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Thread: We'll ultimately look back at 3/13/19 as a turning point for this team for the better

  1. #51
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    Monday, Jun 03, 2019 12:42 PM

    Building a team bond


    Teresa Varley

    Steelers.com


    Remember when you were a kid and you had the excitement of heading out on a field trip instead of sitting through class all day.


    The excitement level was through the roof, as fun was on the lesson plan for the day.


    That’s the same feeling Steelers’ players had on Monday morning when they learned that instead of hitting the field for another OTA session they were headed to Topgolf for a day of fun and team building.


    “It’s always fun to see young guys thinking we are going to practice on a day like this and their faces light up when Coach (Mike) Tomlin says it’s team building today,” said Ramon Foster. “It’s good because you get to see guys outside of the building. As big as a team we are, it’s good to keep guys close in a non-football atmosphere.”


    Tomlin has made it an annual tradition to give the players a day off during OTAs, a day committed to team building where fun is the only thing on tap. This year they changed things up, going to Topgolf for the first time, a choice that was popular with the players.


    “It’s great. I think if you expect them to work cooperatively together they have to get to know one another in informal activities,” said Tomlin. “We provide them a platform for that. I think guys just generally enjoy themselves.


    “This is a key time for forming those bonds, but there is never a bad time for that. That is one of the reasons I still like that we are committed to go away to training camp when others aren’t. I feel like that opportunity in that secluded setting is also a good opportunity for those type of things.


    “The guys get competitive. It doesn’t surprise me. Hopefully it doesn’t get too bad today.”


    It got competitive alright. Keep in mind, these are professional athletes and they don’t like to lose, no matter what they are doing.


    “There was a lot of competitive stuff going on today, a lot of people chirping in people’s ears,” laughed Tyler Matakevich.


    Defensive coordinator Keith Butler is one of the best golfers in the group, but the players still challenged him.


    “I am trying to win,” said Vince Williams. “Coach Butts thinks he is a pretty good golfer, but we are going to see today.


    “I think this is a huge part of building the culture. You want to have fun. Every day we come out here and go to work. You have to take days like this to get to know each other, spend a little personal time together.”


    For the rookies this was one of the first opportunities to get to know the veterans away from the facility and the field, and it’s something they took advantage of.


    “I think this is a big part of team camaraderie, of studying your teammates on a personal level,” said rookie Devin Bush, who is also a rookie when it comes to golf. “You get a better understanding of how people go about their business and the mindset that they have.


    "It’s also about creating friendships. Everything is about relationships. If things aren’t good in your relationships, from personal to work, things crumble. This helps you build that relationship and get to know the people you are working with.”


    https://www.steelers.com/news/building-a-team-bond
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  2. #52
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    Thursday, Jun 06, 2019 03:29 PM

    Coming together as one


    Teresa Varley

    Steelers.com


    From a distance it looked like your average assembly line. Person after person doing their part to put together the finished product.


    Up close, though, it was more. Much, much more as a matter of fact.


    The tables, the long lines of people wearing hair nets, putting their time in to do the same thing over and over again, and the boxes being packed were a far cry from an assembly line inside the practice field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon.


    It was a mission of love and compassion, a mission to help people in the Pittsburgh area.


    Steelers’ players, coaches and staff all worked together to pack meals for Feeding Children Everywhere, with the meals staying right at home to help those served by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.


    “It was great to see so many people from the organization come out,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “To be honest with you I wasn’t expecting so many. It exceeded my expectations. It shouldn’t have. I know we have so many great people in the organization, players, coaches and staff. It’s great to see everybody here.


    “We wanted to make sure the project was going to benefit local families. The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank does great work here. We have been supporters of theirs for a long time. It’s great to be able to do that.”


    The goal was to pack 15,000 meals, in just about an hour mind you. This group wasn’t going to let anyone down, packing a total of 16,185 meals for local families.


    “This means everything,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “We are members of the community. We have special roles within it. Ones we embrace. To have the opportunity to engage and contribute is something we are all excited about.


    “It’s good to see them in a different setting, seeing them do something good and positive for the community we care about.”


    The event was part of the NFL’s goal to have 100 Million Minutes of volunteerism and community activism this year as the league celebrates its 100th season. And for it to benefit those in the Pittsburgh area made it special for everyone taking part.


    Incredible effort by our players, coaches and staff giving back today, packing over 16,000 meals for those in need in the Pittsburgh area. Proud to be a part of this organization. #SteelersHuddlefor100 pic.twitter.com/CB6wy0tuKu
    — Mike Tomlin (@CoachTomlin) June 6, 2019

    “It’s awesome to see not just the players and coaches, but the staff too, all together helping the community,” said T.J. Watt. “I am thankful to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and really proud. To be able to keep all of the food in the area is important. We are all one in this community, we help each other, and we are just here to lend a hand.”


    The group worked side-by-side preparing the meals, an Italian veggie pasta, and you could feel the joy and happiness from everyone as each meal was packaged knowing it was going to help someone who truly is in need.


    “It makes your heart smile to help other people,” said receiver James Washington. “There are people less fortunate than we are. It makes you forget about yourself.”


    Doing it for the community.@JamesConner_ | #SteelersHuddlefor100 pic.twitter.com/6NeNyqsQsl
    — Steelers Community Relations (@SteelersCR) June 6, 2019

    And it should come as no surprise that the players made sure everyone got competitive, with each table wanting to pack the most meals.


    “We want to help. This is a great way to do it,” said General Manager Kevin Colbert, making sure he didn’t slow down his line as he stopped to talk. “We take for granted too often that we have a full meal at our disposal every day, three times a day. When you can provide any meal for someone who doesn’t have it, it means a lot.”


    All of the ingredients were delivered to the team via a truck the day before the packing, and then participants were all trained and then the work began.


    “This project is going to feed so many families in the Pittsburgh area,” said Christina Redman, National VP of Partner Relations for Feeding Children Everywhere. “I think this is amazing. To have the guys give back. They are compassionate, they are caring. Amazing.”


    The goal of the organization is to end hunger in five years in the United States. They have shipped meals to all 50 states, and will continue to do so as long as there is a need.


    “This is amazing,” said Ryan Shazier. “It’s great we have everyone out here, for one goal to help people in our area. Hunger is a huge issue right now everywhere. It’s big we are doing this right here in our area, that there are people right in our own back yard battling hunger. You never know how close to home the issue can hit.”


    https://www.steelers.com/news/coming-together-as-one
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  3. #53
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    David DeCastro: Everything’s more team-oriented now

    Posted by Josh Alper on June 11, 2019, 4:00 PM EDT

    The Steelers locker room looks different than it did when they were last on the field in Week 17 of the 2018 season and the word this offseason has been that it feels different as well.

    Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and others have said that the new feeling is a better one. Right guard David DeCastro added his name to the list of those who feel the team has moved in a better direction.

    DeCastro said that he feels everyone is now on the same page in Pittsburgh and called it a more “team-oriented” group than the one they had in previous years.

    “I think things have changed pretty well around here,” DeCastro said, via ESPN.com. “Just coming back and seeing it, talking to people. I’m excited, I really am, just to play football.”

    The Steelers still have to show that the new atmosphere produces winning results on the field, but it probably doesn’t hurt that players are happy to be in the building this year.

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/06/11/david-decastro-everythings-more-team-oriented-now/
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  4. #54
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    Mike Tomlin: Can’t judge chemistry or culture until faced with adversity

    Posted by Josh Alper on June 14, 2019, 6:57 AM EDT

    A running theme of comments from Steelers players this offseason was that the team had eradicated the drama that enveloped it last season.

    Trading Antonio Brown to the Raiders and watching Le'Veon Bell leave as a free agent certainly changed the mix in Pittsburgh, but head coach Mike Tomlin sounded less sure about how lasting the change will turn out to be. He pointed out that it’s a bit easier to be on the same page this time of year than it is in the months to come.

    “You can’t judge chemistry or culture until you’re faced with adversity,” Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “At this time of the year all 32 teams are undefeated and unscored upon. There was some good teaching and learning. The journey itself is the indicator of that, some of the adversity the journey provides. Obviously, when you’re in a training camp-like setting, and it’s highly competitive and physically and mentally challenging, that will be the first real adversity this team sees.”

    In addition to finding out if the newfound harmony survives rough patches, the Steelers still have to find out whether their new makeup will lead to better results on the field. If it doesn’t, it’s hard to imagine too many people will be crowing about the team’s culture come December.

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/06/14/mike-tomlin-cant-judge-chemistry-or-culture-until-faced-with-adversity/
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    “You can’t judge chemistry or culture until you’re faced with adversity,”
    Something I always say. Especially after a team gets humiliated. Any team can have that happen to them, but it is how you respond that is the greater indicator of character.

    This will be a much different season with a huge change to team dynamic and balance of power. I think as time goes by we will come to understand that AB was a hugely divisive character within the locker room. Over the years we heard accounts of things that happened inside the walls, and then a bit more came out during the off-season. To those of us on the outside, the timeline was sporadic with issues dotting it along the way. For those living inside those walls, I'm sure that it was much more constant with the timeline of issues being much more continuous.

    I am not looking to start a "Tomlin did or did not handle the situation well because we don't know whether or not he allowed it to continue or if he was able to keep a lid on it as much as possible. My point is simply that up until this season that dynamic existed, and now it does not. I can't wait to see if there is any visible change.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    Something I always say. Especially after a team gets humiliated. Any team can have that happen to them, but it is how you respond that is the greater indicator of character.

    This will be a much different season with a huge change to team dynamic and balance of power. I think as time goes by we will come to understand that AB was a hugely divisive character within the locker room. Over the years we heard accounts of things that happened inside the walls, and then a bit more came out during the off-season. To those of us on the outside, the timeline was sporadic with issues dotting it along the way. For those living inside those walls, I'm sure that it was much more constant with the timeline of issues being much more continuous.

    I am not looking to start a "Tomlin did or did not handle the situation well because we don't know whether or not he allowed it to continue or if he was able to keep a lid on it as much as possible. My point is simply that up until this season that dynamic existed, and now it does not. I can't wait to see if there is any visible change.
    I really don't believe it mattered.

  7. #57
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    We are about to find out. Time to reserve judgement until we see one way or the other.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  8. #58
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    Ben Roethlisberger: Nice for Steelers to return to 'normalcy'

    4:28 AM ET

    Jeremy Fowler
    ESPN Staff Writer

    PITTSBURGH -- Before fading into the quiet summer, Ben Roethlisberger entertained hundreds of football campers for about six hours Sunday, throwing go balls to young teens and helping feed 5,000 families through a Kraft Hunger initiative.

    Before he left the camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback addressed the new, less dramatic reality with his team.

    "It’s been a little crazy the last few years, maybe moreso than usual that we’re used to dealing with," said Roethlisberger in a media session from his camp. "To kind of get back to quote unquote normalcy is kind of nice.”

    Offseason workouts were noticeably calmer without the storylines surrounding Le'Veon Bell's contract status and Antonio Brown's unhappiness in Pittsburgh. The Steelers traded Brown to the Oakland Raiders in March after he disparaged the organization publicly, failed to show up for work in Week 17 and criticized Roethlisberger's leadership. Bell signed with the New York Jets in free agency after a yearlong holdout on the franchise tag.

    For months, players were tasked with answering questions about both players, and losing three December games by three points apiece didn't help matters.

    The Steelers have placed the onus on Roethlisberger, who in April signed a new three-year deal worth $85 million, to keep the offense humming without them.

    In recent weeks, Roethlisberger said he erred in criticizing Brown's route-running on his radio show after Week 12 and vowed to refocus his leadership after the team failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

    Roethlisberger emerged from minicamp pleased with his arsenal, which includes two Pro Bowlers -- wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner -- as well as tight end Vance McDonald and free-agent acquisition Donte Moncrief.

    "I’m excited, I really am excited in what we have," Roethlisberger said. "We put a lot of work in, that’s what it’s going to take, it’s going to take a team effort. We’re all going to give everything we have and see where it goes. We can’t predict the future, but we can predict we’re going to give everything we have.”

    Until then, Roethlisberger reveled in hosting a camp on Father's Day, with his own family in attendance. Receivers Ryan Switzer and Diontae Johnson helped work the camp.

    Roethlisberger plans to set a tone for his team, but not just yet. Training camp reporting day is July 25.

    "We’ll approach it a lot like we have any other season -- we’ll get ready to go when it’s time in July," Roethlisberger said. "Right now it’s not time, it’s time for us to enjoy some down time. When it’s time for this season, we’ll all be ready to go."

    https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/30904/ben-roethlisberger-nice-for-steelers-to-return-to-normalcy
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Maniac View Post
    We are about to find out. Time to reserve judgement until we see one way or the other.
    My opinion is based on the professionalism of players, history of teams with player issues that won games, and I can put myself in the other player's position. Players don't need to be best friends with each other to go out on the field to do their jobs. It's safe to say that not everybody in a locker room likes each other. They are professionals that are paid a lot of money to do their jobs. Regular workers bees can witness something happen to a coworker or be dealing with issues at home and perform their jobs at a high level. It's what people are paid to do.

    Teams without player issues win or lose in sports. People like to make more of the off the field stuff than is necessary. The social media age is what we live in so every little story turns into a big deal.

    I think many of the players had to overcome more obstacles in their lives than the stuff that happens regarding football. Ultimately it's going to depend on how the team performs on the field.
    Last edited by BURGH86STEEL; 06-18-2019 at 12:07 PM.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by BURGH86STEEL View Post
    My opinion is based on the professionalism of players, history of teams with player issues that won games, and I can put myself in the other player's position. Players don't need to be best friends with each other to go out on the field to do their jobs. It's safe to say that not everybody in a locker room likes each other. They are professionals that are paid a lot of money to do their jobs. Regular workers bees can witness something happen to a coworker or be dealing with issues at home and perform their jobs at a high level. It's what people are paid to do.

    Teams without player issues win or lose in sports. People like to make more of the off the field stuff than is necessary. The social media age is what we live in so every little story turns into a big deal.

    I think many of the players had to overcome more obstacles in their lives than the stuff that happens regarding football. Ultimately it's going to depend on how the team performs on the field.
    Boom........
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

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