Five Burning Questions: Steelers Enter Final Three Weeks of 2011 Season with New Set of Challenges

Only a week has passed, but in that time the Steelers eked out an ugly victory against the Browns, Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey are dealing with injuries, and James Harrison has been suspended. The bright side to all of the bad news is its given us plenty of fodder for this week's Five Burning Questions on the Steelers.

1. In contrast to his unqualified backing of Ryan Clark, Mike Tomlin's support for James Harrison in the face of his suspension was tepid at best. What do you think his behind the Tomlinator's change of tone if not in fact his change of heart?

2. You are Mike Tomlin. It's Monday afternoon. To make it interesting, let's say the Ravens have lost to San Diego. Ben Roethlisberger insists he's can play, but your medical staff is divided. Do you risk further injury or go for the playoff bye?

3. Earlier this season, Neal Coolong wrote convincingly about "The Myth of the Number One Receiver." Do you agree and, if not, who do you think is now the Steelers number one receiver, Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace?

4. Time to revisit Ivan Cole's "Lake Effect" but this time with a twist. Both Ray Horton and Carnell Lake are members of the Dick LeBeau coaching tree, but no one can dispute that players like Keenan Lewis, William Gay, and arguably Ryan Mundy have improved tremendously this year. Do you think this just reflects something positive about Lake or should it count as a negative against Horton?

5. Until the early ‘90's, NFL teams could take people on and off injured reserve. Rules changed because, as Sports Illustrated chronicled, teams like Washington had earned themselves the name the "Redshirts" by stashing healthy players on IR. With a number of teams starting third string QB's and other high-profile injuries, do you think its time for the NFL to revisit that rule?

Have at it folks, but please, do try to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact as you debate this weeks Five Burning Questions because we won't want Roger Goodell to spoil our fun...

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