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Wolfley's take after two games

After two games the Steelers find themselves at 1-1, with an AFC North win over the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field and a loss to divisional foe Baltimore on the road.

As we all know, a season isn't decided after two games, that the ebb and flow of an NFL season is going to be filled with highs and lows.

Former Steelers offensive lineman Craig Wolfley, a member of the Steelers Radio Network, weighed in on his thoughts about the 2014 Steelers a mere two games into the season.

Biggest concern: The number one concern Wolfley said he has is the defense's inability to stop the run. The defense allowed 157 yards rushing against the Ravens, including a 41-yard run by Justin Forsett. Even more disturbing was the push the Ravens got on two quarterback sneaks by Joe Flacco to keep drives alive.

"It's not like they can't do it, but they are really struggling against the run," said Wolfley. "They had 183 yards dropped on them against the Browns and 157 by the Ravens. The most concerning thing is their inability to just stuff it.

"It's very surprising. The staple of the Steelers defense has always been about stuffing the run first. Coach (Dick) LeBeau always talks about you can take away one thing, and he always talks about taking away the run. That has been a mandate for this Steelers defense really since the days of Joe Greene."

Going strong: As the quarterback goes, so goes the offense and Wolfley thinks Ben Roethlisberger is not just the biggest strength for the offense right now, but the entire team.

"With him in the huddle, you always have an opportunity," said Wolfley. "Here is the thing about a franchise quarterback, when you are in the huddle, no matter how bad it's been, you always look at that guy and know I've got a chance. He can pull this together at any moment and get us over the hump here. He is the guy you have to look at and say let's giddy up here.

"He has been through some battles, the big games, he has won and lost. He is a battle-hardened veteran who understands the role he plays in the framework of this team as far as performance and leadership. I look at him and that's the guy you have to hang your hat on and everyone has to rally around."


Take a look at the Top 10 photos of wide receiver Markus Wheaton.

A pleasant surprise:** Second-year receiver Markus Wheaton hands down is Wolfley's most pleasant surprise through two games. Wheaton had six receptions for 97 yards in the season opener against the Browns, and five receptions for 38 yards against the Ravens.

"I thought he was an emerging star in OTAs, the first two or three weeks there," said Wolfley. "Watching him during the preseason I had a good feeling about him and he has not disappointed."

The outlook: There is a reason it's a 16-game season, because nothing in the NFL is ever decided after two weeks of football. And Wolfley has plenty of faith that the Steelers will correct their mistakes and move forward.

"My time in the league with this franchise taught me you can never make definitive statements early," said Wolfley. "You have to look at it one game at a time and keep focused. You have to make the corrections you can make and move forward. This league waits for nobody.

"This is a team that can right itself, they have the people, and they have the tools. But it takes excellent play, attention to detail, preparation and then performance. Part of that performance occurs when making sure that you are not costing your team excessive penalties."

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