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83-Steelers-43
11-27-2006, 05:59 AM
Time to cast off XL egos

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 27, 2006


BALTIMORE - The Steelers are a veteran team in transition, with equal parts arrogance and confidence.

That's why it's so difficult for coach Bill Cowher to cut the umbilical cord connecting last year's Super Bowl championship team and this year's also-ran.

But if there were any doubts about where the Steelers are now, compared to where they used to be not so long ago, Sunday's 27-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium put the 2006 season in crystal-clear perspective.

The Steelers' going-going-gone playoff hopes were squashed by the big, bad Ravens, who kicked in the Steelers' front door, ransacked their homes, and made away with the family jewels.

The Steelers' seventh loss in 11 games this season was as ugly as it was revealing.

"It can't get any worse than how I'm feeling, how a lot of people are feeling,'' outside linebacker Clark Haggans said. "I ain't felt this bad since -- I don't even know. There ain't no reference point for this.''

Somehow, the Steelers, still full of themselves, entered yesterday's game against the Ravens, the class of the AFC North, believing the playoffs were a realistic goal.

It seems like quarterback Ben Roethlisberger -- who was used as a tackling dummy by Ravens linebacker Bart Scott on a frightening second-quarter sack -- isn't the only one who has taken one too many hits to the head, because the Steelers are delusional.

Enough with all the pretense and loyalty. Now's the time for Cowher to swallow his pride and start coaching for the future, if the Steelers are indeed part of his future beyond this season.

In other words, stop clinging to last year's memories.

Super Bowl XL is history. It was great fun while it lasted, but turn out the lights, the party's over.

"From what we've done in the past, it's hard, but the past is just that,'' safety Troy Polamalu said.

Cowher benched cornerback Ike Taylor against the Ravens, but he shouldn't stop with making an example of just one starter if he really wants to drive home the point that substandard play merits a sideline pass.

Baltimore embarrassed the Steelers. Everyone who played against the Ravens should have their pay docked.

No starter's job should be safe following yesterday's pitiful performance.

Not my word -- Cowher's.

"This is probably the worst beating I've ever been a part of,'' defensive end Brett Keisel said.

The players know who's performing and who isn't. And they know the blame belongs to the man in the mirror.

"We're a close team,'' inside linebacker Larry Foote said. "Ain't gonna be no finger-pointing, shouting about our coaching staff in the media. That's not our make-up.''

Precisely. What the Steelers have done in the past isn't working in the present. Teams have caught on to what the Steelers are doing, but the Steelers have been slow to react.

Eleven games into the season, the Steelers remain a ball of confusion. From one week to the next, no one knows what team will show up.

Playing mind games with Taylor is all well and good, but changing cornerbacks didn't prevent Ravens quarterback Steve McNair from passing to his choice of open receivers.

In fact, Ravens tight end Todd Heap beat cornerback Deshea Townsend on a double move for a 20-yard touchdown catch for an early 7-0 lead -- the same way Taylor was beaten on a double move for a big gain in a loss against Denver.

None of the players said they saw 27-0 coming, because they had a great week of practice. Imagine what the score might have been if the Steelers had practiced poorly.

"We've been doing all right in practice. We've got to find a way to transfer practice to the games,'' Townsend said. "We've got to make sure we execute on the field.''

To paraphrase former Tampa Bay coach John McKay, a fed-up Cowher should be all for his team's execution.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_481484.html

Elvis
11-27-2006, 07:03 AM
:tt02: :tt02:
My Super Bowl XL ego will Never Die!!
We are still the Super Bowl Champions, we are just having alot of bad luck this year and with a good draft class this year and we are right back in the running for another tittle next year... Dont Give Up On The Future Of Our Beloved Steelers!!:helmet: :wave:

Infamix
11-27-2006, 07:09 AM
meaning I should change my sig right about...now

83-Steelers-43
11-27-2006, 07:12 AM
meaning I should change my sig right about...now

LOL.

If it were only the fans then it wouldn't be a problem. The players and coaching staff are the ones who need to stop watching the Super Bowl XL DVD and reading "North Carolina: Your Destination Guide".

HometownGal
11-27-2006, 07:17 AM
Every team goes through the highs and lows and right now, we're in a low. Looking back, the Steelers lows never last long and I have no reason to believe that our Steelers won't rebound back next season with a little help at some key positions. I have to agree with the author of the above article, though - the egos need to go - they've been ever-present all season and have contributed to their downfall, imho. I said it in a post a few weeks back and I still stand by it - this team came into this season with a huge chip on its shoulder and dared their opponents one by one to knock it off and that is exactly what happened. Egos don't win football games or championships - consistent play and keeping your head in the game instead of up in the clouds does. We have a very good nucleus of players and I hope this season taught them all a very valuable lesson.

I'm with you - wedo - I love 'em no matter what and I'll support them through thick and thin. :tt02:

83-Steelers-43
11-27-2006, 07:20 AM
Dont Give Up On The Future Of Our Beloved Steelers!!:helmet: :wave:

I don't believe many if any are doing so........thankfully. Well, I doubt any of them would be on this site if they didn't love the team and have faith in this teams future. All we can do now is sit back and hope the correct decisions are made. :tt02: :wave:

BigDuke6
11-27-2006, 10:49 AM
Steelers FO usually make the right decisions.

MACH1
11-27-2006, 11:55 AM
Well I think the ratbirds deflated any air that was left in the big heads. HTG is right, you just cant show up and think just because your the champs the other teams are going to curl up and die. Its been a bad bad year, but I think they will learn from this and come back even better for it next year.

Ambridge
11-27-2006, 03:20 PM
I've already said it before but the horrible stench coming off '06 Steelers Season has pretty much cancelled out what was accomplished in '05.

When people in the future talk about Superbowl XL and the Steelers Superbowl Championship there's no doubt that in the same breath will be mentioned the absolutely abysmal season they had the year after and how the players and the coaching staff fell apart.

Like Pearl Harbor the '06 Steelers season is a date that will live in infamy.

polamalufan43
11-27-2006, 03:22 PM
LOL.

If it were only the fans then it wouldn't be a problem. The players and coaching staff are the ones who need to stop watching the Super Bowl XL DVD and reading "North Carolina: Your Destination Guide".

LOL.... I love it.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

P.S. For score and one year ago, the Steelers brought upon themselves a terrible season...

stillers4me
11-27-2006, 05:30 PM
No freakin' way. We won SBXL....we'll always be the champs for SBXL........nothing cancels it out or takes away the accomplishments of that team, that season. That's like saying you can only keep the trophy if you're good boys the next year.

We have every reason to be proud of our team for what they did......a sixth seed team dominating on the road all the way to the championship. I'll never forget it.

This year is this year. Period.
And next year it will be our turn for paybacks.

Edit...........sorry, I miss read the title of the post. I thought it said timer to cast off XL logos.......like on the shirts and hats. Egos are one thing. My freakin' logos stay for above named reasons!!!

melroseplace
11-27-2006, 05:36 PM
Somehow, the Steelers, still full of themselves, entered yesterday's game against the Ravens, the class of the AFC North, believing the playoffs were a realistic goal.

isn't that how it should be though? should the guys showed up thinking "oh our season's over, there's no shot in hell"?? I understand there's a difference between having an ego and being confident, but I think that statement should have been worded differently