Something was a little bit off at the start of the 2011 season.
As Baltimore viciously exacted revenge for another post-season loss to the Steelers, Pittsburgh's offense never looked in rhythm and its defense was out of sync for four quarters.
The defense rebounded by the end of the season, but the offense never got into gear. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was fired/forced to retire/no longer with the team, and Todd Haley was brought in to help a talented yet lost offense.
Haley's 2012 version of the offense was better in some cases, and worse in others. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger noted some growing pains the group shared with Haley's terminology, and the offensive output stalled for the second year in a row.
All of that is in the past, and the strength of this team will be centered around the lack of such detractors. There are enough players back this season to have fully digested Haley's offense. Even with the injuries the team has at the tight end position - and its offensive line over the last two years - there are enough familiar faces where scheme and ability can blend together seamlessly.
It seems like it's been a while since that's happened.
The Steelers take on the Giants Saturday in the team's preseason opener at Heinz Field. It's just the preseason, but it's the first step toward developing the team's offense as a strength - something it hasn't done in a while.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers Training Camp Updates
- He's not 'Sharknado,' says the Steelers veterans
- Steelers coordinator Haley looks forward to less predictable run game
- Steelers vs. Giants: Ryan Mundy returns home to Pittsburgh for preseason opener
- Steelers position battles: Landry Jones looks for a big performance against Giants to hold off John Parker Wilson
- Despite injuries, continuity will still be a strength of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013
- Former Steelers LB Joey Porter turns himself in on 14 year old warrant
- Steelers Injury Report: Curtis Brown ruled out against Giants in preseason opener
- Steelers depth chart: Spaeth injury could force Tuitupou and Rabe into spotlight
- Steelers vs. Giants: Coughlin will play starters for 'about a quarter'
- Steelers OC Todd Haley feels 2012 problems were a matter of trust