Boy, you're gonna carry that weight/carry that weight a long time - John Lennon/Paul McCartney
As long as Ben Roethlisberger is healthy, the Steelers have a chance to beat any team in the NFL. That statement is believed by most who follow the Steelers and the NFL.
There have been plenty of times in which Roethlisberger was healthy and stood on the sidelines, like those who cover and/or follow the team, waving a Terrible Towel, and watched the Steelers' defense dominate their opponent.
Not to take anything away from Roethlisberger, but the Steelers defense has been as much a part of the success of this franchise over the nine years of his career as he has.
When both are clicking, watch out.
When the defense is creating turnovers and generating pressure, the Steelers' defense is carrying the weight of the team. And that unit appears better prepared to do that in 2013 than it did in 2012 and 2011.
Depth and health at outside linebacker will be paramount. LaMarr Woodley, when healthy, is one of the more disruptive forces in the league. The utilization of Lawrence Timmons inside and out is dangerous, especially when equipped with heavy-handed and slithery Jarvis Jones. The pair, along with Larry Foote sprinkled in, will attack the A gap and force quarterbacks out of the pocket - or right into the edge rush.
All that rhetoric is fun to discuss - and write about - just hours before kickoff. This is the kind of stuff, though, that's been giving the Steelers defense confidence for nearly a decade - and longer.
As Foote told Post Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette in Friday's edition, "The experience our young guys got last year. Just the growth of those guys. And I think we're loaded at corner, there are five of them who can play for us.
"We need Jason Worilds, Steve McLendon and Jarvis Jones to fill big shoes, but I think those guys are capable of doing it. I think we'll be better than last year, just off experience."
Experience and explosion. Both will be on display Sunday as the Steelers take on the Titans in the first opportunity this defense has to shed the recent lack of big plays.
The first opportunity to once again carry that weight.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Standard is the Standard Show - season kickoff episode
- What to expect from Roethlisberger in Week 1
- Manning, Broncos crush Ravens
- Steelers vs Titans: Troy Polamalu is player to watch
- Steelers Antonio Brown seeks to extend TD scoring streak vs Titans
- Steelers Injury Report: Jarvis Jones looks ready to make good on Mike Tomlin's promise
- Steelers fullback Will Johnson may miss season opener vs Titans
- Steelers defense doing its share to win turnover battle
- Steelers secondary needs improved performance from Ike Taylor vs Titans
- David DeCastro feels 'more prepared' heading into 2013 season
- Isaac Redman: Sturdy, short-burst chaos will be on display Sunday