Steelers Will Be Better Or Worse Than 8-8 Record

Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial

Wednesday, September 05, 2007
By Marc Simon
Steelers Fever Columnist


The Steelers had a great preseason. The best thing about it was that no one got hurt.

Mike TomlinSurprises were few and far between. You had to know several months ago that Chukki Okobi's days were numbered once they signed free agent center Sean Mahan; that Verron Haynes, despite being a good soldier for many years, had a slim to none chance of sticking; that they were going to cut draft choices Ryan McBean, Cameron Stephenson and Dallas Baker.

And of course, you knew that free agent guard Darnell Stapleton would make the team. Didn't you?

Now it's on to the games that matter. Most of the prognosticators -- a word used almost exclusively by sports journalists -- have predicted that our 2007 Steelers will be a middle-of-the-pack team. Some see them as a contender for a wild-card spot. Most predict a third-place finish in our division, behind the Ravens and the Bengals.

You can understand why so many of the so-called experts are underwhelmed by this team. After all, we were 8-8 last year. We bring back virtually the same squad, minus former all-pro linebacker Joey Porter and future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Cowher.

I don't think we'll be 8-8. We'll either be somewhat better, or a lot worse.

Why we'll be better:
We have just about the same team that won the Super Bowl two years ago.

Why we'll be worse:
We have just about the same team that won the Super Bowl two years ago. They're also the same players who went 8-8 last year, and many of the key players -- Hines Ward, James Farrior, Andre Townsend, Aaron Smith and so on aren't getting any younger.
Why we'll be better:
We have a healthy Ben Roethlisberger.

Why we'll be worse:
We have a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, the guy that led the league in interceptions.
Why we'll be better:
We have a refurbished offensive line.

Why we'll be worse:
We have a refurbished offensive line, with a disgruntled left guard, a new center and new right tackle, and no viable backup for left tackle.
Why we'll be better:
We have a new head coach.

Why we'll be worse:
We have a new head coach who's never coached a regular season NFL game.
Why we'll be better:
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has promised to make the offense more wide open.

Why we'll be worse:
New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has promised to make the offense more wide open. The last time the Steelers tried that was with Tommy "Gun" Maddox in 2003, and we went 6-10.
Why we'll be better:
Steely McBeam.

Why we'll be worse:
Need I say it?