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2008 Pittsburgh Steelers Season Preview

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers preview from MadduxSports.com. With the football season around the corner grab the internets best football picks handicapper Maddux Sports and turn a profit while betting against the nfl point spread each and every week.

2008 Pittsburgh Steelers Predictions
By Adam Barone

Rundown
The best defense in the NFL in 2007 resided in the Steel City, surrendering just 266.4 yards per game. Only the Colts (16.4) allowed fewer points than the Steelers’ 16.8. Obviously Mike Tomlin’s first season as head coach in Pittsburgh was a success, but the defense will need to continue its dominance in 2008 if Pittsburgh expects to beat out Cleveland in the AFC North.

Last season the Steelers were led by Ben Roethlisberger’s 104.1 quarterback rating and fantastic 2.9:1 touchdown to interception ratio, and Willie Parker’s 1300 rushing yards. Some of the pressure will be lifted from both, with the additions of running backs Mewelde Moore and rookie Rashard Mendenhall. Moore will see most of his playing time on passing downs, while Mendenhall will likely split carries with Parker, who’s finished in the top five in the NFL in carries each of the past two seasons.

Other acquisitions include linebacker Keyaron Fox and center Justin Hartwig. Hartwig should compete with Sean Mahan for a starting job.

Veteran guard Allen Faneca went to the Jets as a free agent, and could end up being one of the biggest off-season losses in the entire NFL. He’ll be replaced by Chris Kemoeatu, whom the Steelers would like to see develop faster than he has been.

Second year outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley did not start last season and only totaled 14 tackles. He did, however, have four sacks in the regular season and two in the playoffs. With Haggans’ departure, Woodley will start on the weak side of the Steelers’ 3-4 and could break out as an elite pass rusher.

Draft Analysis
Though both lines should probably have been addressed in the draft, the Steelers used just one of their seven picks to do so. Their fourth round selection went to Texas offensive tackle Tony Hills.

Pittsburgh’s first round pick, Mendenhall, was arguably the best all-around back available. He has the size and speed to be an elite rusher at the NFL level, and wasn’t worn down in college by an excessive workload. Second round pick Limas Sweed fell to pick 53 because of a wrist injury, but he’s 6-foot-5, strong and athletic and will look fantastic lined up next to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, and tight end Heath Miller.

Third round pick Bruce Davis out of UCLA was one of the most intimidating pass rushers the PAC-10 had seen in years, but his lack of size will move him to outside linebacker.

Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon was a fantastic college quarterback and an intriguing selection in the fifth round, but figures to be third on the Steelers’ depth chart and a lifetime backup.

Now that you read the Pittsburgh Steelers preview check out the rest of the AFC North teams including the Ravens, Bengals, and Browns.

Related Pages:
Steelers Official Site
Football Gambling

2008 NFL Team Previews

The 2008 season is here, once again Maddux Sports will break down all 8 divisions and all 32 football teams. This year we also added a draft report to the preview so you can be aware of which college players each club picked up via the draft. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page at anytime. To get started just click on any of the divisions on the right hand side of the page.

08 NFL Division Preview Pages


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