Blog Entry

Steelers defending title in '09

Posted on: February 7, 2009 12:26 pm

After their amazing 6th Superbowl title, I have much hope for the Steelers to defend their title in the 2009 season.  The biggest reason, the schedule.  We all know the '08 Steelers had one of the toughest schedules in football, and they went 12-4 with it.  In '09, the Steelers will face (besides their division inc. Browns, Bengals, and Ravens) Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, Broncos, Titans, Dolphins, Bears, Packers, Lions, and Vikings.  Not an overwhelming schedule based off of '08 performances, with only  4 playoff teams being faced.  However, maybe this is a trap, because the tough schedule this year led to the Steelers being a tougher team with facing hard games all year...

Another reason I believe the Steelers will be able to defend their title (this I mean repeating, yes there I said it) would be the coaching staff.  Mike Tomlin is no lame duck.  Last time the Steelers won the SB in 2005, Coach Bill Cowher already had one foot out the door.  The team just did not seem the same.  I believe Mike Tomlin is only going to continue to grow as a great football coach.  Also, with DC Dick Lebeau returning as a 48 year old man (sorry all year I heard Madden say "he's 71 going on 48") the defense will remain a powerhouse.  The biggest issue at the coaching staff I have is OC Bruce Arians.  He does not create an identity for this football team.  However, at times, like the first half of the Superbowl against the Cardinals, first half against the Ravens in the AFC Championship game, and the entire Chargers divisional game, Bruce Arians came up with great play calling, but the rest of the time, he is so predictable and his calling just stalls out the offense.

The most important factor leading to the Steelers repeating (yes I am able to just flat out say that right now, still feel like I'm doing wrong by saying it though) is the players.  Ben Roethlisberger had a great playoff run, and let's not forget he had troubles this season.  I believe he had 17 TDs and 15 ints...however a season before he threw for the 2nd highest amount of TDs of 31.  The best of Ben Roethlisberger should come out this year with maturity under his belt after this Superbowl win (meaning no more motorcycles without a helmet).  Now the biggest question is the O-line. Wilie Colon, Darnell Stapleton, Justin Hartwig, Chris Kemoeatu, and Max Starks did have many problems this year in pass protecting, which is the hardest thing for O-line to do.  However, let's not forget to recognize that the only one on this line that has been a regular starter for the Steelers outside of this season is Starx.  This was the first time for all 5 those men to play as a unit together.  It takes time for the O-Line to make a chemistry and work together.  I don't think the line is as in dire need as some people believe.  As FA go, both Starx and Marvel Smith are up.  I say Smith will be the cheaper player due to his injuries, and let Starx go, and use Smith to develop younger players.  Other than that, the Steelers should sign Kemoeatu and maybe draft 1-2 linemen to develop up.  This line will improve tremendously just by having an offseason to work together as a unit.

For the rest of the players, offensively, Nate Washington is a good WR, if they can keep him cheap great, if not, I look for the Steelers to look for a WR in the draft to make up for Washington and Ward coming of age (I also look for Ward to take a paycut due to the fact he will have a lesser role in the '09 year).  Limas Sweed will come on in the '09 season with maturity, meaning no more dropped passes going in for a TD.  They are set at RB's with Mewelde Moore, Rashard Mendenhall, Willie Parker, and Gary Russell.  I look for Mendenhall to replace Parker by the end of '09 as the starting back however. 

Defensively, the Steelers will probably let Larry Foote go...he wants to return to Detriot and finish his career there.  The Steelers will have to sign Keyaron Fox, who played great when he was in, and maybe him, Timmons, or Bailey will take the position of MLB to replace Foote. Bryant McFadden might be lost, if the Steelers don't resign him, they will look for a replacement in the draft.  The biggest hit will be to the special teams.  Arnold Harrison, Sean McHugh, and Andre Fraizer were all very good on special teams, and they will all be FAs.  Special teams might not be that important to some, but the Steelers too often have had bad coverage and let big plays happened...without these guys, it will happen more.

My ideal draft would consist of 2 linemen to develop into the system.  A possesion reciever.  A DE for the aging Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith.  A DT to be a backup to Casey Hampton, and since Orpheus Roye is a FA. A safety since Anthony Smith will be let go into FA as a "failed project." And depending on what's out there either 2 CBs or 1 CB and 1 LB.  Ideally,  McFadden will be kept, than the Steelers will only need a CB to fill in, and then they can go after a LB to develop into the role and that can play special teams.

All this said, if the draft happens as I hope, I think the Steelers have a very good chance to repeat.  The core players are staying intact, Tomlin is ready to do it all again, and the easier schedule leads me to believe this team has everything in place to defend their title and repeat. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Steelers

Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2009 12:07 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

I wish Pats fans would cease the Brady worship.  It's both ancient history and premature.  History because Brady's great playoff performances are in the past.  Brady hasn't won the big one for half a decade, and his gaudy stats last year didn't help him when facing a formidable pass rush, which several top teams (Giants, Eagles, Steelers, Vikings, Cowboys, et. al.) can supply.  It's also premature since Brady's past record is no prologue to what he will do in '09.  Look at Carson Palmer's performance after his knee surgery to see what can happen to great QBs after such catastropic injuries--Palmer was never the same thrower.  As for the claim that the Steelers only won the SB because they avoided New England, this is silly.  Actually, the Steelers were luckier to have avoided the Titans rather than the Pats in the playoffs, since they lost to the former while handling the latter with ease.  And it's far from clear that Brady would have won that regular season game either.  In any case, I'm sure Steelers fans would love to see a Pats-Steelers showdown in the playoffs this coming season, so this silly speculation on how lucky the Steelers are to win Super Bowls without facing New England can finally end. 

Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2009 11:28 am

Steelers defending title in '09

Packfan, very valid point. Goes along with what I said to the other gentleman about why they play the games. On PAPER it looked like the Steelers had the schedule from hell this year. And I will say it was a tough schedule. Based on pre-season predictions, I was figuring the Steelers to finish around 8-8 or 9-7. But as the season played out, you could argue that 5-6 other teams had harder schedules based on how it panned out this year.

BUT, we played the games and found out a lot of teams were paper tigers, while others were surprising upstarts.  Falcons were fun to watch, Cards were a good story, as was the Dallas Idols underachieving season. 

Next year we will hear all about tough schedules based on history form the self annointed experts in the media and then the teams will strap it on and decide it on the field.


Since: Sep 23, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2009 10:58 am

Steelers defending title in '09

Ok slick, let's talk about your NFC East. First of all, how did those teams fare in the big games????  Your Giants choked, the Eagles choked, Skins were never a facctor and the Cowboys were too busy waiting for the trophy to be handed to them from all the pre-season predictions of their greatness.

How the Steelers matched up against them?? I took many things from the loss to Giants and Eagles. The fact that the offense for both couldn't do crap against our Def. The only thing that won those games for NY and Philly was the patchwork O line getting Ben killed and losing the field position battle. ANY offensive output in those games and it's a laugher. The Dallas game was a battle, but we prevailed because of steady TEAM play. Skins??? We handed them a beat down, no surprise. BUT that is why they play the game. If not, then why even watch??? They should have just handed the trophy to Dallas and we could all just wait for the predictions on next year on paper.

Final note. Some of my fellow Steeler fans are getting a little obnoxious (like any other fans after a SB win) but I am a little more realistic. Attitude of the players will determine if we get hit with the hangover. Tomlin will fight that tooth and nail. Hines and some of the other team leaders will do their best to not let it happen as well, but seeing some of the actions that young athletes have shown in sports recently, you just don't know.  IF we address some depth at DB and O line we should be fine, and contend again for the Conf title, but we will have to strap it on and take everyones best shots, AND  "PLAY THE GAMES!!!!!!"

Since: Jun 19, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2009 11:24 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

You New England fans are all the same.  Always have an excuse at the ready when the Pats or the Sox don't win.  The Steelers played with injuries all year, but they are not built around 1 player.  Without Brady, the Pats couldn't make the playoffs.  And quit this talk about luck or I'll start bringing up tuck rules and video tapes.  The Pats had a great run and they may end up the team of the decade, but the team of 2008 was the Steelers - deal with it and good luck next year. 

Since: Jun 30, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2009 10:43 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

For the record I'm a Giants fan with no ties to the Patriots. Can you honestly say with a straight face that the two best teams in there division were at the Super Bowl? No you can't. The Steeler's are first of all in a weaker division and a weaker conference. You better be glad your not in the NFC east.That's funny that a Giants fan was saying something about the best teams not being in the Superbowl...kinda weird considering the Giants weren't the best team in their division last year, they weren't the best team in the NFC last year, and they weren't the best team in the superbowl last year...yet they won it all.  Short term memory I guess, eh tactowngiant?  Why even bother playing the playoffs if everyone makes comments on they weren't the better team.  I mean if you all want the 2 #1 seeds to just play each other in the superbowl, then the NFL should move the BCS.  This year it would have been the NY Giants against the Tennesse Titans.  Last year would have been the New England Patriots against Dallas Cowboys.  The year before that would have been the Chargers against the Bears, and so forth.  This is why the playoffs happen.

By the way, the NFC is the better conference?  Hmmm funny, in the past 9 years, 7 times has an AFC won a superbowl.  I say that's domination against the NFC...but keep believing your boy Eli Manning is the best...look how good he is without Plaxico Burress. Ben Roethlisberger already has 2 rings, remember that.

Since: Oct 6, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2009 4:40 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

If my Packers aren't going to win it next year I don't care if the Steelers repeat in 2009. I will say it's very difficult to win two in a row in this age in the NFL where a 9-7 team can get there.


One thing that is bothering me in the thread though is the claims that the Steelers had the most difficult schedule. That was based on the 2007 season records when the schedules were released. Due to the wide variations from season to season you have to look at this year's strength of schedule to determine who had the toughest go of it.

As you can see, six teams had harder schedules than the Steelers, with the Browns having the most difficult.

Of course there is some fault in this logic too, since teams that lose more are giving more wins to their opponents, and therefore have harder schedules. But it's still a more legitimate approach than comparing to 2007 records.

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2009 2:36 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

Steeler's have had the toughest schedule the last thirty years? Please guy, you guy's were pretty much handed the trophy when you played the Seahawks and this one wasn't any different. For the record I'm a Giants fan with no ties to the Patriots. Can you honestly say with a straight face that the two best teams in there division were at the Super Bowl? No you can't. The Steeler's are first of all in a weaker division and a weaker conference. You better be glad your not in the NFC east.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2009 12:32 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

Due to the fact that all of the Steeler haters, aka Pat fans who still think their team went undefeated this season instead of last, feel the need to run their mouths, i'd like to paint a valid point. 

Spygate was much more in depth then was let out to the public and played a much bigger role in the Pats' championships than we will ever know.  The reason i say this is because of the track record of former Pats' coaches.  Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Romeo?  Really, anyone know what he is gonna do next year?  Charlie Weiss.  Unless he can pull another Brady (Tom, Mr Quinn) out his butt, Weiss should give up.  And finally, Eric Mangini.  How do you not win with the talent in New York this year?  And you add Favre and still suck.  I can't wait for him to carry on the strong tradition of mediocrity in Cleveland.  As a Steeler fan, it is very nice to have an additional two bye weeks every season.  Much love to the Browns' ownership and management.

My point is this, is it really that much of a coincidence that those 3 guys were so good in New England and are so bad elsewhere?  Maybe if 1 out of the 3 had succeeded, i'd give in as coincidence, but all 3?  I almost feel bad for the new guy in Denver and he hasn't even coached yet.  Oh, and i don't want to hear that Belichek is a genius and Tom Brady.. blah blah blah.  Tom Brady is very good, yes.  Belichek was terrible in Cleveland... and then he got a video camera in New England.  And then he passed information along to Romeo, Chuck, Mangini and even the Golden Boy.  Hey, at least Tom picked up Giselle before his career goes down the tubes.

Pats Fans, who is going to play defense for you next year?  You didn't lose because you didn't have Brady, as Cassell was more than serviceable.  You didn't make the playoffs because your defense reads like a nursing home.  Seriously, i'll bet you at least five of your starters have to wear adult diapers.  Defense wins Championships.  See Steelers. Write that down.  Learn it, love it, live it.

Much Love and God Bless 

Since: Feb 9, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2009 12:08 pm

Steelers defending title in '09

If the Steelers play like they have in the playoff run this year, no team will be able to stop them.  Their offense looked explosive, as opposed to the reg. season, defense- need I say more? 

The Steelers have an excellent chance of repeating- only concerns are how the players will adjust their mindset come sept. from the super bowl win and the upcoming draft- we need lineman; too many are free-agents.

Tomlin is a superstar coach and deserves to be ranked with the hall of fame coaches, as well as hall of fame coaches-to-be in his second year; he is a competitor. He took reign of the Steelers after being a protege of Tony Dungy, plus the Tomlin is ALWAYS studying and reading- trying to perfect his coaching abilities.  He made Coach of the Year honors, youngest ever, and won the super bowl, again youngest ever. 

I guarentee that the Steelers will be the best team overall, mlb, nfl, golf, ncaa, nba, etc.  The ownership is special, everyone on that team will give up anything for the Rooney's.  They have such class and it rubs off into the organization- hence 6 SUPER BOWLS!!!


Since: Feb 9, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2009 11:58 am

Steelers defending title in '09

Look at the stats... Patriots are 3-4...Steelers are 2-2; perfect super bowl record in the 2000's.  Yes Brady is one of the best qb's and has dynamic receivers...BUT DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS FRIENDS! NE's defense blew this yr as opposed to previous want to call the Pats a dynasty?! They didn't even win their horrible division!  Miami, Jets, Bills?! Come on now!  Steelers have Baltimore, Cinci- who is typically a good team until this yr, and Cleveland, who has spurts.  Miami always stinks- except for this fluke yr, Jets are so-so and Bills are just crap, poor marshawn lynch.

Steelers have always been number 1 this season- playing in THE hardest schedule and STILL managing home field adv.  The Steelers didn't want home field advantage- they lost every afc championship since 95, until now.  Watch the replay of the NE/PGH game...Brady would've had the same treatment as Cassel- HAVING NO TIME TO STEP BACK AND THROW.  Cassel has the same attributes as Brady, though Brady has more experience. 

Wait until next season, if Brady even heals correctly after the incisions that were infected and having such a bad injury at that.  They HAD to sign Cassel at 14.? million dollars...WHAT IF BRADY'S CAREER IS OVER?!  An injury like that is tough to come back to...


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