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Unanswered questions still remain for the Steelers as they approach the regular season

Week 1 is just around the corner, and the Pittsburgh Steelers still have some questions to be answered.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are through the preseason, have reduced their roster from 90 to 53 players and are now solely focused on Week 1 of the 2017 regular season, but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t questions which need to be answered.

In fact, there are four big questions which still remain despite recent trades and acquisitions. The answers to these questions could define the difference between success, and failure for the 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cornerbacks good enough?

The Steelers have shaken up their cornerback depth chart since the end of the preseason. In is Joe Haden, out is Ross Cockrell. So, the team’s depth chart will be Artie Burns, Haden, Coty Sensabaugh, Mike Hilton, William Gay and Cameron Sutton. Sutton is expected to land on injured reserve after re-aggravating his hamstring injury vs. the Panthers on Thursday night.

Will this unit be good enough to contend with the best teams in the AFC, and NFL? Or will Haden be nothing more than a shell of his former self and the liability which is the Steelers’ secondary continue?

The Steelers certainly made a splash in signing Haden, and it comes to show even a 75-percent Haden could be an improvement over a 100-percent Cockrell. Nonetheless, the success of the cornerbacks could ultimately come down to the pass rush, but the team’s cornerbacks are certainly better now, than when training camp started.

Safeties up to snuff?

Mike Mitchell and Sean Davis are a pretty dynamic duo in the back half of the secondary, but Mitchell hasn’t smelled a football field since the team’s first padded practice at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe.

If Mitchell can’t play, the drop off between Mitchell and backups Jordan Dangerfield and Robert Golden is significant.

This safety tandem is dependent on two things: Mitchell being in the lineup and Davis progressing in his second year. If these two factors come together, the Pittsburgh safety tandem will be just fine, but if they don’t, it could spell disaster for an improved secondary.

Running Back depth a concern?

The depth at running back was a concern before the cuts came on Saturday, but after, questions still remain. Clearly, Le’Veon Bell is the man, but after him is a mixed bag. I love how James Conner and Terrell Watson run, but you have a very inexperienced group of running backs behind Bell.

Yes, Roosevelt Nix is technically included in the running back list, but is hardly a ball carrier. While most people will suggest of Bell stays healthy then all will go fine, and this is true, but Bell has yet to play a full season since entering the NFL.

If Bell goes down, the Steelers will be relying on two inexperienced backs to share the workload. DeAngelo Williams...keep your phone handy.

Can they all stay healthy?

The ultimate question every year, for every team, is can the team stay healthy. Can Le’Veon Bell play his first full season? Will Ben Roethlisberger avoid the annual 3-4 game injury? Will Martavis Bryant be able to stay on the field?

The question of health is certainly paramount to all others. Unlike previous seasons, the Steelers depth has improved tremendously, but it doesn’t mean they would be able to sustain a team expecting nothing left than a Super Bowl championship.

If they do stay healthy, this team could finally be climbing that stairway to seven.


You can hear more about these questions in the podcast in the player above. (Editor’s Note: This was recorded before the Steelers traded for Joe Haden, and before cutting the roster to 53 players.)

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