5 Pittsburgh Steelers Storylines to Follow During Camp
5 Pittsburgh Steelers Story Lines to Follow During Training Camp
With the preseason about to commence on Sunday, training camp has been in full go for about a week now. Teams making roster cuts and gearing up for their first live action against someone other than their own teammates is the usual story for every team. However, we are provided with interesting situations and battles that make training camp a little more interesting then usual every year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers usually stay hush and quiet when it comes to this time of year. Known for not making big moves in free agency and building their team under the radar when it comes to draft day, this equation typically leads to a standard camp. While this can be said for this year’s campaign, there are enough headlines, whether it be big or small, to advocate a spot on “Hard Knocks: NFL Training Camp.”
Pittsburgh’s first preseason game will take place a week from today against the New York Giants on August 10. A mostly healthy team will take the field and play, leaving little room for anything to be talked about except for what happened on the field. If one were to look behind the scenes, they would find more then just the performance on the field by players. Football season is here, and everything players/coaches do will be under the microscope now more then the previous seven months. While Pittsburgh players stay out of the spotlight in the offseason for the most part, that does not necessarily mean you can’t pick out anything to watch. Here are five storylines to follow on the Steelers during training camp:
Ben Roethlisberger's Knee
Although it may seem minor, it is something to keep tabs on. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had minor knee surgery shortly before training camp after complaining about some discomfort while moving. Although he's stating that his knee felt “brand new”, head coach Mike Tomlin has hinted that things haven’t been exactly 100 percent for Ben concerning his knee. While Roethlisberger should be just fine, you never know what small tweaks lead to.
In order for a team to be successful, they must remain healthy as a unit. This fact was more apparent than ever in 2012, when a playoff contending team was shut down due to injuries across the board. Players like Sean Spence and Heath Miller sustained injuries during last year's campaign, and will unfortunately keep them out for some time during 2013. The injury bug has already hit with Cortez Allen needing minor surgery for his knee, which will keep him out a few weeks during the preseason. If the Steelers want to return to the playoffs in 2013, it is necessary that they stay healthy.
Dick Lebeau's Final Frontier?
A topic that tugs are the heartstrings of Steelers fans everywhere, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has been facing questions concerning retirement for the past couple years. One thing is for certain — LeBeau isn’t getting any younger. With the ever-changing offenses of the league, can LeBeau continue to be as effective? Or has the rest of the NFL finally caught up with the tendencies of the 75-year-old? Like all situations, only time will tell.
Getting Back to "Steelers Football"
With Le’Veon Bell now added to the lineup and impressing early on, Pittsburgh will now run the ball more often and hopefully more effectively. Running behind a healthy offensive line is a key part in doing so, and that is what Bell is dealing with upfront. While passing will most likely stay option no. 1, pounding the rock is needed to balance the offense. Look for an efficient run game from both Bell and Jonathan Dwyer in 2013 to further the threat this offense poses.
Rookies Making an Early Impact
Typically known for having an older staff and player nucleus, the 2013 Steelers will be a different story. With new additions Le’Veon Bell, Jarvis Jones and Markus Wheaton, youth will be brought to the table this upcoming season. All three players will get significant playing time this fall and should be improving every week. Combined with a great veteran group to learn from, Pittsburgh should no doubt see results from the youth that was brought in.