August 24, 2014


New faces: S Mike Mitchell, WR Lance Moore; rookies LB Ryan Shazier, DT Stephon Tuitt; RB LeGarrette Blount, offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

Key losses: S Ryan Clark, LB LaMarr Woodley, WR Jerricho Cotchery, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DE Ziggy Hood, running backs coach Kirby Wilson.

Strengths: QB, OL, K.

Weaknesses: DE, DT.

What's New: QB Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have reached detente entering third year of partnership, with Haley giving Roethlisberger more freedom to call plays out of expanded no-huddle offense when Steelers pick up pace. Addition of RB Blount should take some of workload off second-year back Le'Veon Bell, though those two backs did themselves no favors with franchise when they were cited for marijuana possession during traffic stop on Aug. 20.

Expectations: Steelers have spent last two years rebuilding on fly. Results were pair of 8-8 seasons that constitute downswing for one of NFL's most consistent winners. Makeover is nearly complete. Only four of 22 projected starters will be in their 30s when Pittsburgh kicks off against Cleveland on Sept. 7. Coach Mike Tomlin believes youngsters can play. If Steelers want to work into January, they'll have to.


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