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3 Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Ballard
September 06, 2004
The architect of the old Blitzburgh defense returns to energize a faltering unit, but lacking playmakers the team will struggle to make the playoffs
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September 06, 2004

3 Pittsburgh Steelers

The architect of the old Blitzburgh defense returns to energize a faltering unit, but lacking playmakers the team will struggle to make the playoffs

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THE RISE

> Pittsburgh traded up in the second round of the draft to select RICARDO COLCLOUGH out of Division II Tusculum College. He'll be a nice addition to the secondary, but it is his potential as a return man that has the Steelers excited. In Pittsburgh's first preseason game he returned a kickoff 59 yards. Teammates are raving about his speed and athleticism.

ENEMY LINES An opposing scout's view

I like what Duce Staley will do for this team. He is, in a lot of ways, like a younger, more athletic Jerome Bettis. He's a bruiser inside, but he can hurt you outside. They'll need him to be big.... Tommy Maddox doesn't impress me. He looks like a guy who got his shot at age 30 and had one dream year. He's maxed out. But Ben Roethlisberger will be a good one, with his pinpoint accuracy and big, rangy body.... I like their receivers. Hines Ward is such an all-around wonder: He catches passes, he's tough, he's a team guy, and he's as fierce a blocker as there is. Plaxico Burress is gifted, but he needs a strong teammate to be the lead guy.... Their defensive line doesn't need to be great in the 3--4 scheme, but Kimo von Oelhoffen is a blue-collar horse. He's a smart, savvy player who knows how to occupy blockers.... Kendrell Bell is as special as any pass-rushing linebacker. Joey Porter is still the tough personality of the team.... Chad Scott is their only impact player in the secondary. Deshea Townsend is too short and slow to be a legitimate starting corner in the NFL; trotting out a 5'9" guy with 4.6 speed just won't get it done.

" Hines Ward catches passes, he's a team guy, he's tough, and he's as fierce a blocker as there is."

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2003 statistics

2003 RECORD: 6-10

NFL RANK (rush/pass/total):

OFFENSE 31/14/22

DEFENSE 12/11/9

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