5 Questions For The Steelers Going Into Week 1

  1. How will Joe Haden fit in on the Steelers Defense?

Haden will start opposite of Artie Burns this season and hopefully revamp a secondary that has been struggling as of late. He has only been with the team for a few weeks, will he be able to learn the defense and be efficient week 1? Also, will his age play a factor at all this season?

  1. Will Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell be productive from game 1?

Both players are making debuts, but in different ways. Bryant is coming back from a 1 year suspension, while Bell will play in his game this season after holding out all of training camp. Will Bryant be able to pick up where he left off 2 years? Will Bell be rusty the first few weeks of the season? Look for the Steelers to use both of these players in reserve form (Especially Bell).

  1. Can TJ Watt handle the starting OLB position?

Starting as a Rookie game 1, will put immense pressure on Watt to be successful. He played well throughout the preseason and definitely earned his starting position. The main thing to watch from Watt is his pass rushing ability. The Steelers have struggled the past few years at getting pressure on the quarterback. Will Watt be able to help change that?

  1. What will be Vance McDonald’s role?

McDonald is another recent acquisition for the Steelers, coming from San Francisco. The Steelers have struggled to find a solid starter at tight end ever since Heath Miller retired. Last season the team acquired Ladarius Green, who didn’t fit the Steelers scheme. The Steelers also have 3rd year tight end, Jesse James, who Mike Tomlin says isn’t ‘varsity enough’ to consistently play the tight end position. McDonald will start the season reserve due to lack of knowledge of the Steelers offense, but will he be able to develop into the starting tight end Tomlin is looking for?

  1. How will the Steelers use Mike Hilton this season?

Last, but not least, my favorite player to follow during training camp, Mike Hilton. He was a long shot to make the 53 man roster, but put together a remarkably productive camp. Now that training camp is over and the season is upon, how will the Steelers use Hilton? It’s okay to assume that he will continue to play on special teams as one of the team’s top gunners. However, will he play at all in the nickel spot and split reps with William Gay?

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