The wait is over Steelers Nation! The NFL's seemingly unending off-season has come to a close, and the regular season is upon us, as our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers are set to take on the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Chuck Noll day.
But before the festivities can begin in earnest, Steelers Nation must first wrestle with 5 Burning Questions remaining from the off-season....
Here we go:
1. A year ago, less than 24 hours after cut-down day, the Steelers immediately reconfigured their roster, snapping up Zoltan Mesko, Antawan Blake and Cody Wallace off of waivers. At the time we asked:
"Are these acts of a savvy front office seeking extra "added value" out of roster spots 49-53, or do these moves smack of a front office that's desperate?"
On balance, the result was a mixed bag, but with savvy getting the upper hand - at least on paper - as two of the three remain on the roster. This year, however, despite speculation about the punter and third quarterback position, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have stood pat. Are they making the right move?
2. While "guilt" has yet to be proven in a formal sense, both Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount stand accused of violating both Pennsylvania law and NFL Substance Abuse policy. While respecting BTSC's "no politics" rule in your answer, do you think that the rapidly changing mindset (and in some cases, laws) on marijuana usage should temper any punishment the two men receive?
3. A year ago, no less than Steelers Digest editor Bob Labriola declared that Pittsburgh's depth was so thin in some spots that the team was doing the NFL equivalent of walking a tightrope with no net. And we know what happened. The Steelers made a lot of moves during the 2014 off season. Did they do enough to shore up depth? Defend your answer.
4. In making the case for the 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers, our own Ivan Cole has argued vehemently that, by itself, Mike Tomlin's coaching ability must count as one of the Steelers' greatest assets as the team attempts to break out of its 8-8 rut. Do you agree?
5. Every year, there are certain players who surprise us for either good (think Aaron Smith in 2000) or ill. Who right now is your "Wild Card" pick as the heretofore-unsung player who will rise above expectations for the benefit of the team? Make your case now, and earn bragging rights during the season!
As this is the first regular-season edition of the 5 Burnings, let's remind everyone of the rules: You must show your work to receive credit; looking at your neighbor's paper is encouraged; and please use a No. 2 dark pencil.