Updated: August 16, 2013, 7:29 PM ET

Camp Confidential: Steelers

Ben RoethlisbergerAP Photo/Keith SrakocicBen Roethlisberger and the Steelers are being left out of AFC North title talk.

LATROBE, Pa. -- Nestled in the rolling hills surrounding St. Vincent College, the Pittsburgh Steelers seem as though they're isolated from the football world for training camp. But make no mistake, they hear everything.

When it comes to the debate over who's winning the AFC North, the talk is either about the defending Super Bowl champions (Baltimore Ravens) or the team on the rise (Cincinnati Bengals). The Steelers? They're considered too old on defense and too young on offense.

If you expected the Steelers to make a rebuttal, you'd be wrong. They have embraced the underdog role.

"When you lose Mike Wallace, James Harrison and Casey Hampton on a team that went 8-8, you're supposed to say they're about to fall," linebacker Larry Foote said. "If I was a writer, I would write the same thing. But football is not played behind a computer in a nice cozy office. It's played on the field."

-- Jamison Hensley

For more, click here.

Camp Confidential: Colts

ANDERSON, Ind. -- The Indianapolis Colts did the unexpected last season. Those on the outside know it. The Colts know it too.

They put quarterback Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, under center from day one, and he led them to an 11-5 record that included seven game-winning drives. The Colts never lost consecutive games and, most importantly, made it back to the playoffs.

And they did it while dealing with the absence of coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling cancer.

Now there's no going back for the Colts.

--Mike Wells

For more, click here.

Camp Confidential: Chiefs

Kansas City ChiefsDerick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsAndy Reid looks to turn around a Kansas City squad that went 2-14 last season.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid needed each other.

A year ago, as the Chiefs were toiling through their summer preparations, this pairing seemed more than unlikely. It appeared implausible.

The Chiefs were embarking on the Romeo Crennel era. The franchise was focused on salvaging the Scott Pioli leadership by having one of his former New England colleagues take over the coach's headset on a full-time basis after he had guided the team following Todd Haley's dismissal in December 2011. There were no thoughts of Crennel being a temporary caretaker for one of the biggest coaching names in the game. Reid was entering his 14th season in Philadelphia.

But 2012 ended up being an awful year for the Chiefs and for Reid. Change was necessary for both.

--Bill Williamson

For more, click here.

Camp Confidential: Texans

HOUSTON -- At 12-4 last season, the Houston Texans had the best record in the young franchise's history, won their second consecutive AFC South championship, became the first professional football team in Houston to win a home playoff game in consecutive years and finished the regular season as one of only two teams to be ranked in the top 10 in both offense and defense.

Doesn't sound like a failed season, does it? But as the franchise has grown and checked off accomplishments, failure has begun to mean anything other than a Super Bowl win.

"We weren't the last team standing last year, so ultimately we all failed," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "We all didn't accomplish our goals."

--Tania Ganguli

For more, click here.

Camp Confidential: Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Live on Colorado's front range long enough, and you live with an unshakable, that's-the-way-it-is truth. That most days, as in 300 or so a year, the sun shines brightly and the skies are blue.

But when the storm clouds come rolling down the mountains, it's an ambush — they come fast and with menacing intent. And that, really, is the story of the Broncos' offseason.

"Hey, you have to deal with all kinds of things along the way," said Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, now entering his 10th season with the team. "And we've had plenty of things to deal with around here over the years; sometimes we've done a good job with it, sometimes we haven't. I tell the young guys all the time, we'll see how we handle things. We can be good, but we have to get to work, because thinking you're good and being good are always two different things."

The Broncos entered free agency as Super Bowl favorites, then they signed Wes Welker to a Peyton Manning-led offense that had already been good enough to be No. 2 in scoring in 2012. They drafted well, and filled some other needs with veteran signees Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Stewart Bradley and Shaun Phillips.

Yep, football sunshine and blue skies.

-- Jeff Legwold

For more, click here.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.