I happen to believe otherwise. I still believe they're capable of winning the AFC North. But I will absolutely acknowledge the doomsday scenario as real.
The mystery of it all is the overriding story as camp begins.
We usually have a pretty good idea of what the Steelers are bringing when camp rolls around. It's mostly the same people in the same positions doing the same things. It's the blessing and curse of "stability."
But now look: The powers that be went nuclear on the offense, bringing in a new coordinator, a new line coach, a new running back and essentially a new line.
They had less of a choice with the defense, which sustained significant loss.
This could go either way. Nothing would surprise me — not 11-6, not 6-11. It's actually refreshing to see so much uncertainty surrounding a Steelers team. Nobody in the football world knows quite what to make of them.
Three of the biggest mysteries are these ...
How will Ben adapt to Matt Canada's offense?
Sure, Canada deferred to Roethlisberger with his "whatever Ben wants" comments, but make no mistake, this is a new scheme — and we won't know if the often-stubborn Roethlisberger takes to it until real games happen.
If, say, the Steelers are stumbling in Game 4 at Green Bay, will Roethlisberger start calling plays out of old playbooks and drawing up pass patterns on the fly, the way he did last season in Baltimore?