Thu., June 12
What kind of season should we expect from Maddox and the offense?
In the Kordell Stewart days, the Steelers expected only 15 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions as the formula for success. As long as Stewart came up with those modest numbers, the Steelers felt they were good enough as a team to go to a championship game or maybe a Super Bowl. And the formula worked a couple of times. However, Tommy Maddox raises the bar. He threw 20 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions last season and it's not out of the question for Maddox to have a 30-15 ratio. Antwan Randle-El has come on as a third receiver and gives Maddox three incredible wide receiving options -- Plaxico Burress, Hines Ward and Randle-El. Throw in pass-receiving tight end Jay Riemersma and halfback Amos Zereoue, and the Steelers have five threats with the potential of catching at least 50 passes. Thanks to his Arena Football League days, Maddox knows how to release the ball quickly and accurately. He completed 62.1 percent of his passes last year and was sacked only 26 times in 377 throws. Given the full season, Maddox could throw for 4,000 yards, but the question is whether Maddox can stay healthy for 16 games. He has a new, unproven left tackle in Marvel Smith. Smith's move to the left side leaves the right side a little more uncertain. The Steelers are the top team in the AFC North and have the chance to be at 11 or 12 wins.