That doesn't mean they can't be competitive, but here's what is happening to anyone that is paying attention:
Last year, we saw stalwarts like Hines, Aaron Smith, and James Farrior depart. This year, Deebo and likely others (e.g. Hampton). These are/were key cogs from a glorious time for the Steelers. This upcoming season is bound to be the last (in a Steeler jersey) for Keisel and Clark. Polamalu's obviously aging (i.e. constant injuries), Taylor is a shell of himself (and it's DANGEROUS that people still look to him as our "#1 corner"), and this year could also be THEIR last... Heath now, Ben...
Point being: Who are the people filling this void? I think AB is one. I think DeCastro will be another. Who else? Woodley? (too fat--figuratively & literally). Guys like Redman/Dwyer (who ask out of games anytime they get winded.) Mike Adams/Gilbert? Look at some of the middle round talent lately (Rainey, Ta'amu)... void of leadership. We're watching the Titanic headed for the iceberg.
This season is bound to be the one that we hit the iceberg, or we somehow manage to steer clear. The writing on the wall (i.e. mortgaging the future for the present and putting us in constant salary cap jail, reminiscent of the 49ers and Cowboys of the late 90's--look how hard it's been for those franchises to right their ships). We need more Heath Miller types. Casey Hamptons (back in his prime). Guys who love to play, and can be counted on.