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Friday, August 26, 2011
Steelers are second-oldest team in NFL

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers too old?

That question comes up nearly every year in Pittsburgh. But the Steelers often prove their critics wrong with another playoff run.

NFC West counterpart Mike Sando did a great chart this week outlining the age of starters and backups on offense and defense. By that measure, the Steelers are the second-oldest team in the NFL.

Many of Pittsburgh's starters are 30 or older. That includes receiver Hines Ward (35), safety Troy Polamalu (30), safety Ryan Clark (31), linebacker James Farrior (36), cornerback Ike Taylor (31) and defensive ends Brett Keisel (32) and Aaron Smith (35). The Steelers have the oldest defense in the league, according to the chart. Pittsburgh's offense is ranked No. 13.

Will age catch up to Pittsburgh in 2011? Probably not. The reigning AFC champions have looked good in training camp and the preseason. Injuries are probably the only thing that could derail Pittsburgh from making the playoffs again this season.

The Baltimore Ravens, who cut several veterans and got younger this year, were No. 13. The Cincinnati Bengals were No. 22 and the Cleveland Browns were No. 29.