My Biggest Concern
I know everyone is concerned about the development of the OLine. But it doesn't worry me so much. Ben's overcome far worse talent to win. And these young guys will start to get it together in time. The OLine is good enough to win thanks to Ben.
The unit that concerns me is the DLine. As much as I like Keisel and McClendon and as well as Ziggy finished the year, none of the guys are dominant. I think the Steelers tried to address this by drafting Hood and Heyward at #1. But so far it feels like we really missed on those picks and we're still stuck with a mediocre group up front.
Aside from Ben, I think the biggest key to winning championships has been dominant play by our DLine. Hampton, Smith, and Keisel were the best 3-4 front in the game. And that was one of the big keys to our defensive dominance in recent history. Keisel, McClendon, and Hood are at the low end of the league when it comes to 3-4 lines. And it becomes a domino effect where our pass rushers have to take on tackles that outweigh them by 80 lbs giving QBs more time in the pocket to make completions.
The quality of our DLine is why it seems the only pass rushes that work are Timmons/Foote crossing up the middle or Timmons/Polamalu lined up outside of one of the OLBs going after the QB. And blitzing can make us susceptible in coverage. It's a double edged sword.
All I can do is hope Hood, McClendon, Heyward get better. Any little improvements will help. But the main reason we don't seem to be able to get pressure is the guys up front. And the reason we don't get enough turnovers is not enough pressure.
With Troy back and Allen starting, I do think we got better at DB. And it'll make QBs pause just a bit and be a little more cautious. And this should help our front 7 with an extra split second to get to the QB. But we're gonna struggle as long as no one in the front 3 puts the fear of God into anyone. It still concerns me that our front 3 can likely be easily handled by 3 guys. I hope one or two of these young guys steps up and proves different.