View Full Version : 5 key personnel moves that helped Steelers reach Super Bowl

01-31-2011, 12:14 AM
Five key personnel moves that helped the Steelers reach the Super Bowl

by Clifton Brown
Sporting News

The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken quite a journey the past 10 months, from franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger facing sordid accusations, to a trip to Super Bowl XLV.

Here are five key personnel moves that helped them reach this point.


Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is helped off the field during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the New York Jets. (AP photo)

March 26: Re-signed QB Charlie Batch

Back story: A long-time reliable Steelers backup, Batch has a history of delivering in emergency situations.

Impact on Steelers: With Roethlisberger serving a four-game suspension, Batch came to the rescue in Week 3, throwing three touchdown passes during a 38-13 victory over the Buccaneers. Two other Steelers quarterbacks, Bryon Leftwich and Dennis Dixon, had gone down with injuries. But Batch was ready and led the Steelers to a key victory.

Without Batch, maybe the Steelers do not win that game. Maybe they do not go 3-1 without Roethlisberger. Maybe they do not win the AFC North, earn a first-round bye and play two home playoff games. Instead of folding during Roethlisberger’s absence, the Steelers bonded and set the tone for another special season.

“We’ve gone through a lot as a team, and I think we’ve stuck together, which is why I love playing for this organization and this team,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re a resilient team.”

April 12: Traded WR Santonio Holmes to the Jets for fifth-round pick

Back story: Already dealing with Roethlisberger’s off-field trouble, the Steelers decided to dump Holmes, another talented player who was suspended for the season’s first four games.

Impact on Steelers: The decision to trade Holmes was shocking when it happened – discarding a former Super Bowl MVP in his prime for a fifth-round pick. But the Steelers’ ability to replace talent with talent is a key to their long-term success. Moving Holmes created an opportunity for Mike Wallace to become one of the league’s top deep threats this season. And the Steelers traded the fifth-rounder they got for Holmes to the Cardinals and acquired two key players: starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, plus a sixth-round pick that became wide receiver Antonio Brown.

In hindsight, the Holmes trade worked out beautifully for the Steelers. Wallace has become a mainstay; Brown made big plays as a rookie; and McFadden helped the secondary. Meanwhile, Holmes is a free agent who may not have re-signed with the Steelers anyway.

April 24: Drafted C Maurkice Pouncey in the first round

Back story: Needing offensive line help, the Steelers pounced on Pouncey (18th pick) when he decided to forego his senior season at Florida and enter the draft.

Impact on Steelers: Even the Steelers could not have expected Pouncey to be this good this fast. He started all 16 games, made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, and became the anchor to their offensive line. Whether Pouncey can play or not in Super Bowl XLV will be one of the week’s main story lines. Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC championship game and will spend the week doing whatever he can to get back on the field.

July 29: Signed RT Flozell Adams as a free agent

Back story: After 12 seasons and one playoff victory as a left tackle with the Dallas Cowboys, Adams switched teams, switched positions, and reached the Super Bowl in his first season with the Steelers.

Impact on Steelers: When starting RT Willie Colon suffered a season-ending knee injury in July, the Steelers called Adams, and he has answered in a huge way. Adams does not have to face as many premier pass rushers playing right tackle, and joining a contender brought out the best in Adams. Now at age 35, Adams has a chance to win his first Super Bowl ring.

“Honestly, it means just as much for me, if not more, to win it for Flozell," Roethlisberger said. "To get to play in one, and it’d be in Dallas. I want to win one for him as much as I do for myself.”

Nov. 16: Cut PK Jeff Reed, signed PK Shaun Suisham

Back story: Reed had been the Steelers’ placekicker for eight years, winning two Super Bowl rings. But after Reed missed seven of his first 22 field goal attempts this season, including several in crucial situations, the Steelers decided they had to make a change.
Impact on Steelers: A reliable field goal kicker is a must for a contender, and Suisham has been that for the Steelers, making 16 of 18 field goal attempts since being signed. Now Suisham, who has been cut by six different teams, is about to kick in the biggest game of his life, and the Steelers hope he can handle it.

Read more: http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/feed/20 ... z1CZwupusH (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/feed/2011-01/steelers/story/five-key-personnel-moves-that-helped-the-steelers-reach-the-super-bowl#ixzz1CZwupusH)

Discipline of Steel
01-31-2011, 07:45 AM
Good article, thanks for posting...

HUGE slap in the face that the Steelers are going to the SB and Stonio is waking and baking to his Playstation, with no team for next year.