What am I missing?
The Steelers are supposed to go under 500, will be lucky to come in 3rd in the AFC North...and this is predicted by most. Maybe I'm just a homer. But, even last season with all the injuries we had a shot of making the playoffs up until the end. What I see is (at least on paper) an improved team.
1) DD is back, and the OL has young high round talent throughout. It should only get better, and I have seen glimpses of dominance in run blocking.
2) Ben is healthy.
3) If Bell can get on the field he should add a spark to the running game.
4) Troy is healthy
5) Jarvis Jones
6) Heyward starting to come into his own (per coaches)
7) Wheaton should soften the blow of losing Wallace
8) Sanders is healthy
9) Young defensive talent in Thomas, Golden, Jones, Allen, Heyward.
I don't know...I think even with Millers injury and the departure of Wallace...this team should be better...not worse.
11-5, playoffs and Steelers once again play best when being disrespected.
Shawn, it's not even week 1. being healthy is one thing now, but what happens if a few key players go down. I don't think we have enough depth on the O-Line, Linebacker or Cornerback. Come December and we lose a few players I don't think this team can handle it
I think the key is the offensive line. I go between excited at the potential of this high drafted young talent and worry that we might have missed on a pick or two specifically the tackles.
IF our two tackles prove worthy of their high draft pick I have no doubt you are absolutely correct.
If our oline struggles it may not go so well for us.
Ironically, if I recall correctly you are one of the people here who was most negative of Mike Adams for having watched him alot in college?
I respect your observations and that kinda worries me as I am sure Gilbert is the worse of the two.
I hope they do come around, I feel very confident if we can see even "average" play from our tackles and are relatively healthy for the year.
I think the season could go either way. There are some good young players here. But, this is still the third oldest team in football. Injuries could destroy this team and expose our lack of quality depth at OL, QB, etc. I truly look forward to this season. I don't have grand expectations. I like that. It makes it easier for me to enjoy the games.
All of the predictions tend to be based almost entirely on perceptions created by what people saw last year. The Steelers went 8 - 8 last year, lost 5 of their last 7 ballgames, and didn't get appreciably better in the offseason - that would be the view from the casual observer on the outside. People's imaginations are heavily influenced by what they most recently saw. Things we see as day to day fans and followers are different. However, as a close day to day follower, my imagination is filled with visions of the God awful blocking done in the preseason, leading me to agree with many of the prognosticators in that I'll be pleasantly surprised if we hit double digit W's.
I totally agree. When I analyze the schedule I swing between 8-8 and 12-4. It will all come down to whether we have some breaks go our way and most importantly Ben stays healthy. If the latter happens, I think the offense will take off.
Originally Posted by steelblood
I believe the Niners were able to start the same 5 guys on the OL throughout the entire regular season and the playoffs, and they made the Super Bowl. Imagine if we had that kind of health in the trenches? There were several occassions last year where multiple o-linemen were getting hurt in the same game. If we are healthy, we are a contender. If not, then it could be a rough go, because we do not seem to have the depth that we used to have at a few different positions.
Heard on ESPN a little while ago someone saying SF is now considered to have the best OL in the NFL
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
However they depth we aren't close to having
This is key because Shawn's #1 feeds into #2. If the OL doesn't stay healthy there is a greater chance of either losing Ben to injury or blunting his effectiveness. Troy looks good now, but how will he be in a month? His style isn't exactly conducive to longevity. We are also in a pretty tough division (the key term being "tough").
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
I guess I completely understand why many would see the Steelers as a third place finisher in the AFCN. Of course, I want things to turn out rainbows and roses but I don't think I could legitimately predict that.
The things that you may be missing are as follows, IMO.
Originally Posted by Shawn
The difference between first and third will probably be one game, 11-5 vs 10-6 or 10-6 vs 9-7, I think therre will be two teams with identical records at the top of the division. I have no idea who they will be, but the division should be competitive.
The second thing you may be missing is that out of your list of 9 items, IMO, the only sure things are Ben and Troy, they are great players. The other 7 items on the list are pure speculation and hope. We won't know what the Steelers have in any of those players until they get on the field, stay healthy and perform.
The Steelers could win the division or end up in 4th place depending on how the new blood plays. What the Steelers are certain of is that Ben and Troy are great players and there's no reason to believe that they won't be great this year.