1. There Was Only One Starter Lost to "Free Agency."
Bryant McFadden was the only starter who defected. He did not play a complete season with a collar bone injury. William Gay played more than adequately as a replacement. With a pass rush like the Steelers, anyone could be a successful DB.
2. Many Starters are in a Contract Year.
When players are the final year of a contract, they absolutely play to the best of their ability. The NFL is a business first, and one of the main motivators is the green. Expect Heath Miller, Casey Hampton, and Ryan Clark to have one of best years of their careers.
3. Roethlisberger Will Be Healthy at the Start of the Season
The main reason the Steelers did not repeat is because Big Ben was started too early, and did not play to his true form. The Steelers could not overcome the interceptions. Roethlisberger will learn from his mistakes and have a quiet and safe offseason.
4. History Is on the Side of the Steelers
5. Tomlin Is Still Hungry
Cowher was phoning in his last season, exhausted from a long NFL tenure. Tomlin is still hungry: he is young and wants to distinguish himself from the Cowher era. With a soft schedule, the Steelers are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.