After a frustrating 2012 campaign, the team is finally set to report to training camp on July 26th to officially begin the new season. Several changes were made to the team since they last took the field, so this training camp might be one of the most interesting in recent memory. Here are three key battles to check out during training camp.
To no one’s surprise, the Steelers are looking to drastically improve their running back situation in 2013. Le’Veon Bell has been brought in as a highly touted rookie option and has become the top ranked Steeler in early fantasy football draft lists, but it could end up sparking other players to be at their best. As Bell learns the playbook and adjusts to the speed of the game, veterans like Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Reman and even LaRod Stephens-Howling believe they have a chance.
Dwyer has the most realistic chance to win the starting job. He seems to be in better shape so far this season, and perhaps the Bell pick woke him up. He has provided quite a bit of value throughout the years for the Steelers, so he might have an edge simply due to his longevity. Still, it seems as though the Steelers are leaning towards Bell.
Jason Worilds appears to have the edge over Jarvis Jones, but there will still be quite a bit of competition during training camp. The Steelers will be looking to replace the pressure that James Harrison put on quarterbacks, and this is a position that needs to improve from last season.
Jones should be able to help the team sooner rather than later, but he is probably just not ready at this point to get significant playing time. He will get to play some, and he should get at least a few sacks the season, but this is Worilds starting job.
Due to the injury of Heath Miller, both David Johnson and David Paulson will be battling for playing time to begin the season. The two players bring different attributes to the table, as Johnson is the better blocker, while Paulson has the edge in receiving.
This battle could go either way, and they could share playing time until Miller returns. Once he does return, it seems as though Paulson would be the odd man out in the rotation.