The Pittsburgh Steelers have missed the playoffs two straight years battling for what has been one of the most competitive divisions in football. The stars of the team are aging very quickly as the young stars develop a little too slowly – they will need to combat this in order to step up in the AFC North.
The Steelers under Mike Tomlin have been fortunate enough to go seven straight years without a losing season considering the age of their roster versus the youth and talent of the rest of the AFC North. That’s probably why nobody on the coaching staff has left for any reason other than salary bumps with other teams.
Ben Roethlisberger may be 32, but he is showing a much better command of the offense even in the no-huddle and his production reflects it. The receiving corps lost Jerricho Cotchery (10 TDs in 2013) and deep-threat Emmanuel Sanders but picked up veteran Lance Moore and speedster Darrius Heyward-Bey to take over their respective roles in the offense.
The running game did not show any signs of life until mid-way through the season. Le’Veon Bell looks like a good, young runner, but the Steelers got his partner in the form of power back LeGarrette Blount.
The defense is a question mark if only for the fact that it is so inexperienced on the defensive line after losing Ziggy Hood and veteran Brett Kiesel. But with Safety Troy Polamalu literally leading the charge even at age 33, the Steelers will be a hard opponent for anyone.
The Steelers report to camp in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on July 25.