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Thread: Can THIS team contend with top AFC teams right NOW?

  1. #21
    The reality presented by the NFL is the most exciting story they can sell, but is not necessarily reality.

    The Steelers finished 8-8 and could have made the playoffs. Had they made the playoffs, the story would have been: "This is a scary team. They finished the season on a roll and had they gotten a few more bounces could have won their division and been a home team in the playoffs. No team wants to face the Steelers."

    Had they gotten a few more bounces along the way, they could have easily finished with say 11 or so wins. Realistically, they could have beaten Oakland, Baltimore (second game), Minny, Miami. Had their final record been 11-5, the story would have been "Sure this team won a division, but they just are not that good. They easily could have lost a few of the games they won, and are ripe for an upset, even at home."

    So back to the original question...they can play with any team in the AFC. They may need a bounce or two, or they can be stung by a bounce or two, but this team is on level to compete with anyone.

  2. #22
    Pro Bowler skyhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfelix73 View Post
    Personally, I think the entire league is mediocre. With that said- of course the Steelers could contend for a title in 2014... Along with 22 or so other teams as well... Gotta see how the season starts out...
    This.

    It really depends on the start of the season. If the Steelers sleepwalk through another preseason and the first 8 games like last year it'll be the same ol.

  3. #23
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    In open AFC North, it's anyone's game

    By Ralph N. Paulk
    Saturday, July 19, 2014

    The AFC North appears as balanced as perhaps it ever has been. The Steelers' back-to-back 8-8 seasons and the Baltimore Ravens' post-Super Bowl championship slide allowed Cincinnati and Cleveland to narrow the competitive gap.

    The Ravens and Steelers may have rebooted through free agency with key offseason acquisitions. The Bengals and Browns used the first round of the draft to bolster their rosters with the additions of cornerback Darqueze Dennard and quarterback Johnny Manziel, respectively.

    Here is a look at the AFC North heading into training camp.

    PITTSBURGH STEELERS

    Key additions: The Steelers may have strengthened their defense with rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier and free agent safety Mike Mitchell. Both come with reputations as sure tacklers, which is needed on a defense that slipped from ranking second against the run in 2012 to 21st in 2013.

    Biggest loss: WR Emmanuel Sanders' departure could hurt if second-year receiver Markus Wheaton and free agent Lance Moore fail to complement Pro Bowl receiver Antonio Brown.

    Biggest camp battle: DT Cam Thomas opted for Pittsburgh during free agency because he knew there was a job open. He is slated to play defensive end but could battle Steve McLendon at nose tackle as well.

    BALTIMORE RAVENS

    Key additions: WR Steve Smith adds swagger to an offense that was up and down in 2013. The veteran will keep the heat off Torrey Smith, who drew double coverage with the loss of Anquan Boldin.

    Biggest loss: With OT Michael Oher no longer protecting quarterback Joe Flacco's blind side, the Ravens could be challenged in the passing game, especially if troubled running back Ray Rice can't put the offense in workable third-down situations.

    Biggest camp battle: OT Rick Wagner has been penciled in as the starter at right tackle, but Jah Reid and Ryan Jensen are expected to push him during training camp. It's one of the few unsettled positions on a revamped roster.

    CINCINNATI BENGALS

    Key additions: CB Darqueze Dennard, a first-round pick, has the potential to be a shutdown corner. He adds immediate help to an already impressive secondary that ranked fifth in pass defense and netted 20 interceptions last season.

    Biggest loss: It was somewhat surprising that the Bengals allowed offensive linemen Anthony Collins and Kyle Cook to find employment elsewhere during free agency. Now they're rebuilding an offensive line to protect an oft-erratic Andy Dalton.

    Biggest camp battle: Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson already has promoted second-round pick Jeremy Hill ahead of veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the feature RB. No one should be sleeping on the explosive Giovani Bernard.

    CLEVELAND BROWNS

    Key additions: Johnny Manziel and RB Ben Tate are obvious upgrades for an offense that was sluggish in 2013. Manziel's mobility and surprisingly strong arm will bring the offense a different look.

    Biggest loss: Donte Whitner might be the answer at strong safety, but T.J. Ward was a proven stopper against the run. With an inconsistent front seven ahead of him, Whitner will be under fire.

    Biggest camp battle: QB Brian Hoyer is listed as the starter on the depth chart, but the Browns didn't draft Manziel to boost attendance and hold a clipboard. Hoyer's body of work as a starter is too incomplete to count out Manziel.

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz37yMlyEN6

  4. #24
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    Seattle and SF were above mediocre. I'd say Denver was too (but obviously not on NFC level). If it all comes together for Pgh, I actually think they could contend with the best NFC teams as well. Yes, a lot needs to work out, but it is possible.

  5. #25
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    I think the Steelers can beat any team they play... it all depends if we show up or not. Too many times these last few years we have started sluggish or played without a sense of urgency.

    Hines cried like a baby when we fell short in 2004. Ben promised a ring for Bettis...

    Who will cry and promise a ring for Ben?

  6. #26
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Training camp report: Steelers begin anew today

    July 25, 2014
    By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    Steelers coach Mike Tomlin watches the offense at training camp last summer at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.

    Steelers players no longer lug fans, televisions or refrigerators into their dorms at Saint Vincent College, where they report today to start training camp. Those annual photo-ops disappeared long ago. For years, a rental company has supplied most of the creature comforts for their three-week home away from home, save a favorite pillow or Xbox.

    Also not yet appearing this summer -- besides even more venerable veterans who have disappeared from Saint Vincent -- are the usual contract extension negotiations that often mark the beginning of camp.

    The Steelers have made plenty of noise through the years, signing some of their most important players to contract extensions during camp, often within the first week.

    Right now, there is none, and there might be no more in 2014.

    The Steelers long ago offered linebacker Jason Worilds a multiyear contract that was declined. They say that was their last best offer, and the lines have been pretty much dead between the two parties since. He will play this year under the one-year transition contract of $9,754,000, then be eligible for free agency again next year. Worilds could be a Band-Aid on the left outside linebacker position until they find someone else for 2015.

    Traditionally, the Steelers would have extended the contract of Ben Roethlisberger by now or been close to a new deal. Like many other things this year, the tradition of signing their starting quarterback to an extension two years before his contract expires has been cast aside. It appears any extension to Roethlisberger's contract, which has two years to run, will not happen until 2015 at the earliest.

    Others entering the final seasons of their contracts include cornerback Ike Taylor, kicker Shaun Suisham, cornerback Cortez Allen, tackle Marcus Gilbert, tight end Matt Spaeth, linebacker Chris Carter and a host of others. Long-snapper Greg Warren, one of only five players left on the roster with two Steelers Super Bowl rings, signed a one-year deal this year to return for his 10th season in Pittsburgh.

    Contracts can get done quickly if the Steelers decide to move on them. That still could occur this summer before their self-imposed deadline to stop negotiations once the regular season begins. At the moment, all is quiet, as it has been since the end of minicamp in June.

    The Steelers signed Maurkice Pouncey to a new six-year, $48 million contract June 12, and nothing has occurred since. Things could remain muted right through training camp and into the season.

    There also have been no talks to bring back defensive end Brett Keisel, who remains an unrestricted free agent after his contract expired in March. The Steelers privately indicated they might be interested in signing him to a one-year veteran minimum, which would pay him slightly more than $1 million for 2014. However, they backed away when Keisel let it be known he did not want to play for the minimum.

    His return still could happen, especially if injuries occur at the position or if players the Steelers think might handle the job cannot as they go deeper into the preseason. They had little interest in bringing back Max Starks in 2011 until their left-tackle situation deteriorated through the first four games. They signed Starks before the fifth game and he not only started the remaining 12 at left tackle, but also all 16 games in 2012.

    Injures are something else that virtually have disappeared. No starters are expected to open on the physically unable to perform list, although a younger player or two might. Injuries have been as much a part of the storyline for the Steelers the past several seasons as have their departing veterans.

    The weeding out of Super Bowl veterans is near an end, and the Steelers can only hope losing key players to injuries slows, too.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz38XUvPRiH

  7. #27
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    I was looking for a thread where we may have been predicting the 2014 record for the Steelers and couldn't locate one, but I found this one where we were discussing whether the Steelers could or couldn't compete in the AFC. So, now after hearing a lot of good reports from camp and a very lackluster preseason what does everyone think? Can the Steelers compete? What do you believe their record will be?

    I don't see them competing with the best AFC teams (whoever that may turn out to be), I'm thinking 9-7 is their ceiling this year and that may or may not get them into the playoffs. The good news is that Baltimore has struggled, the bad news is that Andy Dalton has been lighting it up. I'm thinking the only way into the playoffs is via the WC and probably the 6h seed.

    What say you?

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  8. #28
    Can't argue that pappy, I'm concerned about this week 12th bye. For the steelers, I don't see them playing any team with such a quick offense such as the eagles, so I'm not putting to much stock into that preseason game.

    If we can stay healthy and finally get some pressure up front with some int/fumble recoveries, I say the steelers can keep the game winnable.


  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post
    I was looking for a thread where we may have been predicting the 2014 record for the Steelers and couldn't locate one, but I found this one where we were discussing whether the Steelers could or couldn't compete in the AFC. So, now after hearing a lot of good reports from camp and a very lackluster preseason what does everyone think? Can the Steelers compete? What do you believe their record will be?

    I don't see them competing with the best AFC teams (whoever that may turn out to be), I'm thinking 9-7 is their ceiling this year and that may or may not get them into the playoffs. The good news is that Baltimore has struggled, the bad news is that Andy Dalton has been lighting it up. I'm thinking the only way into the playoffs is via the WC and probably the 6h seed.

    What say you?

    Pappy
    I think the Steelers could possibly make the playoffs but they can't compete with a team like the Broncos or the Pats.

  10. #30
    3 trouble teams for us are Broncos, Patriots, and Colts.

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