With the countdown to the end of training camp down to hours as opposed to days, it's time to reflect on what we've learned at Saint Vincent College over the past three weeks:
© If the Steelers can get even adequate play out of their offensive line, they have a chance to be very good in 2010. But that's a big if.
Willie Colon was certainly no world-beater. But he was the best the Steelers had at right tackle. I'm still not sold that Flozell Adams is the answer there and if he's not, this team could be in some trouble.
I'm not ready to close the book on Adams, however. He was playing his first game at right tackle against Detroit in the preseason opener. I'll be watching again this week to see if there is any improvement there. The real test will come in Denver next week when the first-team offense is on the field for an extended look.
© Ben Roethlisberger is saying and doing all the right things. But can this team survive the four to six games he is suspended to begin the season.
If it is a four-game suspension - which I feel it will be - a 2-2 record in those games is a must. A game at Tampa Bay should be a gimme with this defense, so the Steelers either have to beat Atlanta at home in the opener or win at Tennessee the following week to avoid facing a must-win game against Baltimore at Heinz Field in Week 4.
That game will still be big, given that Baltimore is an AFC North opponent and Pittsburgh's biggest rival, but heading into that game at 2-1 rather than 1-2 would be a much better situation.
If the Steelers can get by at 2-2, they should be able to go 10-6 this season - barring the major injuries they dealt with in 2009.
That's assuming losses at New Orleans, Cincinnati and Baltimore with another stumble along the way.
The schedule just isn't that daunting.
© I heard the pundits talk about everything that Baltimore and Cincinnati have added this offseason while saying the Steelers added nothing.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith miss a combined 22 games in 2009?
Getting both of those players back presumably for a full season is two pretty big additions.
In fact, Polamalu was the best player on the field for either team in every game he suited up for last season.
© I also like the depth, particularly on defense, the Steelers have this season. This is much more capable of handling some minor injuries.
© I think the special teams units will be much improved this season. New coach Al Everest has a lot to work with in terms of young talent on special teams. I expect him to get the most out of it.
© I'll be cutting my roster sometime this weekend and it may be one of the most difficult cuts to 53 players I've had to do with the Steelers in quite some time.
I've been very impressed with the 2010 draft picks and a lot of the 2009 guys look very good as well. There are some veterans who could be getting their walking papers.
That's a tough line to walk, however, since you don't want total inexperience on the bench.