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The Pittsburgh Steelers Must Start Playing for 2014

December 10th, 2013 at 10:24 PM
By Mark Mihalko
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off two disappointing losses against the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, basically ending their season. Now, they must bring all hands on deck, in this match-up against their division rival Cincinnati Bengals.
'Steelers v Bills' photo (c) 2009, Chris Winters - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Incredibly, unlike the disappointing 2012 version of the Steelers, it has been the defense that has let them down, not the offense. In fact, the offense has played well over this past six games and has put the Steelers in a position to win. 
 
The patchwork offensive played better than expected against the Dolphins and even gave the Steelers a boost in the run game. They also provided a boost on the newswire with the antics of Cody Wallace. Unfortunately, with the positives that have been developing on offense, the defense is regressing week by week. 
 
Defensively, the Steelers look both old and predictable, a situation that does not bode well for their future as a unit. Especially when you look at the pending free agents and the salary cap situation. With three games remaining, it is quite possible that four starters (possibly five) could be watching the career with the franchise coming close to an end. 
 
Between safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds and defensive end Brett Keisel, the coaching staff and front office have many tough decisions ahead. What makes these decisions harder is the fact that the team is not throwing in the towel on 2013, and will not cut the young players loose to see what they have on the bench. With nothing left to play for but respect, the coaching staff should be taking a hard look at Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden, Chris Carter, Hebron Fungupo on defense. Instead, it is likely Will Allen, and the normal starters will take the majority of reps. It is time for the staff to realize, it is time to prepare for the future. 
 
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Tags: Brett Keisel, Football, Jason Worilds, LaMarr Woodley, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu

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