1) Ben Roethlisberger, QB – It says a lot about a quarterback that the traditionally blue-collar, conservative Steelers
offense has become one of the most dangerous passing attacks in the NFL. Roethlisberger has been one of the most successful QBs in the league since stepping into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2004, guiding his team to two Super Bowl titles in that time. A huge presence behind center, Big Ben has one of the strongest arms in the NFL, and no one in the league is tougher in the pocket. This fearlessness is one of Roethlisberger’s biggest strengths, but it also leaves him open to some hard hits and injuries. He was never the same after injuring his ankle against the Browns last season, and that injury prevented the Steelers from advancing any further than the wild card round of the playoffs. When healthy, Big Ben is one of the top seven QBs in the game, and he alone makes Pittsburgh a dangerous squad.
2)Mike Wallace, WR – Few receivers in recent years have developed as rapidly as the speedy Wallace, who is one of the best at the position in the league in just his fourth season. Coming out of Ole Miss, he was more highly regarded as a kick returner, but quickly became Big Ben’s favorite target in the passing game instead. His blazing speed makes him one of the NFL’s premier deep threats, but he has also made strides in the rest of his game, and should continue to grow with another year of experience in 2012.
3)Troy Polamalu, SS – Do not let the Head and Shoulders commercials fool you; Polamalu does not appear too serious outside of football, but once he steps on the field he is completely focused. He is starting to slow down at age 31, but remains one of the most well-rounded safeties in the game. A true warrior on the gridiron, Polamalu flies around the field with reckless abandon and intense passion, and is seemingly always around the football. He can line up all over the field for Dick LeBeau’s complex defense, and can impact the game in many ways. Known more his hard hits earlier in his career, Polamalu has developed into a ball-hawk, and is just as adept in coverage as in run support. Injuries are always a concern given his all-out playing style, but when healthy few safeties in the league are better.
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