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Thread: Merril Hoge says new-look Pittsburgh Steelers are a better team

  1. #1
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    Merril Hoge says new-look Pittsburgh Steelers are a better team

    Merril Hoge says new-look Pittsburgh Steelers are a better team

    By Eric F. Epler | eepler@pennlive.com
    July 14, 2019

    Merril Hoge had little time to complete a down-and-distance report on his former NFL franchise. Just know the former running back and longtime analyst is a bit more engaged with the new-look Pittsburgh Steelers.

    “I think the key work here is team. Teams win championships,” said Hoge on Wednesday, mere minutes before teeing off in the Mid Penn Bank Celebrity Golf Tournament at Hershey Country Club.

    “Quarterbacks don’t win championships, defenses don’t and offenses don’t. They have a lot of weapons there and they feel more like a team now. I like their odds better this year than I did last year.”

    A tumultuous 2018 season saw the Steelers finish 9-6-1 and miss the playoffs, but the lead up to training camp has been an interesting one as Pittsburgh attempts to avoid more off-field distractions and regain its contender status.

    Embattled stars Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are out, leaving WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and RB James Conner as the offensive leaders alongside Ben Roethlisberger.

    “We had our moments,” said Hoge, the bulk of his 3.139 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns coming as Pittsburgh’s fullback from 1987-93.

    “There was a time when we had three players on drug suspension, which was more players than any team in football. But, when you talk about a player’s behavior and you blame an organization or league, that’s irresponsible. Players are responsible for their actions.”

    https://www.pennlive.com/steelers/20...tter-team.html

  2. #2
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    Hoge is right. Better record and success this year barring key injuries

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Hoge is right. Better record and success this year barring key injuries
    All the little things seem to be adding up to this; but we've got to get through camp virtually injury free to really exhale and start to rub our hands together.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (An 9 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.

    My official proclamation: WE WILL NOT WIN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL WITH MIKE TOMLIN AS OUR HEAD COACH. So why delay the inevitable?

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  4. #4
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    I hope so. I don’t really care how close we are as a team in the locker room if we aren’t winning games on the field.

  5. #5
    Pro Bowler

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    Hoge is a bit of a homer but then again so am I. It is nice to hear how team oriented everyone seems to be. I think we are all just anxious to see what this team can do now that the problem children seem to have been sent away to the orphanage.

  6. #6
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    A big win in Foxboro to start off the season would really boost my optimism about this Steelers team.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man of Steel View Post
    A big win in Foxboro to start off the season would really boost my optimism about this Steelers team.
    Was thinking about this. If we win big I'll be psyched. But I'll also feel this uneasy dread, deep down, that Belicheat threw the game to set us up for the playoffs.

    Is it just me??

  8. #8
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    While I want to win every game I won’t be mad if we lose.

    I WILL be upset if we look unprepared and get blasted by Brady.

    One thing I’ve seen recently is the Steelers AND Pats start slow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpmpit View Post
    Was thinking about this. If we win big I'll be psyched. But I'll also feel this uneasy dread, deep down, that Belicheat threw the game to set us up for the playoffs.

    Is it just me??
    I agree. The cheaters don't care all that much about a one-game, outside the division matchup in the regular season. He's not throwing the game. But he's also not throwing the kitchen sink against us either. I think he uses those games to game plan for a potential playoff matchup, hoping the team is dumb enough to have the same gameplan in the playoffs.

    It would be great to win the opener - of course - but the only win against them that I'll ever get excited about is in the playoffs.

  10. #10
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    In game one, New England won't have HoF TE Gronk (retired) or his replacement at TE Ben Watson (suspended to start the year like Edelman was last season). Also, rookie first round pick N'Keal Harry should still be very green in his first NFL start. I figure it will be a RB-centric game plan (Sony Michel, James White, rookie Damian Harris, Rex Burkhead, etc.) for the first game, either running the ball or catching short dump-offs out of the backfield to test our new ILB's Bush and Barron.

    By the time the playoffs roll around, they should be airing it out more, since Harry will be much more experienced, Watson will have returned the lineup, and it wouldn't shock me at all if Gronk game out of retirement around week 10 or so (avoiding training camp dredgery and more than half the season) to join his old team for the stretch run into the playoffs.
    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.

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