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SteelCrazy
02-08-2011, 08:27 PM
It’s strange how the perception of a football team can change in just three and a half hours.

Going into Super Bowl XLV, experts were casting the Steelers as the next NFL dynasty. Had they beaten the Packers on Sunday night in Arlington, Texas, it would have been their seventh Super Bowl championship and third in the last six years. That run would have been almost good enough to rival their brethren from the 1970s—those Steelers won four Super Bowls in six years—and make the new millennium Patriots (three titles in four years) so yesterday.

Instead, a 31-25 loss to the Packers did nothing to distinguish the Steelers.

“Nothing separates us from the other 30 teams that weren’t here,” Steelers strong safety Ryan Clark said after the Super Bowl. “We’re just like them. All the work, all the adversity we overcame, it’s for nothing.

"We didn’t finish the job.”

If you don’t think it’s hard to repeat in the NFL, just look at the track record of Super Bowl teams from the 2000 to 2009 seasons. During that span, 11 of the 20 teams that played in the Super Bowl didn’t even make it to the playoffs the following season.

The Steelers, however, aren’t intimidated by recent history.

“I feel good about our team,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said. “We’ll go into next (season) feeling like we’ll take another shot at it. It takes a few days to recover from this game, so we’ll lick our wounds for a couple of days and then get back to work.”

Here are three reasons to believe the Steelers can rebound and again contend in '11 and three reasons to worry about the team even making the playoffs:

The pros
1. The foundation. No NFL team has a stronger infrastructure. The Steelers' philosophy is built around consistency and continuity. This is an organization that doesn’t change coaches often—only three times since 1968.

And speaking of coaches, how about Mike Tomlin? He navigated the Steelers through an early-season storm when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for four games, and at 38, he nearly became the youngest coach ever to win two Super Bowls.

“I think he has a pretty good temperature of the team at all times,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior said of Tomlin.

2. Players who are young and talented. Even though Roethlisberger has played seven seasons and has two Super Bowl rings, he only turns 29 on March 2. Many of the offensive skills players—running back Rashard Mendenhall and wide receivers Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders—are just starting to tap into their potential. Defensive end Ziggy Hood, linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons and safety Troy Polamalu should continue to be core players on defense.

3. Coaches on the field. Veteran players such as wide receiver Hines Ward, linebacker James Harrison and Farrior know the Steeler Way and make sure younger teammates learn it and adhere to it.

The cons
1. Personnel turnover. It might not happen next season, but the Steelers eventually will have to replace players who are getting long in the tooth. Farrior just completed his 14th season. Ward and right tackle Flozell Adams are 13-year veterans. Defensive end Aaron Smith has a dozen years of service, and injuries have marred each of his last two seasons.

2. Offensive line issues. Season-ending injuries to tackles Willie Colon and Max Starks exposed a lack of depth. Rookie center Maurkice Pouncey looks like he’ll be a long-term anchor, but the Steelers must address almost every other position up front.

3. Super Bowl hangover. The Steelers seem to lose their edge coming off Super Bowls. After beating the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, the Steelers went 8-8 the next season and missed the playoffs. After defeating the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers went 9-7 the next year, again missing the postseason.

And those Steelers teams were coming off of Super Bowl championships. How challenging will it be for the '11 Steelers to contend after losing in the Super Bowl?



Read more: http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... z1DPuWmNv9 (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-02-08/a-steelers-return-to-playoffs-a-50-50-proposition-at-best#ixzz1DPuWmNv9)

Shawn
02-08-2011, 09:26 PM
Pure silliness. With a healthy OL, and hopefully a first round DB there is no reason we shouldn't be better.

Crash
02-08-2011, 09:31 PM
And those Steelers teams were coming off of Super Bowl championships. How challenging will it be for the '11 Steelers to contend after losing in the Super Bowl?

Easier. No banquet circuits. No using your off season hearing everyone tell you how great you are.

The motivation to get back should already be there.

papillon
02-08-2011, 11:28 PM
Hopefully, this will be the year that Ben enjoys his off season without incident and comes back hungrier than this year.

Pappy

Crash
02-08-2011, 11:37 PM
This is also a very big off season for Max Starks. His time here with Tomlin hasn't been the best. He started the first two years on the bench. Got hurt to end 2007 and hurt this year.

He cannot show up near 400 pounds and using camp to lose weight, he needs to rehab that neck and come in camp ready to go.

skyhawk
02-08-2011, 11:37 PM
garbage.

Any other team would be favored or expected to return with what the Steelers have. And the Steelers have a Super Bowl hangover when they've WON the SB. Now, they have time to really put together a strong team.

papillon
02-09-2011, 12:27 AM
This is also a very big off season for Max Starks. His time here with Tomlin hasn't been the best. He started the first two years on the bench. Got hurt to end 2007 and hurt this year.

He cannot show up near 400 pounds and using camp to lose weight, he needs to rehab that neck and come in camp ready to go.

I agree with you on this for sure. Not just Starks, Colon as well, a full complement of O-linemen to compete for jobs will be a good thing, IMO.

Pappy

Crash
02-09-2011, 12:30 AM
Colon ruptured an Achillies, his rehab alone will get him in shape simply because of what he's rehabbing. You don't run with your neck, so Starks can still sit at home and eat.

Chadman
02-09-2011, 12:33 AM
At the SB neither Starks or Colon looked to be too badly out of shape.

papillon
02-09-2011, 12:40 AM
At the SB neither Starks or Colon looked to be too badly out of shape.

It's the off season when you're at home and not going to meetings, seeing the guys and all things that go along with being part of the team during the season. Once they all say their goodbyes and head for vacations, visit family and go to Disney World is when the sedentary lifestyle sets in.

I believe both Starks and Colon are good soldiers and will be ready to compete in the fall, but you never know.

Pappy

hawaiiansteel
02-10-2011, 08:03 PM
Will Steelers suffer runner-up curse?

FEB 10
By James Walker


History has proven the emotion of losing a Super Bowl is one of the toughest things to overcome in the NFL. It takes so much work, dedication and things to go your way just to get to the big game. So to fall short is difficult to overcome for most franchises.

Now that Super Bowl XLV is in the books, it's time to ask a key question: Will the Pittsburgh Steelers fall victim to the runner-up curse in 2011?

Over the past decade, seven of the last 10 teams to lose in Super Bowls have failed even to make the playoffs the following year. Of the three teams that made the postseason, no team returned to the title game.

Pittsburgh, one of the NFL's most consistent franchises, believes it has the talent and veteran leadership to compete for another championship next season. But the Steelers will have to overcome a lot of negative history.

Here is a look at previous Super Bowl runner-ups:

Runner-up curse?

Year Team Record Playoffs
2001 Giants 7-9 No
2002 Rams 7-9 No
2003 Raiders 4-12 No
2004 Panthers 7-9 No
2005 Eagles 6-10 No
2006 Seahawks 9-7 Yes
2007 Bears 7-9 No
2008 Patriots 11-5 No
2009 Cardinals 10-6 Yes
2010 Colts 10-6 Yes
2011 Steelers ??? ???

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post?id=37412