FOXBOROEvery year, there are jobs to be won and lost in training camp and to a lesser degree, during the season.
This holds true for both New England and Pittsburgh . . . except at one position.
That would be quarterback, arguably the most important position on the field.
Having stability at this critical position is one of the reasons the Patriots and Steelers are once again among the top teams in the NFL.
The Patriots are led by Tom Brady, in his 12th season having spent the past decade as New England's man under center.
"It's been very important for me to never really change offenses or learn new terminology," Brady said. "We've just built on it over the years - the things I learned 12 years ago when I came here. It's great for a quarterback to have that continuity with coaching and obviously the terminology of the plays. It's been a huge benefit."
There's no question the Steelers have benefited from having Ben Roethlisberger, in his eighth season, as the team's starting quarterback ever since he was a rookie.
New England Patriots
"Continuity, particularly at that position is a big positive of course," said coach Mike Tomlin. "It expands the things that you're capable of doing."
However, there's a not-so-great side about having the same guy year after year.
"I also think that you have to guard against getting too comfortable sometimes," Tomlin said. "It also sometimes potentially breeds a lack of communication or assumptions and that can be dangerous. There are some positives and there are some negatives you have to weigh on a daily basis."
For Roethlisberger, the positives far outweigh the drawbacks.
"It's great," said Roethlisberger, who has been the starting quarterback on a pair of Super Bowl champion teams (2006 and 2009) in Pittsburgh. "I've always said that I felt bad for someone like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who I think in about five years had four offensive coordinators, or whatever the ridiculous number was.
"That's really hard for a quarterback. Any time that you can get familiarity with a coach, with a coordinator, with a play-caller, whoever it is, it definitely makes it a lot easier for you."