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costanza2k1
10-23-2008, 03:51 PM
Apparently our FO & Coaching Staff is better than most thought.

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers are rolling to a 5-1 start.

And the end game will be in Tampa.

The perennial best-kept secret in the AFC is once again stepping to the forefront as the most balanced and complete team in the conference, as once-favored clubs like the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts continue to underachieve.

If the New York Giants (5-1) repeat as NFC champs, you're staring at a Super Bowl preview this weekend. The Steelers (5-1) will be waiting for the Giants in February, and here are five reasons why:

1. Depth separates the good teams from the great teams: Through seven weeks, this has been the story of the Steelers' 2008 season. Much of the grind in the NFL is overcoming injuries, and Pittsburgh happens to be great at something that usually destroys teams.

The Steelers have lost starting tailback Willie Parker (knee), nose tackle Casey Hampton (knee), defensive end Brett Keisel (calf), guard Kendall Simmons (Achilles tendon), left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and rookie No. 1 draft pick Rashard Mendenhall (shoulder) for extended periods of time. Simmons and Mendenhall are both out for the year.

But lesser-known backups such as Mewelde Moore, Max Starks, Nick Eason and Chris Hoke are among the list of players who have stepped up and helped Pittsburgh win games. The experience will help in the long run when players such as Hampton, Parker and Smith return to full strength.

"We have to attribute that to upstairs with [GM] Kevin Colbert and the Rooneys,'' Hoke said of the team's depth. "It's also the coaches who are developing these guys. They're not only preparing just stars for the game; they're preparing everybody for Sunday."

2. The Steelers have the NFL's best defense: Defense collects jewelry, and statistically the Steelers are the NFL's best at stopping opponents.

The Steelers allow the fewest yards per game (228.3) and the fewest yards allowed per play (3.7).

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau runs a masterful scheme that's built around pummeling and confusing the quarterback. The Giants get a lot of credit for sacking signal-callers, but the Steelers lead the NFL with 25 sacks. New York, which won the Super Bowl last season with the same philosophy, is second with 21 sacks.

Pittsburgh's blitz packages are relentless. The Steelers are extremely strong on the edges with outside linebackers James Harrison (8.5 sacks) and LaMarr Woodley (7.5 sacks). In fact, eight different Steelers have contributed sacks this season.

"We believe we can get to anybody. We bring a whole [different] attitude to the game,'' Woodley said.

3. Competition is waaaaaay down in the AFC: Right now the Buffalo Bills (5-1) and Tennessee Titans (6-0) are Pittsburgh's main threats in a wide-open AFC.

But let's be honest, neither Buffalo nor Tennessee is close to the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts or even the San Diego Chargers of the past few seasons. Those were the type of high-powered teams the Steelers struggled with in recent years. Plodding, defense-oriented teams like the Bills and Titans are right down Pittsburgh's alley.

New England quarterback Tom Brady has always been a thorn in the side of Pittsburgh. He helped lead the Patriots to two road playoff wins in the conference title game over the Steelers during the Patriots' three championship runs. But Brady (knee) is sidelined for the year.

Indianapolis (3-3) and San Diego (3-4) are having down years and neither team owns a winning record. While the AFC got weaker overall this year, Pittsburgh got better. With its top-ranked defense, depth and consistent running game, this is the best Steelers team since 2005, which happened to be the last time they won a Super Bowl.

4. Roethlisberger is the great equalizer: When you compare teams that can both run the football and play shut-down defense, you begin looking for X factors.

With Brady hurt and Peyton Manning struggling, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger is the biggest difference-maker at quarterback in the AFC.

In a one-game scenario between the elite teams in the conference, who would you rather have under center: Roethlisberger, Kerry Collins (Titans) or Trent Edwards (Bills)? Roethlisberger has a ring and is playoff tested. Edwards is not, and Collins is 36 years old and very limited.

Collins and Edwards have a much higher likelihood of being exposed and exploited in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger is 5-2 in seven career postseason games.

"He's definitely the main part of it all," Moore said. "When Ben is on point and doing everything, he gives us all the opportunity to step in[to] our roles and do what's asked of us. It's very possible for us to achieve all the things we're trying to achieve with him, and that most important thing is winning football games.''

5. Pittsburgh will be battle-tested:

The Steelers entered the year with the NFL's toughest strength of schedule -- with last year's opponent win percentage at .598 -- and still stand at 5-1. After persevering through injuries, a tough stretch awaits with the next four games against the Giants, Washington Redskins, Colts and Chargers.

Pittsburgh will be ready for the winter months at the end of this stretch. There is also a certain confidence, chemistry and attitude in the Steelers' locker room that cannot be quantified.

These are all the components of a championship team.

Therefore, expect a Black-and-Gold invasion in Tampa.

James Walker covers the NFL for ESPN.com

Iron Shiek
10-23-2008, 03:59 PM
What a great read. I like most of what the writer said.

The difference between Steelers fans (well me anyway) and my Bungle and Brown fan friends is that if an article like that came out (usually in the preseason) they'd be forwarding it to everyone they knew and yapping away about how good they are whereas I just read it and smile and let the results speak for themselves.

Go Steelers. :tt2

MeetJoeGreene
10-23-2008, 04:00 PM
I really hate it when people talk good about us.

I hope none of our players read it and get any ideas.

We will really see this week if our team is any good.

costanza2k1
10-23-2008, 04:02 PM
I think Tomlin will do a good job of keeping them in check. We have a good core of Vets who'll keep the young guys in line if need be. It is on!

Oviedo
10-23-2008, 04:03 PM
Good article. The team needs to take this week by week and one game at a time. I hope they continue to play the underdog because they play better as the underdog than they do as favorites.

Like I have said from Day 1. Priority #1 is win the AFC North regardless of record. Priority #2 is to try to get a home play off game. Do those two things in the regular season and all bets are off for the play offs. It is a fresh start.

ghettoscott
10-23-2008, 04:05 PM
http://lolcat.com/images/lolcats/469.jpg

too early for SB talk....at least for me it is. bad juju.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-23-2008, 04:10 PM
What a great read. I like most of what the writer said.

The difference between Steelers fans (well me anyway) and my Bungle and Brown fan friends is that if an article like that came out (usually in the preseason) they'd be forwarding it to everyone they knew and yapping away about how good they are whereas I just read it and smile and let the results speak for themselves.

Go Steelers. :tt2

Thanks for posting costanza!

Iron Sheik, :Agree Now me, I carry it one step further, I wish people wouldn't write stuff like that. I'd rather people carry on about how wonderful all the other AFC teams and QBs are. I think our Men of Steel play better flying under the radar, with a chip on their shoulder. I know it's a different team, and a different coach, but I remember a certain "victory video" the Steelers did, planning on the big lights and winning the Superbowl, just to get clocked in the next game and falling painfully short.

Hopefully Tomlin keeps these guys "grounded". One play at a time, the rest will take care of itself ...

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-23-2008, 04:11 PM
Duplicate post, sorry.

SteelTorch
10-23-2008, 05:07 PM
Eh, I'll hold off on the SB predictions for now. First, I want us to beat a GOOD team, and I want to see continued improvement from the O-line. Plus, as we all know, the playoffs are an unpredictable time and the best teams do NOT always win or even make it to the SB. Exhibits A-D:

'04 Steelers
'05 Colts
'06 Chargers
'07 Patriots

But do I think we have the potential? Hell yeah!

AkronSteel
10-23-2008, 11:12 PM
What a great read. I like most of what the writer said.

The difference between Steelers fans (well me anyway) and my Bungle and Brown fan friends is that if an article like that came out (usually in the preseason) they'd be forwarding it to everyone they knew and yapping away about how good they are whereas I just read it and smile and let the results speak for themselves.

Go Steelers. :tt2

Thanks for posting costanza!

Iron Sheik, :Agree Now me, I carry it one step further, I wish people wouldn't write stuff like that. I'd rather people carry on about how wonderful all the other AFC teams and QBs are. I think our Men of Steel play better flying under the radar, with a chip on their shoulder. I know it's a different team, and a different coach, but I remember a certain "victory video" the Steelers did, planning on the big lights and winning the Superbowl, just to get clocked in the next game and falling painfully short.

Hopefully Tomlin keeps these guys "grounded". One play at a time, the rest will take care of itself ...

There is a big difference between this years team and the 94 team that you speak of. There are alot of vets in this locker room that have won a SB and are playoff grizzled veterans. The team in 94 was very inexperienced at having success in the playoffs and I don't think Cowher handled that team very well down the stretch. It seemed to me that after the team beat the Browns in the playoffs they kinda exhaled.

I have been saying it for weeks and I just can't help but see a difference in this team that I don't know if I have ever seen. They just seem to be carrying themselves with a quiet confidence and just seem to be taking this thing game by game, heck sometimes it even feels like they are taking it day by day.

I have said it since August this team has the potential for greatness. I think they have the ability to really take this thing all the way. I'm glad they are finally getting respect. It is about dang time. All of us here have known the potential for months......oh wait we're just kool aid drinkers. :lol:

Mission: Tampa

Now go get it done, and let this great organization be the first to put a ring on the second hand.

:tt1 :Beer
:Cheers :tt2

AngryAsian
10-24-2008, 02:00 AM
...

I have been saying it for weeks and I just can't help but see a difference in this team that I don't know if I have ever seen. They just seem to be carrying themselves with a quiet confidence and just seem to be taking this thing game by game, heck sometimes it even feels like they are taking it day by day...



The difference is Tomlin. On NFL Live, James Harrison was on via telephone interview. Talk about reverberation of Tomlin philosophy. Harrison went on with the utmost humility not wishing to engage in questions that revolve around what he's accomplish this year, and redirected it to what they've done as a team. Not worried what other teams are saying (BOUNTY talk by Suggs) or doing but focused on their opponents for that given week. Also said he'd take a win without any team sacks than a loss with 10 sacks. He echoed so many blue collar ideals and was totally about team. Tomlin is the right coach at the right time for this group of guys who seem to just be just hitting their stride. If we get through the next four games with wins.... we can beat anybody.

Djfan
10-24-2008, 02:59 AM
I've seen the years of bad mojo, I've seen great teams under achieve, I've thought about, talked about, and kept quiet about a lot of predictions.

But this article fires me up. The poster formerly known as Angry said it right. The situation looks legit from the top down.

Dear God....... :Bow

Jooser
10-24-2008, 01:39 PM
http://img49.imageshack.us/img49/9233/bb2ut6.png (http://imageshack.us)

There, now noone in the league will take us as a serious threat anymore, and in other news....

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/7139/bb3me7.png (http://imageshack.us)

Now the Stains fans will feel better. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Steely76
10-24-2008, 02:30 PM
I really hate it when people talk good about us.



:Agree

Oviedo
10-24-2008, 04:08 PM
Anyone else feeling we just got jinxed by ESPN?

Stupidio's weed issue

A. Smith's mystery personal problems

FWP's knee that won't heal

Marvel's back

Geez. If we win this weekend maybe we are good.

Iron Shiek
10-24-2008, 04:29 PM
Geez. If we win this weekend maybe we are good.


:lol: That made me laugh out loud for some reason. It was funny.

And yes the jinx is in. Gosh we've had injuries all year and managed to overcome, now someone says something good about us, and screw injuries, we are on to drugs and personal issues. If we win expect more media coverage and a murder or domestic violence case to follow.... :wft