For the Pittsburgh Steelers, championships are the standard. Last season, they came nowhere near meeting this standard as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Entering the 2013 season, the Steelers are a team in transition. Gone are several of the veterans who helped them to years of success. Now they will need their young talent to step up and fill the void.
When speaking of the young talent, I am not referring to the players in their first or second years, but rather those who have at least two years of experience and now need to prove they belong in the league.
Without their youth stepping up and performing at a high level, the Steelers will not compete for a playoff spot this season. But they need more than just their young players to improve if they want to succeed.
Pittsburgh will also need its underperforming stars to stay on the field and earn their pay.
Here is a look at six players who must step up their performance if the Steelers want to return to the playoffs in 2013.
All stats courtesy of ESPN.com.