The last time we saw the "Boys from the Burgh," Santonio Holmes' toe-tapping grab snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at the new Sombrero.
The two-minute offense proved to be worth Lombardi greatness, and Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated a drive for the ages. They tackled the league's toughest schedule with force and became the first NFL franchise to win six world championships.
Will 2009 bring another victory parade and stamp the tag "dynasty" to this team? Let's take a closer look:
Big Ben loves to get the secondary to move with the pump fake, which opens up holes for the receivers. This will create more sacks than usual, but the positive outweighs the negative.
The Black & Gold do need to work on the ground game. At times, the offensive line does not appear to get enough push. Running back Willie Parker is entering a contract year and is coming off a subpar 2008 performance. Last year's first-round selection, Rashard Mendenhall, felt the wrath of Baltimore Ravens' LB Ray Lewis on Monday Night Football as Lewis fractured Mendenhall's shoulder on a bone-crunching hit. This cut short the former Fighting Illini's debut and puts into question what he can provide to the ground game.
The Blitzburgh defense, led by Dick LeBeau, who should be in the Hall of Fame, beat opposing offenses into submission in 2008. They led the NFL in several categories, including fewest points allowed.
Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison wreaked havoc from his outside linebacker spot, and his counterpart, LaMar Woodley, came into his own, leading the team in playoff sacks.
The secondary's biggest loss comes at the cornerback spot. Bryant McFadden used the free-agent market to move west to Arizona. Willie Gay is ready to strike and will produce big plays. Look for this unit to be every bit as dominant as last year.
Dan Spedvula returns as the punter, bringing answers to many prayers of the Steel City faithful. Without question, Jeff Reed is one of the best kickers in the NFL, and former Canadian Football league stud Stefan Logan has arrived on the scene with unbelievable playmaking ability.
The Steelers have every right to feel confident about the 2009 season. I'm thinking they'll win the AFC North with a 13-3 record and gain the No. 1 in the AFC Conference playoffs. The Tennessee Titans invade Heinz Field for the opener Thursday. Remember LB Keith Bullock and RB LenDale White stepping on the terrible towel in Week 16?
Prediction: Steelers 23, Titans 12
Craig Andros is a occasional contributor to Voice of the Fan. He resides in Altoona.