By Nick Villano @nick_villano on March 30, 2014
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a disappointing season in 2013. They attempted to make a miraculous run at the playoffs after a starting the season 2-6. They plan to ride the momentum of last season's ending and becoming a threat in the AFC once again. For that to happen, they need a few players to step up. These are five who must do that in 2014.
One of the biggest problems with the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past few seasons was the offensive line. This all starts with the tackles. The return of Maurkice Pouncey will help solidify the line, but Gilbert may still be the most important player when it comes to keeping Ben Roethlisberger upright.
Cameron Heyward had a breakout year in 2013. His five sacks were a tie for the team lead with LaMarr Woodley. He deflected seven passes, which is obviously great for a defensive lineman. He needs to continue to be consistent to help this team be the team from the second half of 2013.
With the loss of Ryan Clark and an overall aging secondary, a 29-year-old William Gay is a spring chicken for the Steelers. He is going to need to really step up this season for a team that has plenty of questions, and most likely a few rookies. If he wants to keep his spot in the lineup, he will need to play up to his potential.
Lawrence Timmons is the key component to this Steelers defense. He needs to bring this team back to the days where teams were afraid to take on the Steelers D.
The Steelers lost Emmanuel Sanders to the Denver Broncos. Jerricho Cotchery will now be catching touchdown passes from Cam Newton. They were already slim at receiver before they left. They currently have Antonio Brown as a legit receiver on this team. Markus Wheaton had a quiet rookie year, but he is going to be expected to make an impact in his sophomore season.
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