Hi folks first time post here but I have been a reader since the patriots game in 2011. I only started following the game in '09 the first game I watched was saints vs colts superbowl and I kind of got into it but I didn't really feel any preference towards either team. then I watched the superbowl in '10 and immediately loved the steelers. I picked up the rules and everything pretty quickly the '11 season was my learning curve and I understood a lot more of the game whilst watching this past season. I am just picking up the intricacies of the cap and business side this offseason, last offseason was more just filled with confusion and excitement about the draft. I have a few questions I am sure people on this site could answer for me so I'm going to just fire them out there (and please don't jump on me if I make a mistake or say something stupid I'm still learning) There seems to be a lot of doom and gloom about after the season we have just had and I understand steeler nation is not used to 8-8 and missing the post season but my friend is a jags fan and would love for them to go 8-8 so really we are a demanding fanbase and you could say a spoilt fanbase. I made the point the point to my friend that for me to call myself a true steeler I fell I have to see them through some -.500 seasons and tough times (though hopefully not anytime soon) as opposed to just playoffs and superbowl appearances/wins. Anyway my first question, was there all this doom and gloom after the 9-7 season in 09 ? because we missed the playoffs that year and from what I've seen and read it was a disappointing performance as well as end result. my reason for this question is because I am wondering how much of the negative outlook is down to this previos seasons performance and how much is down to predictions of our future without certain veteran players and with other young (so far underwhelming players) players taking their places. this leads on to my 2nd question when the steelers last had wholesale changes among the roster were fans just as worried or did the young players coming through fill everyone with confidence and make it easier to say goodbye to familiar faces ? this was before I started following the NFL and it's hard to find what people thought that long ago from the websites I use for learning about the past of the steelers, although I read recently that when joey porter was let go some were concerned over whether Harrison could fill the void. I was also wondering about LeBeau because I read several times last year that he would be retiring this offseason but have not seen any reports suggesting this for a while now. my understanding is that keith butler will take over when he does leave and I wanted to know what his schemes and formations could look like. I looked up his experience and couldn't find anything on him running or participating on a coaching level in a 4-3 but I like the idea of going 4-3 and think that the few players on our current roster that wouldn't translate to the new system will be cap casualties/retiring soon anyway. Pittsburgh used to draft misfits from 4-3 college teams and be able to pick up steals in the draft due to this and I think because the league seems to be leaning more towards the 3-4 (not 100% on this and please correct me if I'm wrong just some things I have seen, read and picked up on) we could do a similar thing with a 4-3 picking up misfits to fit an unusual and fairly unique system that we could run. this brings me on to another point I have seen the steelers ranked in the top 5 for drafting on several different websites along with the patriots and ravens. but I am thinking (this may be sacrilege to some readers but its just a though not saying I 100% think this is the case) maybe the steelers system on defense allowed them to appear better at drafting than they are due to no or few other teams valuing the players we got/targeted for their system. my last point was annoying me all season, it is about the RB and WR. when watching them going to the ground I noticed they seemed to willingly release the ball as soon as they hit the turf. this seemed strange as you always hear coaches say keep hold of the ball, always secure the ball and this kind of thing. is it completely down to the players this mind-set they seemed to have last season because it seems unusual for all offensive players to have this same tendency. if it is not all on the players then why would the coaches tell the players to release the ball as soon as they hit the turf ? is there any reason for this, I personally can't think on one so was it just a big coincidence that all of the players (excluding the legend that is Heath of course) were showing this same tendency continuously ? thanks for reading and any help with these issues is appreciated... GO STEELERS !!!!