- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"DON'T EXPECT any change in the Steelers' approach offensively. They're still going to be a running football team that will take shots down the field in the play-action passing game.
Coming off the suspension and suffering the right-foot injury right away didn't help Ben Roethlisberger, but he was starting to get hot just as everyone was feeling the length of the season. This will probably be his first full season—and first healthy one—since 2008.
There's no question to me that Mike Wallace's production will improve. He's developing into a complete wideout, not just a speedster. There are receivers that quarterbacks look to, and he is becoming that guy for Roethlisberger. Wallace is a guy who definitely has the arrow pointing up.
You'll see a gradual decrease in Hines Ward's numbers. But he's still a big threat in the red zone—the coaches manipulate the routes to get him open there.
Emmanuel Sanders is an ascending young player. He's their third receiver, but he'll see a starter's share of reps. When the Steelers get out of their two-tight-end packages, they are almost always in three-receiver sets.
You can count on tight end Heath Miller having his 40 catches, but you're not going to get a lot of red zone production out of him, because that has not been his thing.
Rashard Mendenhall had a great season a year ago, rushing for 1,200-plus yards. He'll be a workhorse running back for this team—there's a pretty significant drop-off between Mendenhall and backup Isaac Redman—so he should have another terrific season."
2011 schedule GAMES WEEK TO WEEK
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