Not Missing a Beat

Not Missing a Beat

The Steelers have been here before, an early exit from the NFL playoffs after a strong regular season.  Pittsburgh finished last year with a 12-4 record in the regular season and before you could say “Tebow” it was over.  However, the most successful franchise in NFL history will not be discouraged.

Two-time Super bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger will be once again under center to lead a Pittsburgh offense that has asserted itself through the passing attack.  Young receivers such as Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, coupled with the sure handed veteran Heath Miller helped the Pittsburgh offense finish 10th in passing last season.   Rookie receiver Marquis Maze from Alabama looks to add another big play threat to Roethlisberger’s arsenal; and be sure to look out for 6 foot 8 tight end Leonard Pope in the double tight end sets this year.

A defense whose toughness is never questioned once again dominated the league last season, finishing 8th in opponent’s rushing yards and first in opponent’s passing yards.  Pro bowlers such as Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, and Ryan Clark as well as great players including Lamarr Woodley, Casey Hampton, and Larry Foote made this feat possible.  New additions to the defense include Cameron Heyward who was a standout defensive end at Ohio State University and the team is currently in talks with several defensive free agents including Matt Roth who has 23.5 career sacks.

One question after last season resonating around Pittsburgh was how Rashard Mendenhall would bounce back from his torn ACL suffered in last year’s season finale.  Mendenhall had a great year racking up 928 yards and 9 touchdowns, and though his progress is still being tracked he will look to come back in a big way for the 2012 season.