Or is it just me? Seriously, things have been a little too good this offseason, it's almost like the gods are setting us up for a letdown of divine proportions. Yeah, the road to the SB 43 title was torturous and difficult (maybe not as hard as giving birth to Big Snack without meds, but close), but since that time it feels like everything's been coming up roses, including:
- Pittsburgh finally catching a break on the schedule after that gauntlet last year;
- Heading into his 6th season, Ben is still growing and improving as a QB, he could have his best season yet;
- Getting Rashard back really does feel like having an extra 1st round pick, and with the Tank in the fold it feels like we've got our first true goalline back since you-know-who retired;
- Hines is still effective, Santonio's come into his own, Heath is lined up to contribute more than he ever has, Sweed still has plenty of opportunity to tap his potential;
- Our unsung hero, the D-line, is old but hasn't dropped off in production yet and is the beneficiary of our 1st round pick;
- The starting LB corp is arguably the best in the league, I can't tell you how excited I am about Harrison-Farrior-Timmons-Woodley;
- The secondary should be at least as strong as last year, Troy and Ike are in their prime, Gay has shown real potential as a starting CB, Ratliff is a solid addition, so are Lewis and Burnett;
- Special teams should be better if for no other reason than Sepulveda coming back (apparently) healthy, he is a big upgrade; and
- Even our maligned O-line should be better based on continuity and the validation / self-assurance that presumably comes with winning a title.
To top it all off, I feel like our division rivals are getting struck down with plagues from the heavens (Baltimore's losses plus Mason's sudden retirement, Cincinnati doing "Hard Knocks", Cleveland getting Mangini, etc.).
So why am I so nervous? Damn, I don't know. Maybe I'm worried the Steelers will suffer from the curse of expectation. Maybe it's realizing that Pittsburgh's last two titles came only in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances (the whole iron-sharpening-iron thing). I'm sure it's not logical, I should just be grateful that things have been this favorable, I should have faith in Tomlin to guide the team through the new set of challenges, but on occasion I still find myself praying that Ben and the rest of them always look both ways before crossing the street.