Steelers' roster feels noticeably young in OTAs

The Steelers are maintaining many of the same offensive and defensive concepts that helped them win 11 games last year. The culture hasn't changed.

But the roster feels younger this year, which the numbers bear out.

With Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Brett Keisel moving on from the defense, that leaves 11 Steelers on the camp roster at age 30 or older. Teams can hold a maximum of 90 players. An unofficial count has the Steelers with 28 of 89 players older than 25. That's partly a reflection of the push for younger players leaguewide, but with a team known for veteran play, the age column is significant.

As Steelers.com points out, four players remain from both Super Bowl teams (2008, 2010): James Harrison, Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller and Greg Warren.

"That two-ring group is getting real small," Harrison said. "It's a young man's game; you can't play it forever. You have to be grateful for the time that you get and move on from there."

For that reason, not many professional leagues elicit player paranoia like the NFL, home of the non-fully-guaranteed contracts.

Just take Antonio Brown, who's been the most dominant receiver of the last two years but is always working because "I have guys across the league trying to be better than me."

The Steelers' average age could rise once training camp ends and the young, tryout guys fizzle out. But it's a reminder of how difficult it is for good teams to stay together for a decade-long window.