The Five Steeler Standouts During A Forgettable Season
By Philip Botti
Despite the fact the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled – as least by their standards – throughout the course of the 2013 season, there have been a handful of players that have carried their weight and then some. Below is a list of the top five Steelers thus far:
1. QB Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger has been a standout player for Pittsburgh throughout his career and has continued his individual success this season, throwing for 2,901 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has put up big numbers in all of Pittsburgh’s wins and no one can put the blame on him for the team’s struggles. Roethlisberger has commanded the offense and kept the team in games. He has been productive despite rumors of him wanting out of Pittsburgh coming out in the media and has been the best player on the Steelers this season.
2. WR Antonio Brown
Brown only needs 157 more yards this season to beat his career high in receiving yards. He is also ranked fifth in the NFL among receivers in receiving yards with 952 and has scored five times. He is the type of receiver that can make spectacular catches, but also can punish teams with big yards after the catch. Brown has been Roethlisberger’s favorite receiver this season and is putting himself in the conversation as one of the best receivers in the NFL right now.
3. LB Lawrence Timmons
The Steelers’ defense has started to look a bit like its former self as the 2013 season moves into Week 12. Timmons is leading the team in 83 tackles despite playing with a broken hand. Timmons is one of the familiar faces in this season’s group of linebackers for the team. He isn’t getting to the quarterback a lot, but he has been proficient in getting ball carriers to the turf.
4. S Troy Polamalu
Polamalu is one of the most exciting defensive players in the NFL and has been for some time. Fans know him for the long flowing locks as well as his jumping over the offensive line in anticipation of the opposing team’s play. Polamalu might not have brilliant stats this season, but he is still a leader on the defense. Just the presence of the safety makes opposing quarterbacks weary of throwing the ball in his direction. The veteran Polamalu is still a central part of the defense and makes a huge impact on the game when he plays at full healthy.
5. WR Jerricho Cotchery
Cotchery is listed as the third receiver, but he has been one of the most productive offensive players for the team this season. The ex-New York Jet has connected with his quarterback for seven touchdowns – the most on the team. He has given Roethlisberger an extra option in the red zone and he really takes advantage of his opportunity when the ball is thrown his way. Cotchery has 503 receiving yards and is averaging 14.8 yards a catch. With the injuries to players such as Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders, Cotchery has proven that he can be a reliable source of offense for Pittsburgh. Expect to see him getting more and more targets as the season comes to a finish.