- Scott Brown, ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter
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The Steelers have a lot of question marks heading into the season. They also have a franchise quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. As this column says, it is nearly impossible to project where the Steelers will finish in 2013 as far as record. Predictions have been all over the place with some guessing that the Steelers will take another step back after going 8-8 a year ago and others tabbing 2012 as an aberration. Roethlisberger, if he stays healthy, at least gives the Steelers a chance in a quarterback-driven league.
Questions facing the Steelers when they opened training camp weren't answered as they went winless in four preseason contests. We will know soon enough whether hand-wringing over the offensive line and special teams is justified -- or whether the preseason simply doesn't provide an accurate gauge for how different units (and players) will perform once the games start counting.
Another preseason, mercifully, is in the books. Now it is up to the Steelers' coaches to make sense of it all as they put together the 53-man roster. The key questions facing the Steelers are indeed who will round out the 53-man roster. Derek Moye did everything he could to make the team but the wide receiver may fall victim to circumstance. The play of Felix Jones, meanwhile, makes it more difficult to sort out the situation at running back. His play in two preseason games has put him squarely in the discussion of making the team. If Jones sticks who is the odd man out or do the Steelers simply carry an extra running back until rookie Le'Veon Bell is healthy?
Quarterback Landry Jones had his moments while playing the entire way in the 25-10 loss at Carolina. Jones couldn't build on his strong start, and the rookie was understandably disappointed with his overall play. His spot on the 53-man roster was secure even before the preseason finale, and Jones has shown enough to make him a good developmental quarterback.
Many fantasy football drafts will be held this weekend, and here is a team-by-team breakdown of the running backs. Indeed, fantasy owners will take a Steelers running back at their own risk. Bell had been projected as a high pick because of the potential for the rookie to get a lot of carries. A midfoot sprain has sidelined Bell, and who knows when he will be able to take over as the Steelers' feature back. Any other Steelers running back should be drafted late if at all.
The Steelers have a lot of question marks heading into the season. They also have a franchise quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. As this column says, it is nearly impossible to project where the Steelers will finish in 2013 as far as record.