Three big questions loom over the Steelers as camp opens

Sports

LATROBE, PA – AUGUST 06: Pittsburgh Steelers equipment lies on the field during training camp at St. Vincent College on August 6, 2009 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In 2020 no team in the NFL had a more impressive start. In 2020 no team in the NFL had a more confounding end. The Steelers 1-5 end to the regular season, and first round playoff exit bring many questions heading into the new season.

What can Ben Roethlisberger offer?
Ben Roethlisberger is becoming the Drew Brees of the AFC, veteran, talented, but what’s going to be in the tank in the back half of the year is anybody’s guess. While Brees mastered hiding any deficiencies he had, Ben has work to do. In 2020, six of his ten interceptions came after week nine. In 2018 (Ben was hurt most of 2019) nine of his 16 came after week nine. That’s a mere snapshot of his struggles down the stretch last year.

Who is starting on the line?
Pittsburgh isn’t exactly void of offensive line talent, but Pittsburgh threw out the beakers and now rebuild its chemistry. Pittsburgh returns just two of its starters from a year ago, Kevin Dotson, a second year guard out of the University of Louisiana, and Chukwuma Okorafor. Zach Banner, who was slated to start last year missed all of 2020 with an injury, it’s uncertain if he’ll be ready for week one. Pittsburgh added Pro Bowler Trai Turner and Chaz Green in free agency. The Steelers drafted Kendrick Green in the third round to play center.

Who lines up with Haden?
Corner is another position of concern. Some believe this is the weakest unit on the team after Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton left this offseason. Cameron Sutton, who played nickel in 2020, will get the first whack at the job opposite of Joe Haden. At nickel, Pittsburgh doesn’t have any natural fits, Justin Layne and James Pierre are generally considered outside corners.

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