- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-6)

OPEN CAMP: July 26, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

LAST YEAR: Bounced back from consecutive .500 seasons to win AFC North for first time since 2010 behind NFL’s second-ranked offense. QB Ben Roethlisberger tied for league lead in yards passing while WR Antonio Brown set franchise records in receptions and yards receiving. RB Le’Veon Bell emerged as one of NFL’s most versatile backs before injury in season finale against Cincinnati forced Bell to watch wild-card loss to Baltimore from sideline. Defense took significant step back, though offense was productive enough to cover up some holes.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: RB DeAngelo Williams; LB Bud Dupree; CB Senquez Golson; WR Sammie Coates.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: S Troy Polamalu; CB Ike Taylor; DE Brett Keisel; LB Jason Worilds.

CAMP NEEDS: Departure of Polamalu, Taylor and Keisel - and their combined six Super Bowl rings - and longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau signaled tail end of youth movement several seasons in making. New coordinator Keith Butler, promoted from linebackers coach, is tasked with returning some of bite to pass rush that has been only sporadically effective since 2010. S Shamarko Thomas will be given every opportunity to graduate from Polamalu’s apprentice to starting job but needs to stay healthy, which hasn’t happened much during his first two years in league.

EXPECTATIONS: With Roethlisberger locked in for basically remainder of career after signing new contract in March, and Brown and Bell in their primes, Steelers should again be one of most dynamic offenses. That should be enough to keep them in mix in wide-open AFC North. Whether Pittsburgh can close gap on Denver and New England will depend on how quickly young defense can get it together under folksy but aggressive Butler.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


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