Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/19/13
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an extremely disappointing season last year, going 8-8 and missing the playoffs is hardly the Steeler way. Coming into this new season there should be countless concerns and questions about a team that performed so lousy last season. Here are 5 burning questions about the Steelers for this upcoming year. 5.  Is Mike Tomlin’s job on the line this season? An 8-8 season isn’t acceptable by any matter for the Steelers’ organization. After a pitiful season the head coach is first on the list to take all the heat. The Steelers haven’t missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 1998-2000 and if they were to miss them again this season, is the Tomlin era doomed? It’s mind boggling for me to believe that if the Steelers came up short again this year that Tomlin would get the boot. Tomlin has proven to be a great head coach for the organization which included two appearances in the Super Bow, one of which he won. If the Steelers do miss out on the playoffs (again) then it’ll be interesting to see what kind of approach the organization takes with Tomlin. I don’t see him getting fired but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind. 4. Can Troy Polamalu be the player he used to be? Polamalu is no doubt the face of the Steelers’ defense these days. Polamalu has become one of the biggest names in the NFL and rightfully so. He’s made such an impact for the Steelers and is definitely a key reason for all their success in recent years. However, Polamalu has seemed to have lost his edge. Polamalu hasn’t been the same spectacular play-maker and this is largely due to injuries. Polamalu hasn’t been on the field enough to make those jaw-dropping plays. This season number 43 needs to come out and be that superstar that all of Steeler Nation knows he is. If Polamalu can get back to his old ways and stay injury free, the Steelers’ secondary should be much better than it was the previous season. 3. Can Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley coexist? Last season Todd Haley took over as the offensive coordinator for the Steelers and it became evident that Roethlisberger wasn’t a big fan. Recently, Haley and Roethlisberger were named “most combustible” in 2013. Roethlisberger was almost too “buddy buddy” with former OC, Bruce Arians. Roethlisberger definitely wanted Arians kept around, but the Steelers brought in Haley. Haley isn’t afraid to get on Roethlisberger’s case when he messes up. This isn’t a bad thing at all, Haley is a coach and not a best friend. If Roethlisberger can’t take the heat after screwing up, that’s too bad. If anything, having a coach that will get in your face may just motivate you more. Roethlisberger should excel under Haley this second season with him. Haley has made it a point to add the ”dink and dunk” plays into the offense. These plays are beneficial to Roethlisberger because they keep him from taking a lot of hits. Keeping defenses from getting to Roethlisberger is something that is necessary due to Roethlisberger’s track record with injuries. Roethlisberger and Haley shouldn’t bump heads, expect Roethlisberger to flourish under Haley’s system this season. 2. Will the offensive line meet expectations? The offensive line for the Steelers is looking to be promising this season. I know, you’ve heard this a million times, but this year the line truly does have a lot of potential. With the likes of young stud, David DeCastro and the very talented, Maurkice Pouncey, the offensive line seems to be in good shape. However, having potential is one thing, utilizing it is another. A big questions this season will be the offensive line and if they can meet the standards that are ask of them. Each season the Steelers’ offensive line is always racking up injuries. We can’t predict injuries so we just have to hold our breath and hope they all stay healthy. Should the line be healthy, they have every reason to be a solid group. If they can meet expectations, maybe Roethlisberger can stay healthy and do a whole lot more pocket passing and a little less improvising. 1. Can the Steel Curtain generate more turnovers? Although the Steelers’ defense was ranked first in the NFL last season, it didn’t seem like they were. Maybe it was because the whole season was hard to watch but something was definitely missing. That something may be their inability to produce big-time turnovers. The Steelers last season weren’t making big plays on defense. If the defense had taken the ball away on more occasions last season they would of had a better chance of making the playoffs and winning some of the closer games they had. The defense we’ve come to know usually managed to come up with some kind of game changing interception or forced fumble. That just wasn’t there last season, their play was, do I dare say, soft. The Steelers defense needs to get back its reputation of being one of the best defenses the league has to offer. The Steel Curtain better make big time interceptions and knock the snot out of players, forcing them to cough up the ball. Generating more turnovers is an absolute must for the Steelers. After all, defense wins championships.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The first time John Randle talked trash in the NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker