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NFL Preseason Preview Capsules: AFC

6 of 16

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers

OPEN CAMP: July 25, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

LAST YEAR: Limped to 2-6 start on way to second straight .500 finish. Offensive line took two months to recover from loss of center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) in opener. Defense spent eight games getting pushed around, finishing outside top 10 in yards allowed for first time in more than a decade. RB Le'Veon Bell proved durable after some early injures, Antonio Brown developed elite wide receiver, catching 110 passes.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: WRs Lance Moore and WR Martavis Bryant; DT Cam Thomas; RB LeGarrette Blount; S Mike Mitchell; LB Ryan Shazier; DE Stephon Tulloch; RB/WR Dri Archer; offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery; RB Jonathan Dwyer; LB Larry Foote; S Ryan Clark; running backs coach Kirby Wilson.

CAMP NEEDS: Youth movement almost over, it's time to find out if kids can play. Biggest battles figure to be at receiver - 6-foot-4 rookie Bryant will battle second-year wideout Markus Wheaton for No. 2 spot. Questions remain on defensive line. Thomas will try to unseat Steve McLendon. Pittsburgh bet big on OLB Jason Worilds, signing him to transitional tag while cutting LaMarr Woodley. Worilds (hamstring) missed almost all offseason activities and minicamp.

EXPECTATIONS: Steelers haven't missed playoffs three straight years since 1998-2000. They've retooled around quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who believes offense will be as explosive as any in his 10 NFL years. Pittsburgh flourished after coordinator Todd Haley gave Roethlisberger more freedom in no-huddle. Expect those powers to be expanded during camp. Young defense adds Shazier, first-round pick expected to play right away alongside veteran ILB Lawrence Timmons. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)



The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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