NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: Players to Worry About in 2013

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Players to Worry About in 2013

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This upcoming season, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to rebound from their dismal 8-8 2012 season. Things seem to be in place for a positive turnaround. During the offseason, the Steelers made moves that didn’t make big waves in free agency, but did sign some much-needed free agents that could make a world of difference in Pittsburgh.

In addition, with one of the best drafts this year, the Steelers’ added some rookies who could possibly make an immediate impact on this year’s team.

Now we will have to see if the revamped roster will put Pittsburgh back in contention for the AFC North title.

Getting back to the postseason won’t be an easy task for the Steelers as seven of their games will be against teams that made the playoffs last season. Furthermore, Pittsburgh will have to face the reigning Super Bowl champions twice, three players who won the league MVP award the past three years, a record-breaking wide receiver, and a couple of former teammates that are anxiously waiting to show them what they are missing out on. Those are just a few things that stand in the way of the Steelers and a successful season.

Just about every team that Pittsburgh will square off against contains Pro Bowl-caliber players that should require serious game planning. There will be at least one opposing player that will be a main focal point for the Steelers every week, but I took the liberty to choose a select number of players that Pittsburgh should definitely worry about this coming season. Take a look.

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James Harrison-Cincinnati Bengals (Weeks 2 & 15)

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Revenge will definitely be on the mind of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison. Staying in the AFC North not only gives Harrison the opportunity to play against his former mates twice, but it also gives him a chance to do so on a nationally-televised stage in both Weeks 2 and 15.

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Charles Tillman & Tim Jennings-Chicago Bears (Week 3)

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Both Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings were the starting cornerbacks for the NFC in the Pro Bowl. Tillman is a big, physical defensive back that is a master at causing fumbles, while Jennings showed great improvement in playing the ball by leading the league in interceptions in 2012.

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Adrian Peterson-Minnesota Vikings (Week 4)

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Adrian Peterson isn’t just the reigning league MVP, but he is also arguably one of the greatest running backs of all time. Peterson can definitely carry a team to victory, and can make any run defense look ridiculous.

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Elvis Dumervil-Baltimore Ravens (Weeks 7 & 13)

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After losing a number of players this offseason, the Baltimore Ravens signed defensive end Elvis Dumervil, one of the best pass rushers in the league. Dumervil will definitely test Pittsburgh’s young offensive line.

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Tom Brady-New England Patriots (Week 9)

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Just hearing the name Tom Brady will strike fear into the hearts of many defensive backs. It really doesn’t take much to motivate Brady, but after the “ghosts” comments from Steelers safety Ryan Clark, Pittsburgh could receive their worse defeat of the season.

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Calvin Johnson-Detroit Lions (Week 11)

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh did have the best pass defense in the league in 2012. However, none of that will matter once they step on the field with Calvin Johnson. Last season, Johnson nearly had 2,000 receiving yards, and is a man among boys in the NFL.

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Trent Richardson-Cleveland Browns (Weeks 12 & 17)

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Even as a rookie, running back Trent Richardson showed that he had a nose for the end zone by scoring 11 touchdowns (tied for fifth in the league). Richardson could give the Steelers’ defense headaches twice this season with his physical style of running.

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Mike Wallace-Miami Dolphins (Week 14)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Harrison, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace will want to prove that he is worth the big contract he received in front of his former teammates and the Heinz Field crowd. Wallace will definitely have this date circled on his calendar.

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Aaron Rodgers-Green Bay Packers (Week 16)

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This late-season game could be crucial for the Steelers, and traveling to Lambeau Field to face arguably the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers won’t make it any easier.

Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google