1. Defense-With the exception of Larry Foote, the Steeler "D" should not lose a step. With last year's emergence of Harrison as a premier Linebacker, last season's use of Timmons and Woodley should have them ready to step into the breech left by Foote's departure. With a healthy Troy patrolling the secondary, and giving great run support, Townsend playing "adequate" coverage, and the "new " additions, only the Ravens present REAL threat.
2.Ben Roethlisberger-"Big Ben" has established himself as a LEADER, mentally and physically. In spite of spend a lot of "ground time" last year, Ben got up dusted himself off, threw a touchdown/led a drive, and took his linemen to dinner. His teammates play for him, and never feel out of any game; i.e. SUPER BOWL XLIII. Coach Tomlin has promised to try to "Keep Ben Off the Ground" this year, and that will give the Steelers even more of a chance at a repeat; and a somewhat "easier schedule".
3. Santonio Holmes-The MVP of SUPER BOWL XLIII! #1 Draft Choice of the Steelers 2006. Santonio's catch, and his desire to "constantly improve", has already made an impact on the teams' success; SUPER BOWL XLIII :30 on clock! His desire to be in the conversation of "Greatest Wide Receivers", speaks not only to his work ethic, but his sense of purpose and responsibility. To have the "mental attitude" and physical ability that he possesses, is any coaches dream; to succeed and be "The Best" is his!
4. Hines Ward-The fact that the NFL has a "Blocking Rule" nicknamed the "Ward Rule", speaks volumes as to how this wide receiver approaches the game. His work ethic, has been recorded, more than his ethnic background. The Steelers extended his contract recently, making it almost a certainty that he will retire as a STEELER. Mentoring Santonio and the young receiving corps, Ward leads by example, not dictation. His devotion to the game, his teammates and organization, makes his leadership invaluable.
The "Bungles", and the "Brown/Jets", are more of a threat to themselves, than legitimate "contenders". The documented personnel questions at "key positions,their inconsistencies, and inferior talent, also contribute but I won't gloat, over our "superiority". The Ravens, just like last year will provide stiff competition AGAIN. I'll take Ben, over Joe, and I definitely give the edge to our receiving corp. Bart's departure my even give us a SLIGHT edge in linebackers, Ed Reed and Troy make the secondaries about even, defensive line also even. So, all that said, we should make the Playoffs, and the road to SUPER BOWL XLIIII is OPEN. AND ME, being the GOOD SPORT I AM, will be enjoying the game and glory AGAIN, and promising to be the first to say; "I TOLD YOU SO!!"
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