Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu entering the field (photo credit: Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)
The Pittsburgh Steelers begin their season this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. The preseason was very disappointing for the Steelers so itâs not much of a stretch to say that the same is to be said for the regular season. This season is poised to be a long and hard season for the Steelers that might see them take a backseat to not only the Penguins but also the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
When I look at the Steelersâ schedule I think itâs very possible for the Steelers to finish 10-6, and possibly make the playoffs. The only problem with that is they have to beat the teams that they are supposed to play.
The toughest teams on the Steelersâ schedule are the Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. While I donât see them beating all of those teams I think the possiblity is there. For some weird reason the Steelers always play up to their competition. My primary examples come from last year when the Steelers beat the defending champions New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens (with Charlie Batch at quarterback). Then the Steelers tend to play down to their competition every season. Since the brining in of Mike Tomlin the Steelers have progressively played worse against teams that they should have beaten, this was seen last year against the Titans, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, and Cleveland Browns.
When it comes to the roster that the Steelers are sporting this season; Iâm not going to lie, it is one of the most unsatisfying rosters that I have seen the Steelers have in a long time. They still have Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback but with the uncertain return of Heath Miller and the merry-go-round backfield behind Roethlisberger I donât know how the offense is going to play. The offense doesnât have much of a middle road this yearÂ they are either going to play well or stink up the field. And it is all focused around the offensive line. If Maurkice Pouncey and the âLine of Paperâ (which is what I like to call them) can stay healthy and play to their potential the Steelersâ offense will put up huge numbers. But it goes the other way too, because if the offensive canât stay healthy and plays bad then the Steelersâ offense will be hurting.
The Steelersâ defense is all dependent on their health. If the older veterans can stay healthy and play the whole season then they put up numbers that we are used to seeing. The young talent on the defense will shine this year as well. If the preseason is any indicationÂ when given the chance cornerback Cortez Allen, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, and cornerback Terry Hawthorne will make a major impact this season for the Steelersâ defense, and Allen has just about locked up theÂ starting position opposite Ike Taylor.
TheÂ talent is there for the Steelers to have a good season. Itâs nowÂ up to the coaches to be able to get the players to playÂ to their full potential, and if the Steelers have a bad season that will be the reason and to be completely honest it wouldnât surprise me if that were the case. Even though he won aÂ Super Bowl this year is a make or break year for head coach Mike Tomlin.Â Most of Bill Cowherâs players are goneÂ so we will see his true coaching ability come out this season.