Steelers' projected starting lineup

The AFC North blog wraps up the projected starting lineups for every team in the division.


QB Ben Roethlisberger: Better offensive line and better relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. But no Mike Wallace and Heath Miller (at least for the first part of the season).

RB Le'Veon Bell: Even if coach Mike Tomlin won't say it, everyone knows Bell is the favorite to beat out Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman.

FB Will Johnson: The only pure fullback on the roster continues to develop.

WR Antonio Brown: Has to step up and become the No. 1 target after 135 catches the past two seasons.

WR Emmanuel Sanders: Caught a career-high 44 passes in 2012, doubling his production from the previous season.

TE Matt Spaeth: Until the Steelers say otherwise, you have to assume Heath Miller (knee) will begin the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

LT Marcus Gilbert: Big challenge for the third-year lineman: Position change coming off a season-ending ankle injury.

LG Ramon Foster: Remained with the Steelers after signing a three-year, $5.8 million contract in free agency.

C Maurkice Pouncey: Three-time Pro Bowl lineman just turned 24 last month.

RG David DeCastro: Severely injured his knee in the third preseason game and returned to play the last three games.

RT Mike Adams: Suffered season-ending ankle injury after starting six games in 2012 and then was stabbed in a carjacking incident two months ago.


LDE Ziggy Hood: Former first-round pick has been a disappointment, but he made 24 tackles over a five-game span in December.

NT Steve McLendon: Restricted free agent signed a three-year, $7.25 million contract after Packers signed him to offer sheet.

RDE Brett Keisel: Could this be the final season for Keisel? He turns 35 in September.

LOLB LaMarr Woodley: He's become the target of criticism after producing four sacks in the past 13 games that he's played.

LILB Larry Foote: Finished with a career-high 113 tackles last season and tied a career best with four sacks.

RILB Lawrence Timmons: Playmaker recorded 106 tackles, six sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.

ROLB Jason Worilds or Jarvis Jones: Jones is the more talented pass-rusher, but the Steelers rarely start rookies on defense.

CB Cortez Allen: Intercepted two passes and forced three fumbles in the final two games of last season.

SS Troy Polamalu: Over the past four seasons, he's played in 42 games and missed 22 games.

FS Ryan Clark: Could this be the final season for Clark? He turns 34 in October.

CB Ike Taylor: He allowed teams to complete 44.1 percent of their passes against him, which was second-best in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.