buffalo, might not play this season, however. Starks and Adams are battling for the left tackle job.
4. Cornerbacks will get tested: Even though the run defense dropped from first to eighth last season, the target is on the Steelers' unproven cornerbacks. Keenan Lewis, the nickelback last season, is taking over for William Gay. Lewis has fought through injuries in training camp to keep the starting job from Cortez Allen, who is expected to be the third corner. Quarterbacks aren't going to be throwing in the direction of Ike Taylor. Only 41 percent of passes were completed against the seven-year starter last season. That means the pressure is on Lewis and Allen, who have combined for one start and one interception in their careers.
5. Timing is right for Roethlisberger: The two-time Super Bowl winner turned 30 this year, hitting the prime of his career. And with the retirement of Hines Ward, all eyes are on Roethlisberger to lead this offense. The key to Roethlisberger has been and always will be his health. He's recovered from an ankle injury that derailed his season, and he doesn't seem concerned about a small tear in his rotator cuff. Roethlisberger, who has been sacked at least 40 times in five of his past six seasons, has built a reputation of playing through pain. Imagine what he could do in an injury-free season.
DIVISION FINISH: 1st -- With all of the camp drama now over, Pittsburgh has the fewest questions of any team in the division. As long as Roethlisberger remains healthy and the defense remains in the top five, the Steelers are the class of the division.