Team preview: Pittsburgh

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


Under fire from the media and fans almost from the time he took over the Miami Dolphins' reins from legendary head coach Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt will undoubtedly get a little more room to breathe as he starts his tenure as head coach at Pittsburgh.

After all, Wannstedt has returned home to the area where he grew up, starred in high school (as an all-state football performer at nearby Baldwin High) and then started for three years on the offensive line of the team he'll now coach.

Although he's not replacing a coach with national titles and Super Bowl crowns on his resume, Wannstedt still has a tough act to follow as he returns to the college ranks for the first time since he was the defensive coordinator at Miami (1986-88). Under previous head coach Walt Harris (now at Stanford), Pitt earned bowl berths the last five years and in six of the last eight seasons -- the program's best postseason stretch since it went to nine straight bowls from 1975-83.