Ward has big shoes to fill

If the Steelers find a consistent running threat again, it could mean another deep run for Bill Cowher's team.

Updated: August 31, 2005, 4:50 PM ET
By Jim Wexell | Pro Football Weekly

Editor's note: These grades were assigned by the individual correspondent and not by Pro Football Weekly.

Nobody expects the Pittsburgh Steelers to match their 15-1 record of a year ago, but the players don't doubt they will become a better team this season. Ben Roethlisberger enters his second year at quarterback with an offensive line that has the potential to rank among the franchise's best ever.

On the other side of the ball, speedy players such as Ike Taylor, Ricardo Colclough, James Harrison and Brett Keisel are maturing and should play key roles alongside the cagey vets who led the defense to the NFL's top ranking a year ago.


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