What does it take to make a great dynasty?
Well, it begins up front with a great offensive line, a hard-nosed defense, and a smart, talented QB at the helm of it all. We've seen this in past dynasties, and we could very well be on the verge of seeing it again.
The New England Patriots have been the latest dynasty, and they met every single one of those guidelines and then some. They had possibly one of the greatest lines of the modern era. Brady was never touched. Their defense was in the top five, and well, they had Tom Brady. I don't think I need to explain that one.
Now, I'm not saying the Pats' dynasty is completely over, but the door is open for another team to step up and take the reigns as the perennial force in the NFL. Now, you may ask, if the Pats are done with their dynasty, then who is going to be the next powerhouse.
Well here they are, they're ready, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What sets this team apart to make them the "next great thing?"
As I stated in my guidelines, the first thing needed to make a run starts up front, the ability to control the line of scrimmage.
The Steelers lacked experience and luck on the O-line last year, as they had injuries and problems as a whole. Now, I'm not saying these problems will be solved with the additions of Justin Hartwig and Tony Hills, but they still will have one more year of experience, and with the offseason, most of their linemen have had time to heal and make up for the loss of Faneca.
This is one of the Steelers' strengths, as Mike Tomlin has implemented and kept together a great defense.
They have DEs Aaron Smith and Brett Kielsel, but watch for rookie Bruce Davis to possibly make a Mark Anderson-type impact. If Penn State is Linebacker U of college, then Pittsburgh is Linebacker U of the NFL. They have James Farrior, Larry Foote, James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, and LaMarr Woodley to fill four spots. Just looking at that would make a few teams cower in fear.
The secondary could use a little help, but Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor do a serviceable job, and Ryan Clark is good, not great, but Polamalu is coming back from his knee surgery, and it's rumored that he's having a great comeback from this injury.
Big Ben really showed us what he's capable of last year.
He stepped up by throwing over 3,000 yards and 32 TDs. These numbers were astounding, and they showed that the Super Bowl and the 15-1 rookie season were no flukes. Big Ben is for real. And if Ben is to ever get injured, he has arguably the greatest backup in the league behind him in Charlie Batch. So needless to say, the Steelers QB position is looking rather good.
This is what gives them the edge, in my mind, over other teams to make a jump. Ben has TONS of options to get the ball to, which he is among the league's best in doing. With the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall, they now have a steady game-changing RB who will be their stud for the next five-10 years.
Along with a tall, lanky, 6'4" Limas Sweed who also can, and should, blossom into a fine young wide receiver. Oh, and they have some Santonio guy, too. This man affects the game in so many ways for the Steelers, and he looks to see an increase in touches this year.
Heath Miller is one of the top 10 or so all-around TEs in the league. Wow, that just looks amazing. Just imagine once they get seasoned and familiar with the NFL.
So, needless to say, Pittsburgh will be a force to be reckoned with over the next five-10 years. NFL teams, be wary. Your times of domination are shortly coming to an end.
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