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Unfinished business

The Steelers' offense compiled an attention-getting resume 2016.

It started in the opener at Washington, when the Steelers were the only team to have a 300-yard passer (Ben Roethlisberger, 300), a 100-yard rusher (Le'Veon Bell, 143) and a 100-yard receiver (Antonio Brown, 126) on the NFL's Kickoff Weekend.

One of the goals in 2017 will be to gain a few more yards a little more often inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

The Steelers were seventh in total offense (14th rushing, tied for fifth passing).

They finished tied for 12th in red zone offense after scoring touchdowns 59.2 percent of the time.

And in their last two playoff games they went a combined 1-for-7 (14.3 percent) in the red zone.

"Obviously, the red zone trips need to turn into seven points," Roethlisberger said after a 1-for-3 performance in the red zone in the Steelers' season-ending, 36-17 playoff loss at New England.

The Steelers finished tied for 10th in points per game at 24.9.

There will potentially be much to build around in 2017.

Roethlisberger missed two games and still threw 29 touchdown passes, the sixth-most in the NFL in 2016 and the third-most in his career and in franchise history (the Steelers' record is 32 by Roethlisberger in 2007 and again in 2014).

Running back Le'Veon Bell missed four games and still finished fifth in the NFL in rushing (1,268 yards) and third in yards from scrimmage (1,884). Bell became the first player in NFL history to average 100 yards rushing (105.7) and 50 yards receiving (51.3) per game.

And wide receiver Antonio Brown's 12 touchdown receptions tied for the second-most in franchise history (behind Brown's 13 in 2014).

There are complications that must be resolved regarding all three.

Roethlisberger, who turns 35 on March 2, wouldn't publicly commit last week to being 100 percent certain he'd return next season.

Bell is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 9.

And head coach Mike Tomlin assessed Brown finishing his career with the Steelers as desirable but less than a certainty in the wake of Brown posting from the locker room on Facebook Live immediately after the Steelers' 18-16 playoff win in Kansas City.

Finding a way to glean more on a more consistent basis from wide receiver Sammie Coates and tight end Ladarius Green would also seemingly be topics of off-season discussion.

Coates finished second in the NFL among receivers with at least 20 receptions in average yards per catch (20.7). He and Roethlisberger hooked up on a pass play of at least 40 yards in five consecutive games, the second-longest such streak in Steelers' history (Roethlisberger and wide receiver Mike Wallace, six games, in 2011). But Coates had just two catches and 14 receiving yards in the regular season after a six-reception,139-yard, two-touchdown effort on Oct. 9 against the Jets. Coates wasn't targeted at Kansas City and caught two of five balls thrown his way at New England (for 34 yards).

Green, last season's marquee free-agent acquisition, didn't make his Steelers' debut until Nov. 13 against Dallas (ankle) and didn't make an appearance after the Steelers' win on Dec. 18 at Cincinnati (concussion).

Another wild card is wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who missed 2016 due to an NFL suspension but has reportedly applied for reinstatement.

"Obviously I am hopeful for that reinstatement, but I am in a wait-and-see mentality, because a lot of those things are outside our control," Tomlin said.

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