View Full Version : Team of decade? Some Pittsburgh players feel cheated

01-28-2011, 05:08 PM
Team of decade? Some Pittsburgh players feel cheated

By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer dlolley@observer-reporter.com

PITTSBURGH - Forget the team of the 1960s vs. the team of the '70s talk with the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers wonder why they're not considered the most dominant team of the last 10 years.

Perhaps, if the Steelers can win their third Super Bowl in six seasons when play the Packers Feb. 6 in Dallas in Super XLV, that will happen.

Until then, however, they Steelers know they'll still play second fiddle to the New England Patriots, who won three Super Bowls early in this decade and played in another at the end of the 2007 season.

With another Super Bowl win, the Steelers - they won in 2005 and 2008 - will match what the Patriots have done in the last 10 seasons.

The Steelers also have been to five AFC Championships during that time, losing to the Patriots in 2001 and 2004. That remains a sore spot for the four players who were with the Steelers in 2001 - nose tackle Casey Hampton and Chris Hoke, defensive end Aaron Smith, and wide receiver Hines Ward.

"Three in six years. We've been to five AFC Championships," Hampton said. "The two we didn't win and go to the Super Bowl, (New England) cheated."

Hampton was referring to Spygate. It was learned in 2007 that the Patriots had been videotaping opposing sidelines for several years in an effort to learn the opponent's defensive signals, a clear violation of NFL rules.

Included in the allegations were a videotape turned into the league from the Steelers' 24-17 loss in the AFC Championship in January 2002. New England went on to win its first Super Bowl following that victory.

The Patriots were eventually fined $250,000 and docked a first-round draft pick in 2008, and coach Bill Belechick was fined $500,000 for the violation.

But that doesn't mean the Steelers have forgotten.

"You talk about the Patriots and the run they went on, but we've been right there with them," Ward said. "(We've been to) five AFC Championship games, two Super Bowls and heading to our third. They don't mention us in that category."

A victory over the Packers would ease some of the pain from those two playoff losses.

"We could be looking at a whole lot more if that didn't happen," Hampton said. "You never know what could have been."

Odds and end zones

Safeties Troy Polamalu (ankle) and Will Allen (knee), center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot) and tackle Jonathan Scott (ribs) did not practice Thursday. ... Defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps) was limited. ... Linebackers Erik Walden (ankle) and Frank Zombo (knee) did not practice for Green Bay.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/loc ... Super-Bowl (http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/01-28-2011-Steelers-Patriots--amp--Super-Bowl)

01-28-2011, 05:40 PM
Man I hope they don't get caught up in the hoopla of team of decade and stuff. They are tiptoeing through this season as it is. They will need ALL their focus come next Sunday to add no.7

NW Steeler
01-28-2011, 05:48 PM
I'd rather they not talk about the Spygate crap at all. It had nothing to do with the azz-kicking they gave us this season. Did it give them an advantage in the two AFCC games against us? Possibly. But we had Kordell in one and a rookie QB in the other. Concentrate on getting #7. It has nothing to do with the f'n Gaytriots.

01-31-2011, 03:58 PM
Steelers: Dynasty discussion comes only after win

Mike Bires Beaver County Times
Monday January 31, 2011


A Pittsburgh Steelers player holds up the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Steelers' 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, in this Feb. 1, 2009 file photo, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Casey Hampton almost cringes when he hears the “D” word. He’s humbled by comparisons to the Steelers of the 1970s. But he’s not quite ready to accept those comparisons just yet.

“Man, we’ll worry about any talk about a dynasty if we’re fortunate to get this one,” said Hampton, a burly nose tackle who’s already etched his place in franchise history as one of its greatest defensive linemen. “I’m not going to take away from what those guys in the ’70s have done. They won their Super Bowls. So I’m not going to compare us to them until we finish the job.”

The job at hand for Hampton and the Steelers is Super Bowl XLV against the Packers. If the Steelers win Sunday, they’ll add another Vince Lombardi Trophy to a trophy case already stocked with six of them.

The first four of those Super Bowl championships were won by a legendary collection of Steelers that includes Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris and Terry Bradshaw, to just name a few. They won Super Bowls to cap off the 1974, ’75, ’78 and ’79 seasons.

The most recent Super Bowl wins were won by what Ben Roethlisberger calls a “band of brothers.” Among them are Hampton, James Harrison, James Farrior, Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Roethlisberger.

They won Super Bowl XL in Detroit five years ago and sent future Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis into retirement with a bang. Two years ago in Tampa, the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII. Roethlisberger ended that thriller by rifling a game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with just 35 ticks left on the clock.

“I enjoy playing for this team and this organization and the Rooneys and putting that Steelers jersey on,” Roethlisberger said. “I enjoy putting the practice jersey on every day and the game jersey on Sundays. That’s something I’m honored to do. I cherish it every day.”

Certainly, there are plenty of similarities between the Steelers of the ‘70s and the modern-day Steelers.

Start with defense. Those from the “Steel Curtain” era were arguably the greatest in NFL history. The defenses of the past six years aren’t in the same class. But no other NFL team can match what the Steelers have done defensively since 2005.

The Steelers of the ‘70s featured a dominating defensive lineman in Greene, a dynamic set of linebackers led by Lambert and Jack Ham, and a one-of-kind defensive back in cornerback Mel Blount.

The Steelers who face the Packers on Sunday feature Hampton on the D-line, a phenomenal cast of linebackers that includes Harrison, Farrior, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons, and an incomparable strong safety, Troy Polamalu.

On offense, the Steelers of the ‘70s had a franchise quarterback in Bradshaw, a pair of star wide receivers in Lynn Swann and John Stallworth and a prolific running back in Franco Harris.

Among the current Steelers trying to win their third Super Bowl are Roethlisberger, one of only 10 QBs with multiple Super Bowl wins; Ward, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver; and running back Rashard Mendenhall. It’s way too early to put Mendenhall among the all-time Steeler greats. But his 1,273 rushing yards this season is the seventh-best in franchise history.

“Those guys from the ‘70s set the standard,” Farrior said.

“That’s what we live up to. Those are the guys we’re chasing. Just to be mentioned in the same conversation with those guys is something that’s very humbling.”

But if the Steelers win Sunday, then maybe they deserve the dynasty distinction.

“What would I qualify as a dynasty?” Hampton said. “Three Super Bowls in six years.

“I mean, we’ve been to five AFC championship games in 10 years. And in two of them, the Patriots cheated (referring to Spygate). So we could be looking at a whole lot more if that didn’t happen. Who knows what could have happened?”

Win or lose Sunday, the Steelers have been an amazing success story in recent years. They have added to a proud legacy.

“I’m proud to be a Steeler, no doubt about it,” Farrior said. “I feel I was born to be a Steeler.”

“I don’t ever walk by those six Super Bowl trophies without looking at them,” Ward said.

“I just stop and think about being a part of this history, of being a part of this organization. It’s a special feeling to be a part of this.”

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... r-win.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2011/january/31/steelers-dynasty-discussion-comes-only-after-win.html)