Originally Posted by WickedSteel
Here is my take.
QB-Ben is getting older, slower and more banged up. He has been sacked something like 82 times in his last 27 games. Add to the fact that all of our young receivers are deep threat speed guys and Ben is going to need more time to let those guys get open and deliver a good throw.
RB-Mendy is pretty good considering the OL that he has to work with. He is getting better with the fumbling issue but it reared its ugly head at the worst possible time in the SB. Redman is decent too and deserves a few more touches per game.
WR-We now have a receiving corps made up of young, small, speedsters that are primarily deep threats. Hines can still do his work in the slot but he is fading fast and it will be up to the young guys to step up this year. As I said, Ben needs the time to let these guys get open and deliver a good throw. I believe that Wallace can out run nearly everyone if he has the time to do it. We are going to need a good slot receiver to be affective especially in the red zone. I think Ward still has some in the tank but we need more,
TE-Miller is solid as they come with very good hands but I fear that his effectiveness will go way down this year if the O line is shaky. They will need to keep him in in max protect mode to give Ben time to throw and protect him from being wiped out. They have a decent veteran now too that will perform his job well.
O line-This is one of the two glaring problems with the Steelers. It had been for years now and they never seem to do anything about it. This unit must perform solidly this year if the Steeler offense is to have any chance. They need to be able to run block well to get the running game going and they need to be able to pick up blitzes effectively to protect Ben and give him the time to deliver accurate passes.
DL-Still strong on the line but we have to hope that Hood is ready to be a playmaker. Big snack is still a force and Hoke is good too. Keisel is a monster at times as well.
LB-Harrison is probably going to show a decline in his play from his age and back surgeries. Woodley has been a force and I predict another good year from him. Farrior still has some left but he is fading fast. Need to see how Worlids and Sylvester stack up.
DBs-Here is the other glaring problem with this team as evidenced in the SB. Ike is a good CB but he is not world class and has stone hands. McFadden is not good IMO and he got burned badly last year numerous times. Gay looks pretty good sometimes and then looks horrible other times. No consistency. We'll see how Lewis progresses. Troy can look unstoppable at times but he gets more and more injury prone every year. he also tends to guess wrong a lot lately and overpursues the ball carrier. Clark is good at lighting up people across the middle but Chairman Goodell says no no to that anymore. He isn't a very good cover guy.
All in all, the same problems that the Steelers have had for 5-6 years now are still there. The Rooneys refuse to pick up free agents and instead want to build through the draft thus guys like Ashmouga slip through the cracks. We will see how it progresses this year but I predict that teams will still expose the glaring weaknesses.
i could disect this entire post and debunk it all point by point, but why even bother? its full of hyperbole, cliche and ancient misconceptions; nevertheless, it must be addressed.
i'll glady take "all the same problems" in the last 6 years that led to a 15-1 season, 4 AFC ChaMP GAMES, 3 superbowl appearances, and 2 lombardis.
farrior AND ward are fading fast? do you have any stats to back this up? have you seen any games this year? any practices? both are grizzled old vets who have been in the league well beyond 10 years and if anything, we've bearly begun to see them fade if at all.
how is troy any more prone to injury since the day he stepped out of US?. dude is a flying missle who goes balls out 100% of the time. he's been a concussion waiting to happen since he was like 16. thats what makes him great.
if the steelers never do anything about their line, how do you explain coach kugler, pouncey, colon, both scotts, our 2nd round pick this year and urbick a few years back? not to mention flozell? this misconception is about as real as the rooneys are cheap.
how can ben be getting more banged up than the knee/foot injuries and motorcycle accidents he suffered at the beginning of his career? other than suspension, he is actually missing fewer games than he ever has.
how is he "slower"? do you have his 40 time as a rookie vs the 40 time he would run today? he is so atheletic, i would place money on him being faster than 75% of the starting qb's in the league.
all indications from experts who have watched practice this camp are that he looks lean, accurate, and as good as ever. please forgive me if i trust the take of a former nfl head coach, player, and gm's insight and analysis on todays practice, more than yours.
here is my take- we are essentially returning 22 starters from the team that nearly won the superbowl last year (exception being colon over flozell) and looking even better. every defender taking the field in week 1 is deeply entrenched in lebeaus defensive scheme. all the back ups are experienced as well.
we will hit the ground running and be well ahead of the curve.
miller will be free'd up in the passing game. our young receivers should grow and develop by leaps and bounds. mendenhall should be better, along with redman and batch.
i guess our defense will still suck like they always do because they dont pitch a shut out every week, but what are you gonna do?
i guess we take the good with the bad.
special teams should be rock solid, if not improved.
questioning whether hood is ready to be a "playmaker" doesnt even compute with me.
ben will be hitting the age when manning and brees were sniffing their first superbowl.
our record may be the same, but i contend that we will be better.
then again, i thought we would be better last year than we were in '09. alot of negative nellies and debbie downers on this board thought otherwise.