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5 Burning Questions: Steelers 'Varsity' Schedule About to Begin Edition

The 2011 NFL season is 7 weeks old, with Week 8 rapidly approaching. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-2 and riding high on a three-game win streak. But all three wins have come against less than stellar competition. The Steelers took care of business and are now set to begin the "varsity section" of their schedule starting with this week's game against the Patriots. Which brings us to this week's 5 Burning Questions:

1. It is May 2012. The Steelers have just gotten a top-flight nose tackle in the draft. You name is now either "Mike Colbert" or "Kevin Tomlin." Doctors clear Aaron Smith to play. He comes seeks you out and says "I just can't bear to see my career end while I'm on IR...." He's willing to play for the veteran minimum. What do you tell him?

2. Now that we're between the Cardinals and Patriots games let's remember's 2006 pronouncement that Matt Leinart was a certain Hall of Famer and that Ben Roethlisberger had ZERO chance of Cantonization. Ben's  "game manager" moniker is now a memory, but "experts" routinely rate him a level below Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers and often times Philip Rivers. Do you think Ben belongs in that elite category and what must he do to achieve that recognition?

3. Antonio Brown is becoming a dangerous return man. But his importance to the offense also increases with each week. At what point does he become too important to the offense to risk in the return game?

4. The Steelers got the ball back against Arizona with just under 4 minutes left to play. Think back to their play selection on that final drive. What does that say to you about how this offense has evolved?

5. The Patriots have handed the Steelers some of their most difficult defeats of both the Cowher-Colbert era and the Tomlin Colbert era. If the Oracle of Delphi made you this offer: "The Steelers defeat Brady and Belichick in dominating fashion but suffer a let down the Ravens as a consequence," would you make the deal?