View Full Version : Real test is yet to come for Steelers defense

01-24-2009, 01:52 AM
Real test is yet to come for Steelers defense
Saturday, January 24, 2009
For The Patriot-News

http://www.pennlive.com/nfl/patriotnews ... xml&coll=1 (http://www.pennlive.com/nfl/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/1232764820197150.xml&coll=1)

PITTSBURGH - Stingy, hard-hitting defensive play has been a cornerstone of the Pittsburgh Steelers' franchise for nearly four decades, and this season was no different.

The unit was ranked No. 1 across the board in every NFL defensive category, practically from start to finish.

The Steelers (14-4) enter Super Bowl XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals (12-7) next Sunday in Tampa, Fla., as the top-rated defense in the NFL, and some believe it should be ranked among the best ever.

But the Steelers don't subscribe to that theory. At least not yet.

"Time will tell," Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. "That's something that will be determined later, but I don't know how we'll be rated or talked about.

"We just want to win the Super Bowl. If we win that game, anybody can say anything they want about us after that, and it won't really matter."

Polamalu believed that any comparison to a Steelers team from the 1970s would be erroneous, no matter how well the defense performs. A Super Bowl victory would be the club's second in four years, and those past Super Steelers won four Super Bowls in six seasons.

So, despite the current group's accomplishments, it would still fall short.

"Sure, it'll be special for us to win the sixth Lombardi Trophy for this franchise," Polamalu said. "The Steelers are a revered franchise, and all the teams are looked at fondly by their fans.

"But those [teams] from the 1970s, we can't be compared to them until we go to four Super Bowls and win four.
"If we win this year, we'll have two in four years. We'd have to win two more in a row after that to match what they did. But it will be special to be the only team with six trophies. I agree with that.

"And that's all we can do right now. Who knows what will happen in future years? It's so tough to win just one."

Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton preferred to quote head coach Mike Tomlin when asked to rate the club's defense this season.

"We have a good defense, if you look at what we've accomplished so far," Hampton said, "but like Coach Tomlin says, 'Our full story hasn't been written yet.'

"So, that's the way we're looking at it. We want to put the finishing touches on this story next Sunday with another Super Bowl championship."

Steelers veteran defensive end Aaron Smith was even more succinct.

"I think all that we've done up to this point is just to get to this point," Smith said. "And if we don't win it, it's all for nothing. That's kind of the way we look at it, so we have to go out there and do whatever it takes for us to get a victory."

The Steelers are favored by about a touchdown against the offensive-minded Cardinals, but safety Ryan Clark believed the final score was irrelevant as long as the Steelers were victorious.

"If we win 3-2 or whatever, I won't care," Clark said. "That's the key thing, to win the game. If we don't win the Super Bowl, nobody will care what we've done all year. Sure, we'll look back and think about what we accomplished, but it certainly won't mean that much if we don't win the Super Bowl.

"That's really the defining moment in a season. Places in history are based on opinion. If we win, nobody will remember anything else. The same thing if we lose. Just ask the New England Patriots.

"So, we just need to score one more point than the Cardinals. It's up to you guys to talk about our place in history."

01-24-2009, 07:21 AM
I like hearing that they haven't done anything.

01-24-2009, 11:18 AM
I like hearing that they haven't done anything.

YET!!! :wink:

01-24-2009, 11:36 AM
The players quoted in this article all sound like Mike Tomlin in what they are saying.
They are focused.

01-24-2009, 11:53 AM
I also like to mood of the team!!! From what I sense out of the Arizona camp, I get the feeling they are just happy to be going to the SB. This is just a hunch on my part.