View Full Version : Why the Steelers are good year in, year out

11-17-2010, 02:25 AM
Why the Steelers are good year in, year out
By Mike Petraglia

http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/new ... -year-out/ (http://itiswhatitis.weei.com/sports/newengland/football/patriots/2010/11/14/why-the-steelers-are-good-year-in-year-out/)

There’s an adage in sports for truly great teams: They don’t rebuild, they just reload.

It’s a principle that requires consistency in ownership and management. The Patriots certainly have that in owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

The Steelers have had it for roughly 30 years longer. The Rooney family has built a football dynasty in Western Pennsylvania and it all started when the patriarch, Art Rooney Sr., hired Chuck Noll and they drafted Joe Greene with their first-round pick in 1969.

Some 41 years and six Super Bowl titles later, the Steelers are still the model that most in the NFL try to imitate.

The Super Bowl dynasty of the ’70s had no fewer than 10 players, one coach and one owner make it to Canton as Hall of Famers.

Four decades later, the late Art Rooney has been replaced by sons Dan and Art, Jr. but the belief in a strong, deep scouting department combined with an organizational philosophy on how to play the game remains in place to people like personnel chief Kevin Colbert has kept them on top.

“Well I think consistency is a big part of it,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “I think if I were looking at the Steelers and I was their personnel coordinator, I think I have a pretty good idea of the type of players they would want at each position for their system. And they’ve maintained that system over a significant period of time so you can look at players - whether they’re pro players or college players – and say, ‘Okay, this is where this guy would play in their defense or I don’t really see what his role would be on defense.’

“And I’m sure that their personnel department is very well-schooled on what they’re looking for and they know what type [of] players fit into their system and what type [of] players haven’t done as well with them and maybe why they didn’t do as well as they thought they would – we’ve all had those type of players. But, I think the consistency and the continuity of their system and the experience of multiple drafts and multiple personnel decisions at the same position in the same system really give you a good formula or good basis of saying, ‘Well, this guy did well and this player is similar to him or this player is similar to another play who didn’t do as well, [so,] why is he going to do better? What distinguishes him from an unsuccessful guy we’ve had at that position and vice versa?’ So, I think that’s a big part of it, too.”

Other franchises have tried to copy it and failed. Others like the Patriots have borrowed key elements and implemented them perfectly.

“I think that’s what you try to do in every organization but, really, one of the big things is time,” Belichick said. “It just takes time. You need to go through a draft and another draft and another draft and another draft and be able to compare players in this year’s draft to players in other drafts that were similar but something was better or not as good and try to see the differences and project how one player will do relative to another. So that experience helps a lot. And having a good football team is a good way to stay a good football team [because] you don’t have a lot of needs. You can pick the players that fit your system. You can be a little more patient and [Pittsburgh has] done a good job in developing the younger players. It’s a credit to their personnel department. It’s also a credit to the coaches and their assistant coaches for bringing guys along and having them be productive early in their career and for a lengthy career.”

Another player the Steelers seem to have struck gold with is second-year receiver Mike Wallace. Belichick said this week there are few, if any, receivers he’s ever seen with as much flat speed as the 2009 third-rounder from Ole Miss. He has five touchdowns and is coming off a Monday night performance in Cincinnati in which he had five catches for 110 yards.

“I think Wallace is a top vertical receiver,” Belichick said. “His yards-per-catch average is very high and rightly so. He gets behind a lot of people. He’s a real fast player. I think we’ve seen other players like that. There’s always – well, I wouldn’t say always – there’s some degree of questions on players like that on how much they can impact the game in the deep part of the field and if they can’t, what their production will be when it’s not a go route. We can look at a lot of players that have come out of the draft that were fast players that were taken high that weren’t able to do some of the other things that they needed to do or players that weren’t drafted as high that ended up being maybe more productive players because they were so productive in the deep part of the field and they were able to contribute in other ways, too.

“So, part of that is a function of your offense and how you plan to use the player and part of it is a function of the player’s skill and how much he’s able to develop maybe the things you don’t see in college when you ask him to run that on offense. So, that’s part of the guess work you do when you’re drafting those players – how much you project them to even be able to do or be able to improve. [It’s] a very unscientific process, as we all know.”

But some teams seem to master that unscientific process better than others.

11-17-2010, 09:21 AM
Consistency and continuity are the primary factors for our success.

The Rooney's and the organization do not make radical course changes or have kneee jerk reactions. They leave that to the ramblings of message board posters who have no impact or influence on anything.