As the Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp, it only seems right to try and predict who will be those award winners at the end of the season, right? Despite the absurdity of trying to predict such things, it certainly takes some thought as to who will perform well in the upcoming season. Let's take a look at who might be bringing home some hardware this season.
Rookie of the Year
CB Senquez Golson
The Steelers have several defensive rookies who could make an impact on the 2015 season, but the player who will win this award will be the player who will get the most playing time, and there is a strong possibility that will fall on the shoulders of former Ole Miss defensive back Senquez Golson. Golson being a second round cornerback, combined with the lack of depth and certainty surrounding the position could clear the way for the young cornerback to find his way on the field with regularity.
Honorable mention would go to OLB Bud Dupree. Dupree is behind Arthur Moats on the left side of the defensive 3-4, and although he might eventually become a play maker, the likelihood of him seeing the field as often as Golson aren't great in his first season.
Offensive Player of the Year
WR Antonio Brown
One of the more difficult predictions would be choosing an offensive weapon to win the offensive player of the year award on a unit which proves to be as lethal as the Steelers plan to deploy in 2015. Nonetheless, the award this year goes to Antonio Brown as he continues his rampant tear throughout the wide receiver rankings across the NFL. Possibly not duplicating his amazing 2014 season, Brown will put up tremendous numbers which will be worthy of such an award.
Honorable mention will go to Le'Veon Bell. Bell's three-game suspension to start the season will ultimately hurt his overall statistics, but his value to the team will be enough for him to still get some serious consideration for this award.
Defensive Player of the Year
ILB Lawrence Timmons
At a time when most people gripe and complain about the defense, there is one player you won't hear much grumbling about, and that is Lawrence Timmons. Timmons is the leader of the Steelers defense, and he certainly will continue that role in 2015. Timmons lead the team in tackles in 2014, and is primed to do the same next season. Timmons' amazing durability combined with his knowledge of the defense is what made him a first-time Pro Bowler last year. Timmons very well could make it back-to-back Pro Bowls this season.
Honorable Mention will go to Cameron Heyward. After Heyward signed his new contract he will now be free to run rampant over opposing offensive lineman on his way to the backfield. Heyward is worthy of the contract extension, and will prove it in 2015, but his position will not provide the statistics compared to Timmons.
Most Valuable Player
QB Ben Roethlisberger
It has been since 2009 when Roethlisberger was last named the team's MVP, and it is time for the drought to come to an end. Roethlisberger is the straw which stirs the Steelers drink, and the reason he gets crowned team MVP is he is clearly the team's most valuable player. If Roethlisberger is to go down due to injury, the team would struggle immensely. Also, if Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell were to go down due to injury, they have replacements which could certainly carry the torch in their place. Roethlisberger is the most important player on the team, and he certainly will prove it in 2015 as he looks to out-do his 2014 season.
Honorable Mention will be awarded to the team's offensive line. Play makers won't have time or space to make plays without the men in the trenches. The unit which didn't lose a piece from 2014 will continue to blossom under the tutelage of Mike Munchack becoming one of the best units in the league.