Much has been written on this site and others about how the Steelers are not the same team we’ve known, loved, and cheered for over the years.
Discussions about how the Steelers are no longer a running team, but rather a passing team, fall a bit short in my view.
These Steelers are an offensive team.
Yes, the defense is still good (can’t say great yet this year), but it’s the offense, and Ben Roethlisberger in particular, that defines this team.
The good news is the offense can score on any team in this league, which has no dominant defense this year. The Giants are statistically No. 1, but I dare say, New Orleans had a thing or two to say about that.
And so it goes with the NFL this year. The biggest problem with having a great offense is that it forces the other team’s offense to do more to keep up. I think that’s one of the reasons why the Steelers games have been so close, a trend that I fear will likely continue.
The mark of a great team is to win those close games. The Steelers have not shown that greatness this year yet, winning most, but losing a few close ones.
This team clearly has the talent to win another Super Bowl. The question is do they have the character?
Here’s a few conclusions we can draw about the Steelers after the Cleveland game:
Willie Parker is done.
Thanks to Tomlin for not blindly sticking with the veteran, as the previous coach in Pittsburgh liked to do.
The fact is, Rashard Mendenhall looks good. Despite the “fumble waiting to happen” way that he carries the ball, he’s been solid, hitting holes hard and breaking tackles. The future looks good at RB. I, for one, have jumped off the “Redman for President” bandwagon, thanks to Mendy.
Laurence Timmons is better suited to be an OLB.
His forte seems to be rushing the quarterback, something he’d likely do more of on the outside. I’m guessing LeBeau sees that as well, which is why he and Farrior have been blitzing more. That, and the fact that Lamar Woodley can’t get to the QB.
There should be no more mention of Limas Sweed this year.
There's only room for so many receivers and Steelers have three great, although maybe a bit inconsistent, guys in Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, and Mike Wallace. Add Heath Miller and Mewelde in the mix and the third down offense is set this year (barring injuries).