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Indianapolis Colts 2016 opponent preview: Getting to know the Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts will host their first Thanksgiving Day game in franchise history this year as they welcome in the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 24 for Thursday Night Football.

The two teams have met in each of the past two seasons, with both matchups coming in Pittsburgh and both matchups being blowout wins for the Steelers, outscoring the Colts by a combined 96-44.

This year, the Colts will host the Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium and the atmosphere will certainly be hyped, but the Steelers will be a very good team this year and will be tough to beat.

With the Colts having an off day from training camp today, let’s take a moment to look at the Steelers entering the 2016 season, courtesy of Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation’s site covering the team.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Notable free agent additions:

Ladarius Green, TE

Notable free agent departures:

Antwon Blake, CB, Brandon Boykin, CB


None to date

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:

Most would assume 1st round pick Artie Burns, CB, will be the main to step up, but the hope is he won’t be needed in 2016. The picks who are expected to truly make some plays are 2nd round pick Sean Davis, Safety out of Maryland, and Javon Hargraves, NT from South Carolina State. Both play positions which are extremely thin and could lend themselves to seeing a rookie with notable playing time.

Biggest offseason addition:

No doubt the biggest addition was bringing in Ladarius Green. With Heath Miller calling it a career, Green will help mask some of the issues which are absent with Miller not in the fold anymore. Green has the size and speed to create mismatches down the middle of the field, something Miller lacked in his later years.

Other than Green, the Steelers’ ability to keep their own (Ramon Foster, LG, William Gay, CB, and Robert Golden, S) were huge additions this offseason.

Biggest storyline heading into training camp:

The team’s secondary will certainly be the most talked about topic heading into training camp, but the team’s defense overall should be the biggest storyline. They were able to create turnovers in 2015, but their overall lack of pass defense (30th in the NFL) left the team hanging out to dry on more than one occasion.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:

For the past two seasons, offensive coordinator Todd Haley has given the offense a goal of averaging 30 points per game. They failed to do so last year, without having Ben Roethlisberger under center for almost 6 full games. If everyone stays healthy, this could be one of the best offenses in team history, as well as in the NFL in the past decade.

Notable injuries heading into training camp:

Le’Veon Bell’s knee injury which ended his 2015 season early will be worth keeping an eye on, as well as an ankle injury which currently has Ladarius Green sidelined until training camp. Other than that, the Steelers have a relatively clean bill of health outside of the usual football maladies.