Are Steelers dealing with lack of leadership?
Is there a leadership void on a Steelers defense that hasn't been intact since the middle of last season?
Troy Polamalu won't say there is, but he gave an interesting answer when asked to assess this team's personality.
“We don't have guys like James Farrior and Aaron Smith, the core leadership since I've been here,” he said.
Farrior, the longtime defensive captain and inside linebacker, and Smith retired after last season. Smith missed most of the previous three seasons with injuries, but the Steelers still haven't effectively replaced a multi-skilled defensive end who was adept at pass rushing and stopping the run.
One problem: Stars Polamalu, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley have played together only once in the past 15 games. The Steelers were 19-6 when Harrison and Polamalu both played the past two seasons and 14-5 when Harrison, Polamalu and Woodley all played.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Rookie linebacker Chickillo adjusting to role with Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Analysis: Despite injuries, Steelers well-positioned entering stretch run
- Steelers not giving up on wresting AFC North from Bengals
- Steelers’ Nix embraces unassuming role
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward