08-15-2012, 08:44 AM
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New York Times 2012 Steelers Preview
Rave review for the 2012 Steelers in this New York Times preview - some excerpts below
This past off-season gave us a smorgasbord of examples of why the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the finest organizations in professional sports....
Three years ago, Haley probably couldn’t have worked with Ben Roethlisberger....
Roethlisberger is different today. He is a much smarter and more fundamentally sound quarterback. He recognizes defenses better before the snap and thus is more willing to make timing-based throws within the structure of the offense. Yes, of course, he’s often a sandlot quarterback. That’s his style, and he should keep it until the day he can no longer move around (which, remarkably, does not appear to be on the horizon, despite the myriad hits and injuries he has sustained). But Roethlisberger is no longer only a sandlot quarterback, which is why the Steelers felt comfortable replacing his easygoing coach, Bruce Arians, with the more controlling but innovative Haley....
People tend to think of Wallace as the No. 1 target because his long-striding speed and acceleration put fear in defensive backs. But the 26-year-old receiver has not progressed enough as a route runner. ... Brown is actually the Steelers’ best receiver.
It’s too bad that Ike Taylor had what may have been the worst game of his career on the big stage against Tebow; the 10-year veteran is really one of the best all-around defensive players in the N.F.L....
Consider the low turnover count an aberration, perhaps caused by injuries at outside linebacker (LaMarr Woodley missed six games and James Harrison five games, one because of a suspension). That took some of the edge off this normally ferocious pass rush. If Woodley and Harrison are healthy, this defense will be fine
The offensive line should make a big leap over the course of 2012. That could make the offense as a whole borderline unstoppable. And this for a team that should again have one of the league’s stingiest defenses.
Predicted Finish: 1st A.F.C. North, Super Bowl appearance
As this preview notes, injuries are always a factor - the Harrison news is troubling