Behind Enemy Lines: Preparing for the Steelers


Every week as we prepare for the Cleveland Browns to do battle in the NFL we will go Behind Enemy Lines with a member of the Fansided Network to bring you the inside scoop on the opponent for that week. Today we bring you Behind Enemy Lines in preparation for the Pittsburgh Steelers with Nice Pick Cowher (New Window) and one of their Editors Kim Myers. Time to learn more from the enemy about what we can look forward to on Sunday against the rival Steelers:

1. Will the Steelers offensive line be much improved from last year? 

We’ve been hoping for an improved, healthy line for a few years now. This year especially with the addition of Mike Munchak to coach the line there are big expectations. The biggest one is the hope that everyone stays healthy. With a healthy Pouncey, the line can be one of, if not the, most solid units on the roster. We picked up Wesley Johnson out of Vanderbilt in the 7th round of the draft because he can play just about every position on the line and he made the 53-man roster primarily because of his versatility. Anything to protect Ben and allow us to jumpstart the running game that has been seriously lacking in recent years is an improvement.

2. Will the replacements for Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders be up to the job or will it be Antonio Brown and Heath Miller carrying the passing game?

Antonio Brown is going to draw a ton of coverage and the expectations on second-year WR Markus Wheaton are immense. He had a nonexistent rookie season that was marred by a nagging finger injury so he’s yet to even prove himself in spite of basically being handed the No. 2 spot. Heath Miller is supposedly back at 100% and he’s always been a security blanket for Ben so I’m sure he’ll be a main target of Ben’s this year for sure.

3. Has Troy Plamalu hit the end of the road? How do Steelers fans feel about his decline in coverage skills?

Polamalu has never been known for his coverage skills so there’s no real worry about that. His timing on certain plays has been off but he had a monster year last year and didn’t miss a game after spending the last few years on the sidelines for more than a handful of games a season. When he’s on the field he is still capable of making big plays, or at least I still feel he’s capable of that. I think Steelers fans are prepared for his career to come to an end, though. His contract was restructured so that it’s very realistic that this is the last season for him.

4. How has Big Ben’s relationship with Todd Hailey changed/developed?

Both of them will and have told anyone who will listen that there is no more conflict or difficulties between them and at this point I don’t see any reason not to believe them. How much Ben gets to run the no-huddle has a lot to do with it. If Ben gets the no-huddle, he’s happy. And if he runs the no-huddle and is as successful with it as he was in the second half of last season, everyone else will be happy as well.

5. What are your expectations for the Steelers season?

Our other editor, Craig, called for a 10-6 record in his portion of the season preview (New Window) and I think that’s very realistic. The schedule is very favorable for a bounce-back year after two very frustrating 8-8 seasons. A strong start is key, especially based on how last season went when they started 0-4 and were still in the playoff hunt on Week 17 but had to depend on help to get in. It’s difficult to build upon late-season success from last year with a roster that had as much turnover as the Steelers did this offseason but if they can do it then a playoff or Wild Card spot is definitely in the cards. Getting past Denver or New England in the playoffs, however, might be too tall of a task with this defense.

Hope you enjoyed. What would you ask Steelers fans if you had the chance?