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Breaking Out 

Six Steelers to watch in 2011

click to enlarge Isaac Redman - PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL

Most fans know all about Steelers stars like Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu. But what lesser-known names are worth keeping an eye on during the preseason? Here a quick guide:

 

Antonio Brown, receiver (#84)

The second-year player made a spectacular clutch catch against the Ravens during last year's playoff run. And he's taken the counsel of his elders to heart: Hines Ward "taught me to never be satisfied until you're dead and gone," Brown says. "This is a solid young group of receivers and I'm glad to be part of it."

Isaac Redman, running back (#33)

The second-year player was nicknamed "Red Zone" for his prolific scoring last year … in the preseason. But he figures to get more chances to score in meaningful games. Redman added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason, and will likely be a 240-pound backup to Rashard Mendenhall. 

Chris Scott, offensive lineman (#61)

Scott missed his 2010 rookie year due to an injury -- just one of the challenges bedeviling the offensive line. But in training camp, coach Mike Tomlin praised Scott for doing "a nice job of representing himself out here. He's a legit challenger to anyone. He's put himself in the mix with how he's performed."

click to enlarge Cameron Heyward - PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL

Cameron Heyward, defensive end (#95)

"I need to work on being more consistent but I couldn't be more ecstatic to be a Steeler," says the rookie out of Ohio State, whose father, the late Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, excelled at Pitt before his legendary NFL career. "It was my grandparents' dream for me to play for them some day."

click to enlarge Jason Worilds - PHOTO BY HEATHER MULL

Jason Worilds, linebacker (#97)

Returning for his second year, Worilds has every chance of continuing the Steelers proud linebacking legacy. "He's a guy you want to keep an eye on for sure," says Mike Wilkening, senior editor of Pro Football Weekly. "It takes a year or two to really excel in that defense, so he has a chance."

Curtis Brown, cornerback (#40)

It might be tough for a rookie to stand out in a strong defense. But Brown "has the ability to contribute in his first season, at least on special teams," says Matt Feminis, associate editor of Pro Football Weekly. "He's an athletic guy who was used as a gunner" in college, where he played for the University of Texas. 

 

--Rocco Longo

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