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NorthCoast
01-12-2009, 10:14 PM
Steelers own game through ingrained domination
Team plays hard but puts the egos aside

By Patrick McManamon
Beacon Journal sports columnist


Published on Monday, Jan 12, 2009

PITTSBURGH: As far as 11-point games go, this NFL playoff victory was rather one-sided.

The Pittsburgh Steelers took the best that San Diego had to offer on the Chargers' first drive, then gave the Chargers all they could handle the rest of the afternoon.

That wastes words.

The Steelers dominated.



Dominated from the point it was 7-0 San Diego until the end of the game, when it was 35-24 Pittsburgh and it would have been worse had Pittsburgh not left one on the field when it was stopped inside the 1.

Yes, San Diego scored a late touchdown on a very nice pass to Darren Sproles, but that was way too little way too late.

The Steelers owned this one, and won with their particular brand of football. Which is to say they ran the ball, stopped the run, pressured the passer and came up with winning plays all the more impressive that it all came in a playoff game and a playoff year when visiting teams have been winning.

Not in Pittsburgh.

''You can't coach what we've got,'' Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said.

You can't because it's ingrained, because it's the culture of football built and maintained by the Rooneys.

But you can coach it because the Steelers are winning with Mike Tomlin just like they did with Bill Cowher.

As Tomlin said: ''I think we played our kind of football today.''

Statistics are for losers, but there is one stat that sums up this
AFC Divisional game.

San Diego had the ball for 17 seconds in the fourth quarter.

Long enough for Darren Sproles to break a punt return and Philip Rivers to throw a slant that was tipped and intercepted by the Steelers.

Seventeen seconds.

It probably takes longer to put on deodorant in the morning.

So many things take longer to do than 17 seconds that it's near impossible to fathom a football team having the ball for just 17 seconds in one 15-minute period.

''I've never had that in one quarter now,'' said linebacker James Harrison.

How many have?

But that's what the Steelers do.

They do big things like dominate a quarter, but in doing that they do little things that result in wins.

Hines Ward breaks a tackle and gets extra yardage before being hit out of bounds, resulting in more yardage.

Lamarr Woodley shakes off a block and gets a key sack to put the Chargers back against their goal line.

Santonio Holmes takes a rocket kick from Mike Scifres and returns it for a touchdown. Scifres was a hero in the wild card round against Indianapolis. Holmes turned the hero on his ear in the first quarter in Pittsburgh.

Finally, Willie Parker bounces a fourth-quarter run around right end and scampers 27 yards, putting him over 100 for the day. A few plays later he scampers 16 yards around the same end for the fifth Steelers touchdown.

Game over.

Parker's rushing total: 146 yards.

San Diego's team rushing total: 15 yards.

Pittsburgh's rushing in the second half: 28 carries, 107 yards.

San Diego's second-half rushing: zero carries, zero yards.

Any wonder Pittsburgh wins?

''We're grounded,'' said Harrison, who has made the trek from Kent State to undrafted to Defensive Player of the Year to one game from a chance to win a ring.

Yet he shrugs. ''I don't look back, I don't look forward,'' he said.

The Steelers epitomize team. They epitomize football the way it should be played. They play hard, they play physical, they play mean and they win.

Yet they put the egos aside.

Like it or not, that's the way it is.

''You can have an ego here if you want,'' Harrison said. ''You just better keep it to yourself.''

The locker room is not divided by position. Ward dresses next to defensive linemen. Ben Roethlisberger stopped on his way out the door to congratulate Holmes.

It's easy to say that after a win, of course, but the Steelers have been winning for years, which gives the statements validity.

The temptation exists at every Steelers game to bring up the Browns and how far they and new coach Eric Mangini have to go. Especially because the Steelers will face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game this weekend.

Two AFC North teams the best in the AFC.

Either this means the gulf is wide between those teams and Cleveland, or it means Cleveland's record is more understandable because the Browns played those two teams twice.

Does it really matter?

The reality is this: Merely discussing that question does not do justice to a good, sound, hard-nosed football team.

Hate them because they play in Pittsburgh if you like, but that's the reality.

And it's not going to change because they are the Steelers. In fact, it's more likely to stay that way for a few more years because they are the Steelers.


http://www.ohio.com/sports/37428494.html

Scarletfire1970
01-12-2009, 10:51 PM
San Diego had the ball for 17 seconds in the fourth quarter

It was the third quarter. But I can forgive that because it was such a good read. :ratsuck

buckeyehoppy
01-12-2009, 11:00 PM
:Cheers to you NC!!!

This is the kind of article The Faithful need to read...because it comes from a player in the Clowns press corps.

McManamon is spot on here and paints a pretty accurate picture why the Steelers have a culture of winning and how the Clowns have merely paid lip service to winning since Art Modell became owner in 1961.

ANPSTEEL
01-12-2009, 11:39 PM
Great article
Thx for posting it

SteelerOfDeVille
01-13-2009, 12:11 AM
''You can have an ego here if you want,'' Harrison said. ''You just better keep it to yourself.''

:tt2 :tt1 :Bow

Discipline of Steel
01-13-2009, 12:17 AM
Pittsburgh's rushing in the second half: 28 carries, 107 yards.

San Diego's second-half rushing: zero carries, zero yards.

This is the part I like.

Djfan
01-13-2009, 01:30 AM
Hate them because they play in Pittsburgh if you like, but that's the reality.

And it's not going to change because they are the Steelers. In fact, it's more likely to stay that way for a few more years because they are the Steelers.

I hope that gets branded into the mental banks of Mangini and his posse. Read that and weep Stains fans.

I hope cockface read that article. If he can read.

proudpittsburgher
01-13-2009, 10:40 AM
''You can have an ego here if you want,'' Harrison said. ''You just better keep it to yourself.''

:tt2 :tt1 :Bow

I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a Colts/Cowboys fan (still don't understand that, but whatever). It was right after the Steelers won the Super Bowl, and we were talking about Terrell Owens. It was a civil conversation for the most part, both of us agreeing that he is a douchbag, but I made the comment "Guys like Terrell Owens will never play for the Steelers." I was told that I was stupid if I thought that.

He brought up Bam Morris, I informed him that he was cut shortly after his arrest. He said that Hines Ward was one of the worst guys and cheap shot artists in the NFL. I disagreed. And if he would bother to actually look into Ward more, he would see the most selfless player, arguably, on the team.

I wasn't being pompous with him. Just telling him that there is a reason the Steelers routinely are in the run for the trophy, because they are a team, and no one player gets in the way of that. Most outside of Pittsburgh (non-Steelers fans, and suprisingly some Steelers fans) will never understand that.

That's the reason I didn't want Dan Rooney to let go of this team in exchange for an influx of cash. It's what he means to the franchise. Stability, loyalty, character. All the Daniel Snyders and Jerry Jonses of the world can't match that with any amount of money. And it is the biggest reason I am a fan of this franchise.

It's the difference between MT pulling the trigger and suspending Santonio Holmes BEFORE an investigation, but why Vincent Jackson was playing in the AFC Divisional playoffs AFTER getting busted for DUI.

proudpittsburgher
01-13-2009, 10:41 AM
Hate them because they play in Pittsburgh if you like, but that's the reality.

And it's not going to change because they are the Steelers. In fact, it's more likely to stay that way for a few more years because they are the Steelers.

I hope that gets branded into the mental banks of Mangini and his posse. Read that and weep Stains fans.


I hope it doesn't. They and the Bengals haven't figured it out yet, and I don't want them to. It would make life more difficult for us.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-13-2009, 11:14 AM
It's the difference between MT pulling the trigger and suspending Santonio Holmes BEFORE an investigation, but why Vincent Jackson was playing in the AFC Divisional playoffs AFTER getting busted for DUI.

This is so true about how the Rooney family chose a man of character to coach the team - this is not meant as a slight to Whis or Grimm, but a big compliment to Tomlin.

When this happened just prior to the Giants game, many were complaining that the suspension might cost us a game....and maybe it did.

I said that it was only one game and that Tomlin did a masterful job of handling the situation, and was shouted down on the trib board. A few months later and the incident and controversy is so far behind us that it is merely a footnote in a SB run.

The Steelers have a healthy winning culture within their locker room. Nobody tries to put himslef above the rest of the team, no finger pointing after losses, the worst case was Parker calling for a fullback! The stability starts up top with the coach.

New players who come to Pittsburgh soak in the culture until it becomes part of who they are. That is how it is passed from one generation to the next of Steelers players.

proudpittsburgher
01-13-2009, 11:18 AM
It's the difference between MT pulling the trigger and suspending Santonio Holmes BEFORE an investigation, but why Vincent Jackson was playing in the AFC Divisional playoffs AFTER getting busted for DUI.

This is so true about how the Rooney family chose a man of character to coach the team - this is not meant as a slight to Whis or Grimm, but a big compliment to Tomlin.

When this happened just prior to the Giants game, many were complaining that the suspension might cost us a game....and maybe it did.

I said that it was only one game and that Tomlin did a masterful job of handling the situation, and was shouted down on the trib board. A few months later and the incident and controversy is so far behind us that it is merely a footnote in a SB run.

The Steelers have a healthy winning culture within their locker room. Nobody tries to put himslef above the rest of the team, no finger pointing after losses, the worst case was Parker calling for a fullback! The stability starts up top with the coach.

New players who come to Pittsburgh soak in the culture until it becomes part of who they are. That is how it is passed from one generation to the next of Steelers players.

Amen, my brother, amen. :tt1

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-13-2009, 11:40 AM
I wonder how Browns fans are enjoying this article. Think about it...a mere four months ago, the Cleveland Browns were crowned AFC North pre season champs. This was a team on the rise!

What great timing as the Steelers were on the slippery slope of decline. They might hang on to finish second this year, but many had them finding the basement of the AFC North, even behind those bumbling Bengals. Throw in the barely average Ravens, and this season would be a walk for the new darlings of the AFC.

Fast forward to......oh, maybe week 1 or so. :lol:

The Browns, realizing that they were always more comfortable in the basement - it feels so much like home - took the express elevator down. In the meantime, those declining teams showed them the way a football team is run. We might not like the Ravens much here, but their parole officers seemed to have helped staighten things out there.

Maybe one of the most difficult part of winning in pro sports is learning what it takes to win. The Steelers know how. The Ravens know how. The Browns know where the basement is.

Slapstick
01-13-2009, 02:56 PM
The teams in the NFL who don't cheat always want to emulate the Steelers...

buckeyehoppy
01-13-2009, 11:45 PM
I wonder how Browns fans are enjoying this article. Think about it...a mere four months ago, the Cleveland Browns were crowned AFC North pre season champs. This was a team on the rise!

What great timing as the Steelers were on the slippery slope of decline. They might hang on to finish second this year, but many had them finding the basement of the AFC North, even behind those bumbling Bengals. Throw in the barely average Ravens, and this season would be a walk for the new darlings of the AFC.

Fast forward to......oh, maybe week 1 or so. :lol:

The Browns, realizing that they were always more comfortable in the basement - it feels so much like home - took the express elevator down. In the meantime, those declining teams showed them the way a football team is run. We might not like the Ravens much here, but their parole officers seemed to have helped staighten things out there.

Maybe one of the most difficult part of winning in pro sports is learning what it takes to win. The Steelers know how. The Ravens know how. The Browns know where the basement is.

Living here behind enemy lines, I'm quite sure that Clowns fan probably doesn't want to deal with the Steelers success right now. It's like pouring salt into an open wound.

There is a culture of winning with the Steelers that isn't matched anywhere else in the NFL and very few places in the entire world of sports.

The Browns died in 1962 when Paul Brown was fired.

That is simply astounding.

It's when they became the Clowns and the three ring circus opened under the big top. When the Clowns won their one...and only...NFL title, they largely did so with Paul Brown's players. The more the effect of Paul Brown wore away from the Clowns, the less successfully they played and finished. And the more that NFL Championship looked like a blind squirrel finding a nut.

In large part, professional football in Cleveland is a four part drama. It isn't the great American story of a team run by a single family that possesses a fabulous work ethic and values people who share that work ethic.

The pre-Clowns were owned by a family who ran a taxi company. That family still runs a taxi company to this day. Try finding a taxi if you are ever in Cleveland. Believe me, you are in for a frustrating experience.

The Clowns A.D. have been owned by a television ad salesman and a credit card hustler. Brilliant! These are guys who are about making a buck at the expense of the quality of their team. They don't really understand the culture of winning because as long as they have theirs (i.e. full stadia, TV ad revenue, merch sales, sycophantic boobs fawning over their team, etc.) they really don't give a sh!t. That's truth...not fiction.

I can't feel sorry for the fans plight in Cleveland because they choose to follow this team voluntarily. If you don't believe me, I'll tell you this...when I found out that Modell was moving his team to Baltimore to become the Rattards buckeyehoppy actually laughed out loud.

No shock.

No righteous indignation.

buckeyehoppy was actually ROTFLHAO. Again...truth, not fiction.

It's why, to this day, I can't stand the Clowns or any of their alleged success. The history of the team that some Clowns fans embrace has long been dead and buried and the team they are so sure will play in a Super Bowl one day bears no resemblance to the one that was associated with Paul Brown. This is what I tell fans routinely. And history backs me up, because the Clowns are more lousy after 1962 as the Steelers were before 1969.

In Pittsburgh's case, the team didn't get it together for the first 36 years until Chuck Noll was hired. Even then, it took a couple more years to build the team into something that was going to compete. Can you imagine if the Steelers had the hair-trigger patience of many NFL teams of today and fired Emperor Chaz after his first season when he went 1-13? The Chief stayed the course...and the rest is history.

The Clowns are now, hold on to your seats, in year #46, and counting, of their March To Mediocrity. That's 10 years longer than the Steelers "slow start" and the endless slide of the Clowns into NFL oblivion shows no sign of ever stopping. They can hire and fire coaches, GMs, team presidents, etc. But they will always be the Clowns.

That distinction will never go away and will only point up the difference between the losers the Clowns are and the Champions the Steelers will always be.