I didn't think I'd be doing another slideshow so soon. I wrote my first one yesterday so if you haven't read it, check it out. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/393218-top-5-defenses-of-the-decade
As you all know this offseason for the Steelers has been one of the craziest ever. We have seen the return of former veterans, off the field issues, and a draft that left many scratching their heads.
The season is only four months away and I have a few players who I think will make a huge impact on the team this year. So without further ado, here is my top 5 biggest impact players for the Steelers in 2010.
The Steelers acquired Maurkice Pouncey with their first pick in the draft. Drafted as a center, he'll probably start out as a guard so he can easily slide into the center position.
Pouncey will hopefully fortify the weakest link on the offense for years to come. Big Ben gets sacked too much and too often. The Steelers can't seem to get enough push to get their running game going. He should be able to help with both.
He's a talented kid with a ton of potential. Expect great things from him this year.
B-Mac is back and he's ready to help out a secondary that got torched all year.
McFadden took a little vacation with the Cardinals last year, but after that didn't work out, we got him back for a mere 5th round draft pick.
He is sure to win back his old starting job opposite Ike Taylor this year, easily supplanting insufficient William Gay from the position. Gay was the weakest link of the Steelers secondary last year and and opposing QB’s constantly picked on him.
Don't look for that to happen this year. Expect McFadden to return to his usual form and even get a pick or two.
Aaron Smith is the most underrated DE in the NFL. He is superb at stopping the run and has a decent pass rush that collapses the pocket and allows the LB's to make plays.
Unfortunately, he went down in week 5 last year and was put on IR with a torn rotator cuff. His presence on the D-line was missed and he was one of the reasons why the Steelers' D suffered.
Now he's healthy and ready to play football. Even though he's 34, look for him to continue being one of the best DE's in the games.
Next up is Dennis Dixon. With Big Ben suspended for 4-6 games, it'll come down between Dixon and Leftwich being the starting QB.
I personally think Dixon will win the job. He did a slightly above average job against the Ravens last year. Plus he can run which makes him a dual threat.
Dixon won't be asked to carry the team while Ben is gone. That's up to the running game and defense. He'll be asked to manage the game to the best of his abilities. Also don't be surprised if you see him do a little Wildcat.
I can see Dixon taking the Steelers to a 3-1 maybe even a 4-0 record before the bye, if Arians takes full advantage of his talents. If he does, expect to see Dixon running as well as throwing the ball.
No surprises here, right?
Troy is, without question, the biggest impact player for the Steelers. No one plays the game like he does. He can play the run just as well as the pass and has an eye for the ball like no one else in the league.
Two injuries in the same knee kept Troy out for 11 games last year. But when he did play, he managed 3 picks and the Steelers went 4-1.
Troy has said that his knee is feeling a whole lot better and he's ready to come back. I sure hope so because the Steelers definitely need him this year.
Polamalu has entered his prime so expect him to come out white hot. His return should vault the Steelers' Defense back up to number one where they belong.
These are the people who didn't quite make the list, but still deserve to be recognized.
"Big Ben" Roethlisberger
Next season for the Steelers is filled with uncertainty, but I'm sure they'll find a way to prevail.
This concludes my Top 5 Biggest Impact Players For The Steelers In 2010.
I finished my next slideshow so please check it out.