The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: What one question would you most like to hear head coach Mike Tomlin address today?
It’s been a while now since we’ve last heard from Mike Tomlin. That is the downside—or upside, depending upon your inclination—of the Steelers being on a bye week. After some rest and relaxation—and a bunch of losses from teams they would have liked to have seen lose—however, it’s back to action.
And that includes yet another Tomlin Tuesday, the first in two weeks. The Steelers close out the first half of their season with three consecutive wins, but have never really seemed to put together a complete game, perhaps the closest being the victory over the Bengals.
So while they are charging into the second half with the best record in the AFC—tied with the Patriots—it is still a unit that comes with some questions, some of which can of course only be answered on the field, but of those questions that Tomlin can answer, what would you like to hear?
I don’t think I’m going out too far on a limb if I were to venture a guess that the role of Martavis Bryant will be the biggest question. The wide receiver himself has suggested that he believes he will play an increased role against the Colts after being benched for the Detroit game.
Another question, no doubt, will be about the outside linebacker rotation, and specifically if it’s time to get James Harrison some playing time. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler did hint that he would have a role to play as the weather gets colder.
How much are the Steelers willing to ride Le’Veon Bell? I expect that to be another popular question. Pittsburgh used him heavily over the past few games. While he has shown no signs of wear and tear, many probably fear that they could manifest suddenly, as was the case last season as he battled an undisclosed groin injury.