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2013 NFL Preview: AFC North

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Pittsburgh Steelers

2012 Record: 8-8; 3rd Place

2013 Prediction: 9-7

Confidence in Pick: 30%

Losses: Mike Wallace, Max Starks, Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison, Keenan Lewis, Willie Colon, Casey Hampton

Pickups: Jarvis Jones, Bruce Gradkowski, William Gay, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Felix Jones, Leveon Bell

Reasons for Optimism:

Ben Roethlisberger – Like him or not, the guy wins (career .690 win percentage) and can never be counted out. The most impressive part about Roethlisberger is his ability to extend a play and kill teams when it looks like they have him stopped. There is not a QB in the league that extends plays as well as Roethlisberger or makes more out of broken plays. As long as he stays healthy (a big if with Big Ben), the Steelers will have a shot at the division and the playoffs.

Mike Tomlin – I don’t think there is a coach in the NFL I would rather play for than Mike Tomlin. His team just looks like they would run through walls for him, and that makes his teams very difficult to beat.

Antonio Brown – At 5’10” 186 lbs, he is not your average #1, but his speed and elusiveness creates headaches for defenses. I like Brown, and without Wallace, he should see plenty of touches.

Dick LeBeau – Possibly the best Defensive Coordinator of all-time. As long as LeBeau is on the sidelines, the Steelers will have a good defense (#1 in 2012).

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