Aug 25, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is chased by Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams (94) during the second quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Five Questions with a Steelers Fan


Since Cam doesn’t face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, I somehow got editor Craig Gottschalk of Nice Pick, Cowher to answer five and five…ish….follow-ups this week. As usual, I learned something and got some great insights into the opponent’s team.

1) It’s always tough to lose your top pick before the season even starts. With rookie David DeCastro out for the season, how will this affect what the Steelers are trying to do on offense? Someone has to step in. Who will fill his shoes?

CG: The Steelers are pretty used to having to cobble together an offensive line. It’s frustrating for fans and for the team, but they have always ‘dealt.’ It’s certainly disappointing that DeCastro is out. But, it’s not devastating. Maybe morally, but the team will get by. Ramon Foster will be the likely replacement and is a role he is familiar with.

2) With the injury to Rashard Mendenhall, how are things shaping up in the backfield as he heals? I hear mixed reviews on Isaac Redman, but is he or anyone else making noise there?

CG: The only noise being made by the running back roster is ‘owwww.’ {hilarious – ed.note} Out of the five competing – only ONE has really made it through (thus far) without an injury. So in a way, it’s been a little difficult in assessing who is ‘making noise’ – at least the kind we want to hear. Redman has been ok thus far but has been hampered by injury at times. Chris Rainey has been the one to make a pretty good impression thus far. Is he the featured back? Not yet and he may never be. I think that it will be shared time by Redman and Jonathan Dwyer by Week 1 of the regular season. Where the team goes from there will be based on performance in the first couple of weeks.

3) There’s more history with rookie Mike Adams than most people know – the failed drug test thing before the draft and that whole process. Now that he’s been in camp a while, how is he looking?

CG: Pretty vanilla. He had very impressive OTA’s according to coaches and reported by the media. However, his camp progress has been slow and his game time has been not so stellar. Slow off the snap and then overcompensating has resulted in a bunch of sacks. The potential is there, but he still needs some time for NFL speed and skill.

4) Starting even last year, so many people think that the Steelers’ defense is “aging, but not too old yet” to get the job done. That’s a backhanded compliment if I ever heard one, but there is some truth behind it. A good, veteran defense is sometimes tough for a young guy to get noticed in. What young players/new faces on the Pittsburgh defense should we keep an eye on for bigger things coming soon?

CG: LB Chris Carter, LB Sean Spence, and CB Cortez Allen. Allen is in his second season and is already starting as the nickel corner. Eventually, I strongly feel he will bump Keenan Lewis for the number two spot and will eventually become the successor to Ike Taylor. He’s fast, good presence on the field, and has pretty good hands for a corner. Sean Spence has been promising all camp. It takes time for the young’ins to learn LeBeau’s complex defense, and the Steelers don’t rush defensemen onto the field. Chris Carter has been amazing all camp filling in for James Harrison while he’s been out with a couple of injuries. Expect very good things from this guy. The worries of an abrupt or early exit by Harrison in the seasons to come are quelled due to Carter.

5) Should we expect to see much of Mike Wallace in the Carolina game so soon after ending his holdout? Has his absence allowed anyone else to really stand out?

CG: Officially Wallace can’t play because of the ‘when’ of signing his tender and NFL rules. He’s held out of practice this week and the game. Folks won’t see him until Week 1 against the Broncos. Antonio Brown got a huge raise (deservedly so) and has stepped up nicely as the #1 receiver. The trick will be if Haley will allow Wallace to step onto that side of the field. I think Wallace needs to earn it back, but we’ll see. So far, due to the heavy focus on the run game thus far this season, we haven’t seen much of how the receiving core has progressed.

Tags: 2012 NFL Preseason Notes Pittsburgh Steelers