Steelers are in a Heavyweight Pride Fight

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Six Super Bowl titles in eight tries = The Standard.

The Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4) are not in a prize fight, they are now in a PRIDE fight. It is not about Xs & Os anymore. This proud group of veterans will not accept rolling over and getting ready for 2014.

The Steelers are not a team that’s in it for next season. You know, when a team starts out in the dumps and began to look for players to build with for the future? No. They don’t do that! They are either going to dig themselves out of this hole and make history or ruin other team’s seasons. There will be no tanking or setting themselves up to draft South Carolina’s Jadaveon Clowney (although that would be nice to have him play for Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau.)

But, this 2013 season is an example of the bad side of experiencing so many years of success. The Indianapolis Colts have dealt with it. The New England Patriots have dealt with it to some degree (they haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2005.) The San Francisco 49ers of the late 80’s and Dallas Cowboys of the 90’s dealt with it too. All of these teams struggled to retain their championship form as key players aged and retired or were lost to free agency.

This is what happens when you’ve spent over a decade as a championship contender. This is the other side of winning 2 Super Bowls out of 3 in 7 seasons, and winning 3 AFC Titles out of 5 in 10 years. Just look at history, there’s no reason to fear this will last long.

My biggest concern is the backlash Head Coach Mike Tomlin will get. If the season continues this way, it will be the third time his Steelers have missed the playoffs in his Seven seasons at the helm. His predecessor, Bill Cowher, had struggling seasons as well. Cowher’s Steeler teams missed three straight playoffs from 1998 to 2000 before returning to the AFC championship game in 2001 and beginning this decade long run of success that led to 2 Vince Lombardi Trophies in 3 appearances in the big game.

Make no mistake there will be casualties, maybe even before this article is posted. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley will probably be first to go, but changes will need to be made. I just don’t think Head Coach should be one of them.

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Tomlin is running out of ideas.

Changing head coaches is what delayed the 49ers return to glory and has kept the Cleveland Browns in sports purgatory. Sticking with a coach during the down times as the Rooney family has done in the past, is why this organization is the leader in Super Bowl victories. There have only been 3 coaches in Pittsburgh since 1969, ironically or not, that was the season after the Steelers last 0-4 start.

Steeler Nation, You’re in the PRIDE fight too. Don’t pack away your terrible towels, jerseys, hoodies or other game day traditions, because this organization can turn it around just as quick as the 2012 Indianapolis Colts. Who would’ve thought they’d be where they are when they went 2-12 and let Peyton Manning go?

The franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is only 31 years old. The offensive line that has 3 starters under 3 years of experience will get better as they gain more experience and General Manager Kevin Colbert will draft the right players to play the STEELER way, especially on defense.

The key to re-opening the Steelers championship window is already in place. Patience, it won’t be long before Lombardi trophy number seven joins the six pack in the trophy case.

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#7 isn’t as far away as it seems.

NEXT 4 GAMES:
10/6 BYE WEEK
10/13 @ NY Jets
10/20 vs. Baltimore Ravens
10/27 @ Oakland Raiders
11/03 @ NE Patriots

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