With a two major phases of the offseason in the books, we’re starting to get an idea of what each team’s finalized 2013 product will look like. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that had a rough start to the offseason in free agency, but then followed it up with a very solid draft, and now they’re in the process of ‘retooling.’
Because of this, many people are already questioning if there’s enough talent on the roster for this team to compete for the AFC North crown. I don’t really know how, this is even a question?
The Steelers aren’t the favorites to win the division by any means, but at the same time, there isn’t a powerhouse team in the North, either. The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals will be good, but head and shoulders above the Steelers? No way.
Pittsburgh plays a proven brand of football under Mike Tomlin and long-time defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau, and as long as Ben Roethlisberger is still under center, they’re going to be just fine. Maybe they’re not a top-tier AFC team, but they’ll be in contention for the division title and a playoff spot.
While the team has experienced a couple of blows this offseason, the nucleus of the club is still intact. That starts with Big Ben, and now it’s expanding out to new key rookies like linebacker Jarvis Jones and running back Le’Veon Bell.
This team is not in great shape by any means, but there’s no good reason to think they won’t give the Bengals and Ravens a run for their money in 2013. The champion will likely be determined by the the winner of the head-to-head divisional matchups, and all of those games are rivalry games. Anything can happen in rivalry games.
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