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Are Steelers dealing with lack of leadership?

| Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, 10:58 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Former Steelers player James Farrior in 2011.

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.

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