Twice this decade the Pittsburgh Steelers have faced a Super Bowl hangover. Even though they did not win this past one, they do not want to have the same fate as they had the seasons following their last two appearances.
Pittsburgh missed the playoffs in 2006 and 2009 with a combined record of 17-15—not terrible but simply average which is not good enough in the NFL.
The Steelers roster should be in good shape heading into the 2011 season with the exception of the potential loss of starting cornerback Ike Taylor.
Whether they keep him or not, the Steelers still have some holes to plug in their starting lineup as well as depth issues that must be addressed.
Given the Steelers traditionally non-aggressive approach to free agency, the holes in the roster will likely have to be filled by players already on the roster.
Let’s take a look at five players who must step up their performance if the Steelers are to beat the Super Bowl hangover and have another playoff run in 2011.