Sep 16, 2012; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) runs out of the tunnel before the game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Projected 2014 Starters


It’s never too early to start thinking about the starting lineup, is it? With just 108 days and a couple of hours to go till the Steelers kick off against the Cleveland Browns, it’s time to start wondering who will be running onto the field for those first plays for the Steelers. The projected 2014 Steelers starters, according to Around the League’s Chris Wesseling are as follows:

Pittsburgh Steelers Projected 2014 Starters
Offense Defense
QB Ben Roethlisberger DE Cameron Heyward
RB Le’Veon Bell DT Steve McLendon
WR1 Antonio Brown DT Stephon Tuitt
WR2 Markus Wheaton OLB Jason Worilds
WR3 Lance Moore ILB Lawrence Timmons
TE1 Heath Miller ILB Ryan Shazier
LT Kelvin Beachum OLB Jarvis Jones
LG Ramon Foster CB1 Ike Taylor
C Maurkice Pouncey CB2 William Gay / Cortez Allen
RG David DeCastro SS Troy Polamalu
RT Marcus Gilbert FS Mike Mitchell

 

On offense he’s projecting that Markus Wheaton wins out the battle for the No. 2 WR spot, with free agent acquisition, Lance Moore rounding out the wide receiving corps. The offensive line looks pretty similar to how last season ended, with the exception of Maurkice Pouncey returning from his ACL injury at center.

For the defense, Wesseling has rookies Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt earning starting jobs and the cornerbacks to be a combination of Ike Taylor, William Gay, and Cortez Allen. Free agent acquisition Mike Mitchell will start opposite Troy Polamalu at safety.

While, there are surely many things to be determined by the outcomes of the remaining OTA’s, training camp and preseason, I don’t see how the lineup on September 7th would be a whole lot different than what he has projected here. I agree with most of his assessment aside from his statement that last year’s top draft pick Jarvis Jones pushed LaMarr Woodley out the door. Not quite sure that’s how it actually happened. Jones definitely has a lot of pressure on him, as do the rest of the 2013 draft class, to improve upon their previous year as individuals and as a team.

The Steelers are going to be tasked with a unique situation of trying to build upon the momentum of finishing 2013 strong, while having a ton of turnover and a lot of new faces on the team in 2014. How successful they are at achieving that certainly depends upon how well the starters perform on the field.

What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you envision a different starting lineup?

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  • SDAZT_STEEL

    This lineup would make me pretty happy. 3 Wides means no multiple TE sets as the base O, while Shazier & Tuitt starting means the team is trying to get instant productivity from their two first round picks.

    I would like to see Gilbert replaced at RT, and I hope Adams receives a chance to unseat him. In addition, I hope the O-Line can collectively stay healthy this fall.

  • craig

    Position depth may be the more telling make-up for the team overall and I wouldn’t be surprised if a more favorable replacement for Ike Taylor is looked for in FA after June 1st. The greatest off season move was their new Off. line coach and possibly improvement on STs personnel. As of now still believe in a 10 wins for this coming season and the return of Harrison for Def. LB depth.

    • SDAZT_STEEL

      Lake seemed pretty confident w/the corners he has at his disposal behind his top three on the depth chart. While i don’t agree and am not a fan of Shaquille Richardson, it is likely that the team will roll the dice on the players they have at their disposal (at the moment) this fall. Also, keep in mind that Shark Thomas can chip in as a slot guy & Robert Golden played CB for extended periods at Arizona.

      Totally agree on the “Hopeful for Deebo’s Return” front though. Perfect guy to have as a situation-pass-rusher and someone who can put pressure on Jarvis Jones & spell Worilds if need be. Arthur Moats is the only other OLB on the roster besides the starters w/any extended experience.

  • John Joyce

    Jarvis Jones is not in SEC, he must learn to shed blocks… Give WR from Clemson a chance to play, do not turn him into another limes tweed.. Let Mike M. coach and line is biggest improvement on team. D line will work if you play seven guys from day one. Let them live and learn, they do not need to sit on your bench. Get Dri Archer into play at least 7 plays per game plus special games, turn it lose do not be a team that is afraid to use young talent. I for one – I’m sick and tired of a lack of confidence, from coaches.

  • http://a-just-society.blogspot.com jakepgh

    There is almost NO chance this will be the lineup on opening day. Do you guys not get it that you almost ALWAYS lose one oir more starters to injury? The interesting exercise, for each position, is “Who’s the next man up?”

    • SDAZT_STEEL

      Here you go:

      QB: Gradkowski
      RB; Blount
      WRs: Bryant, DHB, J. Brown & Archer (SB)
      TE: Spaeth/Blanchflower
      LT: Adams
      LG: Wallace/W. Johnson
      C: Wallace/W. Johnson
      RG: Whimper/Embernate
      RT: Adams/Whimper

      DE: Arnfelt
      NT: C. Thomas
      DE: C. Thomas/N. Williams
      LOLB: Moats/Carter
      LILB: V. Williams
      RILB: Spence/Garvin
      ROLB: Moats/Deebo (if signed)
      CBs: McCain, Blake, Green, Smith, Richardson
      SS: S. Thomas
      FS: W. Allen/R. Golden

      • http://a-just-society.blogspot.com jakepgh

        Yes, that’s pretty much the roster. Now, the point is to see where the most serious dropoffs take place. The outcome of a season often depends on whether the inevitable major injuries crop up where the dropoffs are small, or where they’re large. Sometimes you get surprises, as with Fernando Velasco, or Doug Legursky in the past. More often you find out that second- and third-stringers are such for a good reason.

        • SDAZT_STEEL

          Major dropoffs are at CB, DE (experience-wise), OLB (if Deebo isn’t signed), TE (from a pass-catching perspective) and of course, the biggest, QB.

          • http://a-just-society.blogspot.com jakepgh

            I fully agree with your list, but would add that losing Timmons would be disastrous.

          • SDAZT_STEEL

            I just did my top five, only reason I didn’t add LILB was because a parking cone is better passing game option as a #2 TE than Matt Spaeth.