5 Questions the Pittsburgh Steelers Must Answer During Training Camp
5 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Questions
After what was by most accounts a disappointing 8-8 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, some are wondering if this is the beginning of a decline that will continue for the storied franchise. Questions about misuse of the salary cap, aging players and untimely injuries are rampant. This is a fanbase that is used to winning, not seasons like 2012.
So, as the Steelers near training camp, there are serious questions that must be answered if this team is to find its way back into the playoffs. The other teams in the AFC North all appear to be moving forward, improving their rosters and making their push for a division title. But the Steelers appear from the outside to be holding steady in spots, backsliding at others, and trying to find places where they have really improved takes a little more looking. This is a team that many critics feel cannot make the playoffs this year, but if they can get a few pieces in order, I have no doubt they can be right back in the mix again.
This training camp is going to be vital on levels that Steelers fans haven’t seen in some time. There could potentially be multiple new starters, including rookies which is out of the norm for a Steelers team. But as we all understand, desperate times call for desperate measures and this franchise needs to win. The fanbase expects it, the ownership expects it, and the players expect it.
Let’s take a look at the five big questions the Steelers are going to have heading into the 2013 training camp. Be sure to comment below with what your big five questions are as they prepare to start training camp.
Who will be the other starting outside linebacker?
The Steelers have a decision to make. One outside linebacker spot is locked up with LaMarr Woodley, but on the other side, rookie Jarvis Jones and veteran Jason Worilds are going to spend the entire training camp battling for that spot. I expect both to play, but who will end up in the starting lineup remains a mystery.
Is Antonio Brown a No.1 wide receiver?
After losing wide receiver Mike Wallace to free agency, it will be up to Brown to step up and take that dominant role in the passing offense. The pressure will be even greater when you consider that veteran tight end Heath Miller may not be healthy to start the season.
Who will start on the offensive line?
There are so many questions on the offensive line. Tackles Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert, both projected to start, are still recovering from injury, and with very little cap space to work with, this team could end up with a patchwork group for the bulk of camp.
What will year two of the new offense look like?
Last season, before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was injured, he was on pace to set records in passing yards and touchdowns. Roethlisberger typically follows a season with injuries with a big bounce back, so being healthy and another year in this new system should mean his stats will be way up.
Are the starting safeties too old?
Some decisions are going to have to be made about safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark in regards to their long-term futures. There are some quality young players behind them, and this camp and preseason might be a chance for the Steelers to see what the future of their defensive secondary will look like.