2014 has reached its mid-way mark and we've already seen the most active Steelers free agency period in history, perhaps its most ballyhooed draft, OTA's and mini-camp. Now the true off season begins, and yet, 5 Burning Questions remain for Steelers Nation to grapple between now and Latrobe.
1. Steelers Nation of course has lost The Emperor, Chuck Noll at age 82. Typically, when "Greatest coach ever" conversations start, the names "Lombardi, Walsh, Shula and sometimes Parcells and Belichick" got thrown around most often with nary a mention of "Noll."
Yet, obituary after obituary stressed Noll's status as one of the greatest of all time on the strength of his 4 Super Bowls. Why do you think that Noll only got the recognition in death that he'd been denied in life? And where does he stand among the greats in your rendering?
2. As he did with Art Rooney Sr., Terry Bradshaw ghosted Chuck Noll's funeral. Several commentators have been particularly harsh on the Blond Bomber for his no-show, yet Joe Starkey and our own Tony Defeo have advised that it's not for us to judge. Where do you come down?
3. Dale Lolley has declared that the performance of the Steelers 2014 draft class at OTA's and mini-camp (aka "football in shorts") has created a "buzz" around the Steelers. A big part of that is 1st round pick Ryan Shazier, who began starting with the first unit and held his spot throughout. One player who reportedly did not work with the first team was second year man safety Shamarko Thomas.
Are you either legitimately enthused by Shazier's fast start or worried by Shamarko's seeming sprint to a sophomore slump?
4. On the other side of the ball, Markus Wheaton is/was "supposed" to earn the other wide out slot opposite Antonio Brown, yet by the end of mini-OTA's, it was Justin Brown who got the reps. Does this say more about Brown than bad about Wheaton?
5. One of the areas where the Steelers have bodies a plenty is on the defensive line, where a commitment to youth is evident. Youth however comes at the cost of experience. With that in mind, how seriously should the Steelers consider bringing back Brett Kesiel for one final year?
There you go folks! Have at it!