Steelers' projected starting lineup

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
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The AFC North blog is continuing its series on projecting the starting lineup for each team in the division. Next up is the Pittsburgh Steelers:

OFFENSE

QB Ben Roethlisberger: Only fourth quarterback who began his career in the Super Bowl era to reach 80 wins in 113 starts (Tom Brady, Roger Staubach and Ken Stabler were the others).

RB Isaac Redman: Favorite to replace Rashard Mendenhall, who is expected to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

FB David Johnson: Let's see how much the fullback gets onto the field in Todd Haley's offense.

WR Mike Wallace: Restricted free agent wants a long-term deal after becoming first Steelers wide receiver to start a Pro Bowl since John Stallworth in 1985.

WR Antonio Brown: Last year's team Most Valuable Player became first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 yards receiving and 1,000 return yards in the same season.

TE Heath Miller: His 12.4 yards per catch were a career high for the seven-year veteran.

LT Mike Adams: If he isn't the starter here as a rookie, the second-round pick should be at this spot by next season.

LG Willie Colon: The Steelers thought about moving Colon from tackle to guard last season. The addition of Adams makes it more viable this year.

C Maurkice Pouncey: Ankle injuries have hurt the Pro Bowl lineman in his first two NFL seasons.

RG David DeCastro: The first-round pick could flip to left guard but he played primarily on the right side at Stanford.

RT Marcus Gilbert: He continued to get better and better every week as a rookie last season.

DEFENSE

LDE Ziggy Hood: Now that Aaron Smith is gone, Hood is ready for a full season of starting.

NT Casey Hampton: Could start on PUP, which would push Hood to nose tackle and Cameron Heyward into the starting lineup.

RDE Brett Keisel: He's more than just a beard. His 37 quarterback pressures led the Steelers last season.

LOLB LaMarr Woodley: Had nine sacks in his first eight games before hamstring injury slowed him down.

LILB Larry Foote: Will compete with Stevenson Sylvester for James Farrior's spot.

RILB Lawrence Timmons: Last season showed he is more comfortable playing inside linebacker than outside.

ROLB James Harrison: Has produced at least 8.5 sacks in five straight seasons.

LCB Ike Taylor: Topped the Steelers with 20 passes defensed, which was seven more than anyone else on the team.

SS Troy Polamalu: Second among safeties in interceptions (19) since 2008.

FS Ryan Clark: Led the Steelers with 100 tackles, nine more than Lawrence Timmons.

RCB Keenan Lewis or Cortez Allen: The starting spot left by William Gay, who signed with Arizona in free agency, is up in the air at this point.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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