The past couple seasons we have seen mediocre play with average results in the play of the offense, defense and special teams for the Pittsburgh Steelers. There has been a movement in the Steel city, “out with the old and in with the new.” We have seen Super Bowl heroes either retire or leave the Steelers while unproven draft picks and young free agents take their place. As with the majority of rookies and young players, it takes time to settle in and play to their full potential, and it sure has taken its time with the Steelers’ young players. But after several seasons of the mediocre play while transitioning old with new players, the time has come to really see how good of a job the Steelers have done drafting and for their young players to turn into superstars. Here’s a look at the potential the offense has.
First and foremost, if all else fails, the Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger. When you have a franchise quarterback with two Super Bowl rings, nothing is impossible. But the talent surrounding Roethlisberger this upcoming season may be the most he has ever had to work with. It’s looking like he will have a pretty good offensive line, especially with Mike Munchak as their coach. He will have possibly two Pro Bowl players in Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro and a bunch of young and hungry tackles ready to play. Kelvin Beachum has a chip on his shoulder ready to prove all his doubters that he can be a starting left tackle in the league. Marcus Gilbert is playing for a new contract, and Mike Adams knows what’s at stake due to his previous play and off the field problems. The depth at the position is as deep as its ever been as well with Cody Wallace, Mike Adams and Wesley Johnson.
The running back spot is looking very good as well. Le’Veon Bell looks to take the NFL by storm with a very good first year. With so many teams using a running back by committee, Bell looks to be one of the few to be a workhorse. With the addition of Legarrette Blount as the teams big back, Bell and Blount can form a very good tandem. Of course with thunder comes lightning, and that’s exactly what the Steelers found in Dri Archer, a dual threat in the running game, receiver game and special teams. Add in fullback Will Johnson who can be another receiving threat if Todd Haley would give him the ball, the running back spot is looking good.
Although Roethlisberger has played with some very good receivers, I don’t think he has had as much potential and youth as he will be playing with this year. Antonio Brown is the number one and will be as long as he is in Pittsburgh. He has beat all odds since being drafted in the sixth round and as long as he keeps going, could find himself as one of the best Steelers receivers in history. Second year receiver Markus Wheaton also has some doubters to prove wrong. He will take Emmanuel Sanders spot as the number two receiver and has deep speed that the Steelers have lacked since the Mike Wallace days. He is like a faster Antonio Brown. Lance Moore is the veteran of the group and will be a nice addition in the slot. He will however have to fight off second year wide receiver Justin Brown, which early reports have said that he is looking much better than last year. Also in the mix is rookie Martavis Bryant. The guy has incredible speed for his height and brings height that Ben has been begging for since Burress left. If youngsters Wheaton, Justin Brown, and Bryant end up playing to their potential, the Steelers will have quite a receiving corps on their hands. Add in the always reliable Heath Miller, who will have a healthy offseason, and Ben Roethlisberger won’t know what to do.
Basically, the Steelers offense is loaded with talent and potential, but like I said, it’s potential. When you think of all the targets Ben has to throw to, All Pro Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Justin Brown and Martavis Bryant, Heath Miller, Dri Archer, Will Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, many of them being younger than 25! An offensive line who the oldest player who was an undrafted free agent in 2009. This offense can be dangerous.
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