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|
|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?