5 Burning Questions on the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2012 Season left Mike Tomlin with a lot to yell about.... - Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have ended a disappointing season. Would keeping Hines Ward have made a difference? Was their an alternative to running back by committee? Who exceeded expectations? Answer these and other Burning Questions facing Steelers Nation.

The Steelers 24-10 victory over the Browns put the wraps on a disappointing season. There are a lot of issues facing our beloved Black and Gold this off season, but before looking forward this space will take one final look at the 5 Burning Questions left in the wake of the underwhelming 8-8 campaign that just finished.

1. At his season-ending press conference, Mike Tomlin said he was unsure if he would hire another special teams coach to supplement and/or replace Amos Jones. Based on the Steelers special team's performance, what say you?

2. The running back by committee triad of Isaac Redman, Rashard Mendenhall, and Jonathan Dwyer really never really worked. But given all that happened, did the coaches have a viable alternative?

3. Two weeks ago we gauged the level of disappointment in Young Money. Last week when we asked what could have been done differently, Ivan Cole suggested that perhaps letting Hines Ward go was a mistake. Do you think it would have been wise from a leadership standpoint to give Ward a scholarship year (at the vet minimum) the way they did with Jerome Bettis?

4. The 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers failed to live up to everyone's expectations. However, "the arrow is pointing up" on a number of players who exceeded expectations. Who exceeded your expectations the most and why?

5. A number of words come to mind to describe the Steelers 2012 season. Disappointing. Injury. Inconsistent. My favorite? Ironic. One, high-level example is the Steelers defense started off weak and finished strong, contrasted by an offense that started fast but sputtered badly with the finish line in sight. But this is only one of many ironies. Which irony made the biggest impact on the fortunes of the team for you?

This closes BTSC's weekly 5 Burning Questions series for the 2012 season. We'll do off season editions on a much less frequent basis.

Coming up with 5 questions on the Steelers that are at once relevant, timely, provocative and non-repetitive is more difficult that it might seem. But I've enjoyed the challenge, and I hope I've been up to the task.

More importantly, what I've enjoyed the most was YOU, the BTSC community.

Each week I'd worry, "Well, is this the week when the well comes dry, and I can't think of any engaging questions?" But each week you all responded in force, often times replying with answers that were article worthy on their own. I thank you for your time, effort, and thoughtfulness.

That's enough sentimentally. Have at it folks, and Go Steelers !

P.S. Thanks to Tony Defeo for pinch hitting for me on the weeks when I was a no-go

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