The Combine an informal launch into 2014 season

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Colbert is preaching the same message as last year, but the difference was the 2013 season fell just out of the Steelers' hands. Moves made last year are taking root, and will be bolstered by a positive offseason.

Most of the Steelers' brass are in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, and with it, speak in more broad terms of transactions and ideological shifts aimed toward making the team more competitive in 2014.

Stop me if you've heard this one: an 8-8 record is disappointing, changes will have to come, acceptance of responsibility, and so on.

It isn't that the message being sent from general manager Kevin Colbert is stale, it's just that last year that same message was being passed. In that sense, it's fair to look at whatever moves last year's version of the Steelers made and wonder why it's any different today.

On the other hand, looking at where the team was compared to now, the moves made last year are taking root, and this will be another offseason aimed to cultivate those roots as they grip into the soil.

With Colbert's proclamation the draft is as deep as he's ever seen, and several examples of outstanding players available for the 15th pick and in all rounds, add in the potential of this year's class as well as the experience gained from the 2013 class - one that played far more than most other rookie classes have played in Pittsburgh - it's easy to have optimism.

Topping it all off is something of a favorable salary cap projection of $130 million - about a five percent increase from 2013, and if that figure is accurate, the Steelers may have fewer moves to make to get in cap compliance than they have the last two years.

While Colbert may be preaching the same message, that message should be more believable today because the time it's naturally taken for the moves they made last year to take shape.

Or perhaps Steelers fans are deluding themselves with the classic flawed logical statement "this time it will be different."

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