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View Full Version : 10 years ago: The 1997 Steelers


Edman
10-18-2007, 11:58 PM
http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=68#s=68&f=1897&t=1246373

Frankly, I'll be willing to admit, I didn't start following the Steelers religiously until the next year(I was just a young kid during the 90's).

The 1997 Steelers had a great year filled with exciting finishes, but after that AFC Title game loss vs. the Donkeys, who would've known that from that moment on, it was the beginning of the end for Kordell, and the Steelers wouldn't make the playoffs for another four seasons, including two sub .500 years in a row. The Late 90's, how I remember them well... bleh.

Galax Steeler
10-19-2007, 04:07 AM
I have been a steeler fan since the 70's the smartest move I ever made.:jammin:

stlrtruck
10-19-2007, 06:51 AM
http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=68#s=68&f=1897&t=1246373

Frankly, I'll be willing to admit, I didn't start following the Steelers religiously until the next year(I was just a young kid during the 90's).

The 1997 Steelers had a great year filled with exciting finishes, but after that AFC Title game loss vs. the Donkeys, who would've known that from that moment on, it was the beginning of the end for Kordell, and the Steelers wouldn't make the playoffs for another four seasons, including two sub .500 years in a row. The Late 90's, how I remember them well... bleh.

Be thankful you didn't live through the 80's!!!!!!

SCSTILLER
10-19-2007, 07:27 AM
Be thankful you didn't live through the 80's!!!!!!

Isn't that the truth. That is when I became a Steelers fan. Good old Bubby Brister and his mom constantly on TV. Never considered cheering for another team though, my family would killed me.

Atlanta Dan
10-19-2007, 07:41 AM
http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=68#s=68&f=1897&t=1246373

Frankly, I'll be willing to admit, I didn't start following the Steelers religiously until the next year(I was just a young kid during the 90's).

The 1997 Steelers had a great year filled with exciting finishes, but after that AFC Title game loss vs. the Donkeys, who would've known that from that moment on, it was the beginning of the end for Kordell, and the Steelers wouldn't make the playoffs for another four seasons, including two sub .500 years in a row. The Late 90's, how I remember them well... bleh.

The decline of that team after 1997 illustrates 2 points: coaching matters and don't let the players dictate hiring deisions.

IMO Kordell's skills and flaws would have been better handled if Chan Gailey would have remained as offensive coordinator through at least 1998.

Instead, Gailey became HC of the Cowboys and Kordell allegedly was given input into the decision to hire the infamous Ray Sherman as O-coordinator. Sherman was so bad that Cowher stripped him of play calling responsibilities before firing him at the end of only one season. Then it was on to Kevin Gilbride trying to turn Stewart into a pocket passer and the team becoming so bad that Cowher almost lost his job after the 1999 season. Whiel Kordell had a very good 2001 regular season, his confidence & mechanics were shot.

A similar inmates running the asylum downward spiral quite possibly would have resulted if Grimm would have been hired over Tomlin.

Lord Stiller
10-19-2007, 08:09 AM
Yeah, Kevin Gilbride was about he worst possible coach Kordell could have had. His offense way too complicated for the simple minded Kordell

aries4972
10-19-2007, 10:31 AM
I was born in 1972 ...officially been a Steeler fan 9 months prior to that!!

Edman
10-19-2007, 11:08 AM
The decline of that team after 1997 illustrates 2 points: coaching matters and don't let the players dictate hiring deisions.

IMO Kordell's skills and flaws would have been better handled if Chan Gailey would have remained as offensive coordinator through at least 1998.

Instead, Gailey became HC of the Cowboys and Kordell allegedly was given input into the decision to hire the infamous Ray Sherman as O-coordinator. Sherman was so bad that Cowher stripped him of play calling responsibilities before firing him at the end of only one season. Then it was on to Kevin Gilbride trying to turn Stewart into a pocket passer and the team becoming so bad that Cowher almost lost his job after the 1999 season. Whiel Kordell had a very good 2001 regular season, his confidence & mechanics were shot.

A similar inmates running the asylum downward spiral quite possibly would have resulted if Grimm would have been hired over Tomlin.

I think after that 1997 AFC Title game loss and the collapse afterward caused some of the fanbase started to turn against Cowher. My memory still stings over how horrible those late 90's teams were. The offense couldn't move the ball for crap. I remember it getting so bad that Cowher tried Kordell back at the WR position again against Jacksonville in 1999.

Yes, Gailey leaving after '97 was bad, but it was in 2001 that it was finally confirmed that Kordell just didn't have "it". He had a pretty good resurrection year, but he was making the same stupid mistakes he was making in '97. 2001 AFC title game loss vs. Pats ring a bell? For some of you that don't, Korky tossed 3 horrible INT's in that game too.

It just makes me wonder that if Cowher would've stayed after last year, he would've put more time into Ben as much as he did Kordell. But with the latest reports that Cowher DID NOT want Ben in 2004, and with Cowher's supposed habit of scapegoating/neglecting players that weren't "his guys"(Ike Taylor), I would hinge my answer on no.

Mosca
10-19-2007, 12:56 PM
Be thankful you didn't live through the 80's!!!!!!

Be thankful you didn't live through the '60s! I remember a really young Myron Cope doing his pre-season analysis on KDKA; "It looks like it's going to be S-O-S again this year; same old Steelers!" Being a Steelers fan back then was like being a Buccos fan today. The Steelers were the red-headed stepchild of the city, playing in a baseball stadium.

BlastFurnace
10-19-2007, 01:19 PM
The 1970's were football's version of heaven for me.

The 1980-1991 was filled with bad football and a pre-Kordell version...Mark Malone...quite possibly the worst QB I have ever seen...and definitely the worst Steelers QB I have ever seen. Chuck Noll should have retired a good 5-7 years before he did. No disrespect towards the man, but his teams from 1985 through 1991 were dreadful.

1992-1997 - Loved the Cowher years from 1992 through 1997 and loved the passion he showed. The 1997 Championship game would have been won had the Steelers not gotten greedy when leading 14-10 where Kordell threw into double coverage in the end zone. He had a freaking 1st Down had he just taken the ball down and run it. The 1994 defense is still one of my favorite defensive units we have had. They don't compare to the 70's group, but I loved to watch them play. We should have won that SB against the Cowboys.

1998-2000 - The end of the Donahoe reign in Pittsburgh....thank goodness!!!!!! The 1999 draft still marks the angriest I have ever been at the Steelers during draft day when they passed on Kearse for Edwards.

2001-2005 - Other than 1 year, this period of time rivaled the 1992 through 1997 years as Cowher's best 5-6 year span. As a matter of fact, it was better due to the SB victory.

2006 - Horrible year and focus by the team. It was sweet to knock the Bengals out of the playoffs though for the 2nd straight year. That was the only redeeming item to this entire season.

2007 - I feel the same way about this team as I did about the 1992 team. I love the enthusiasm and energy this team plays with. This year is going to be really special.

Lord Stiller
10-19-2007, 01:58 PM
The 1999 draft still marks the angriest I have ever been at the Steelers during draft day when they passed on Kearse for Edwards.


Yeah but we did get Porter and Aaron Smith later in that draft.

I was most angry when we passed on Urlacher to draft Burress (Urlacher was taken the very next pick)

OX1947
10-19-2007, 02:38 PM
The Steelers lost so many players to free agency during the last half of the 90's, it finally caught up with them those 3 years they didn't make the playoffs. I do not think it was so much decisions although those decisions were magnified a little more because of the losing. But losing that much talent finally overwhelmed the team and having a couple of bad draft picks made it look worse. Whats funny is, even with those 3 years of not making the playoffs, Steelers still have the best record in football since 1992. I just wish we could have had Neil get one more drive in him in SB XXX. That would have been a perfect tenure for Cowher had that happened....

Steel Pit
10-19-2007, 04:08 PM
The decline of that team after 1997 illustrates 2 points: coaching matters and don't let the players dictate hiring deisions.

IMO Kordell's skills and flaws would have been better handled if Chan Gailey would have remained as offensive coordinator through at least 1998.

Instead, Gailey became HC of the Cowboys and Kordell allegedly was given input into the decision to hire the infamous Ray Sherman as O-coordinator. Sherman was so bad that Cowher stripped him of play calling responsibilities before firing him at the end of only one season. Then it was on to Kevin Gilbride trying to turn Stewart into a pocket passer and the team becoming so bad that Cowher almost lost his job after the 1999 season. Whiel Kordell had a very good 2001 regular season, his confidence & mechanics were shot.

A similar inmates running the asylum downward spiral quite possibly would have resulted if Grimm would have been hired over Tomlin.

Cowher stripped "ALL" of his coordinators of play calling responsibilities at one time or another during their tenures. If you watch the NFL Films-sideline footage from Super Bowl XXX, you'll notice that Cowher snubbed Earhardt and radio communicated with WR's coach, Chan Gailey, during crucial points in the game.

Being from London, Ohio and knowing Dick LeBeau's brother, I can also tell you that Cowher used to overrule about 50% of LeBeau's calls. Many players have since stated that LeBeau is no longer "handcuffed" as he was with Cowher.

You are right though, Sherman was the absolute WORST offensive coordinator ever but Cowher can also be described as a dictator.

BlastFurnace
10-19-2007, 04:16 PM
Cowher stripped "ALL" of his coordinators of play calling responsibilities at one time or another during their tenures. If you watch the NFL Films-sideline footage from Super Bowl XXX, you'll notice that Cowher snubbed Earhardt and radio communicated with WR's coach, Chan Gailey, during crucial points in the game.

Being from London, Ohio and knowing Dick LeBeau's brother, I can also tell you that Cowher used to overrule about 50% of LeBeau's calls. Many players have since stated that LeBeau is no longer "handcuffed" as he was with Cowher.

You are right though, Sherman was the absolute WORST offensive coordinator ever but Cowher can also be described as a dictator.

I had heard that LeBeau left partly because of Cowher's overruling of the playcalling. Cowher was a heck of a coach, but there are plenty of stories....or I should say rumors....that was could be overbearing at times with his assistants.

tony hipchest
10-19-2007, 04:21 PM
Being from London, Ohio and knowing Dick LeBeau's brother, I can also tell you that Cowher used to overrule about 50% of LeBeau's calls. Many players have since stated that LeBeau is no longer "handcuffed" as he was with Cowher.

You are right though, Sherman was the absolute WORST offensive coordinator ever but Cowher can also be described as a dictator.its like tomlin quickly saw as good as d. lebeau, the legend, was, he would be even better if he were allowed to run his own show as DC. lebeau seems born again, and tomlin is learning the steeler way of defense from an old master.

the best part of 97 against denver was l. kirklands interception of elway in the 1st quarter. i knew it was over then. :tt02:

....and then elway to shannon sharpe on 3rd and 6 was the worst. despite kordell, that game was in our hands. :banging::dang::banging:

Atlanta Dan
10-19-2007, 06:33 PM
Cowher stripped "ALL" of his coordinators of play calling responsibilities at one time or another during their tenures. If you watch the NFL Films-sideline footage from Super Bowl XXX, you'll notice that Cowher snubbed Earhardt and radio communicated with WR's coach, Chan Gailey, during crucial points in the game.

Being from London, Ohio and knowing Dick LeBeau's brother, I can also tell you that Cowher used to overrule about 50% of LeBeau's calls. Many players have since stated that LeBeau is no longer "handcuffed" as he was with Cowher.

You are right though, Sherman was the absolute WORST offensive coordinator ever but Cowher can also be described as a dictator.

Oh yeah- Cowher was hell on his assistants, especially in the earlier years, starting with 2 assistants he canned after the 1993 playoff loss to the Chiefs.

Cowher fell in love with Gailey's more wide open approach during the 1995 season and canned Erhardt at the end of the season so he could keep Gailey as the new O-coordinator. Other coaches (special teams ace Bobby April and LeBeau) took lateral jobs with other teams in the mid-1990s because Cowher was such a bastard. Getting LeBeau back from Buffalo after Tim Lewis was the ritual human sacrifice for the 2003 season was surprising, since Cowher & LeBeau definitely were not close.

Godfather
10-19-2007, 10:09 PM
Anyone else remember the Bubthumper song they did that year? :sofunny:

Elvis
10-20-2007, 04:35 AM
Isn't that the truth. That is when I became a Steelers fan. Good old Bubby Brister and his mom constantly on TV. Never considered cheering for another team though, my family would killed me.
A friend and myself had a conversation about Bubby one day this past week and I was telling him how much I liked Bubby, he didnt understand why. He was just fiery and just seemed like he would have been a great leader in a battle somewhere. Those years were marred' with the bad drafts that included No. 1 picks
RB Tim Worley Georgia
and
OT Tom Ricketts
You just cant draft like that and expect to be competitive
every year. But I made it through all those years including every sunday wondering why the Steelers kept starting
Mark Malone!!!!!!
:banging:

Galax Steeler
10-20-2007, 06:14 AM
Some of these stories bring back bad memories.

SteelersMongol
10-20-2007, 07:08 AM
I know that you guys probably gonna laugh but one of the reasons that I liked the Steelers was the guy in #10 jersey back in the 1997 when I was watching the highlights by accident. And I know you guys know way far a lot about Kordell than me but I just can't dislike him.

delhess
10-20-2007, 07:57 AM
The decline of that team after 1997 illustrates 2 points: coaching matters and don't let the players dictate hiring deisions.

IMO Kordell's skills and flaws would have been better handled if Chan Gailey would have remained as offensive coordinator through at least 1998.

Instead, Gailey became HC of the Cowboys and Kordell allegedly was given input into the decision to hire the infamous Ray Sherman as O-coordinator. Sherman was so bad that Cowher stripped him of play calling responsibilities before firing him at the end of only one season. Then it was on to Kevin Gilbride trying to turn Stewart into a pocket passer and the team becoming so bad that Cowher almost lost his job after the 1999 season. Whiel Kordell had a very good 2001 regular season, his confidence & mechanics were shot.

A similar inmates running the asylum downward spiral quite possibly would have resulted if Grimm would have been hired over Tomlin.

wow, it's hard now to imagine kordell having input on anything....

i have to agree that while hiring tomlin was not the easy dicision (like shoeing in grimm) it will go down in history as a great move. what a heads up decision. to make such a big (bold) decision in a couple of weeks, and get it right, wow. the rooney's are proving themselves again.!

delhess
10-20-2007, 08:01 AM
I know that you guys probably gonna laugh but one of the reasons that I liked the Steelers was the guy in #10 jersey back in the 1997 when I was watching the highlights by accident. And I know you guys know way far a lot about Kordell than me but I just can't dislike him.

my opinion might crack you up.. but i always thought that kordell would have been more popular if he was better looking, lol.

in this tv age of nfl coverage consisting of close up shots of players, he was not appealing in a "hollywood" sense.

delhess
10-20-2007, 08:05 AM
wow, did anyone else not know the kordell is with the ravens now?? i just googled his name and was very surprised. didn't know that!

tony hipchest
10-20-2007, 01:13 PM
in watching the 97 broncos "americas game", i recall the huge game fb howard griffith had in the champ game.

he reveals how it was chris collinsworth dissing him on tv that fired him up for that game.

collinsworth accused him of shying away from blocks asnd said he didnt want to hit the steelers. one of the many times collinsworth shoulda just kept his mouth shut.

levon kirkland to griffith in the afcc game after getting chopped down: " Why you cut"?

griffith: "Hey man, why are you 300 pounds?"

:sofunny:

bratsinmybelly
10-21-2007, 12:00 AM
I'll always remember the 1997 season as the season in which a friend of mine played a significant role for the Steelers. Steve Conley was a LB from Arkansas that got his only significant PT that year. I still know Steve to this day. He's a personal trainer in NW Arkansas were I live. His brother Mike was a three time Olympic gold medalist and is the father of Mike Conley Jr. of Ohio St./NBA fame. Two of the coolest most down to earth people you could ever meet.
I'm just an average guy who knows these guys purely by chance. I'll probably never have another Steeler who I can call up and go get a beer with so for me, it's pretty damn cool. Steve still talks about the 1997 season. He knows how close they were to the SB and when we won it in '05 he was more excited than anyone else I knew..........except me. I've never asked why he thinks we lost to the Donkeys and he's never said. But he still gets a serious twinkle in his eye when telling stories about that season.......and so do I!

MasterOfPuppets
10-21-2007, 12:18 AM
wow, did anyone else not know the kordell is with the ravens now?? i just googled his name and was very surprised. didn't know that!

5/11/2007
Where are you now - Kordell Stewart???




In what will become a semi-regular feature on IWIWAR we look into the past to find a once famous player for the Steelers who has now fallen off the face of the earth and find out what they are up to. This feature will be meticulously fact checked and cross referenced.*

Kordell Stewart aka Slash is the first honoree of this feature. Kordell burst onto the scene in Pittsburgh and was part of the 1995 Super Bowl Losing AFC Championship Team in the Slash role, where he would play every single position on the field including offensive tackle. He even acted as a go-between for Las Vegas ?investors? and Neil O?Donnell. In 1997 he was able to wrest the starting job from the immortal Mike Tomczak and was allowed to really feature his best strength - wild inconsistency. After many years of superior play, the young man was shockingly beat out by the immortal Kent Graham. Fortunately he had comprising photographs of Bill Cowher, which were used to guarantee that the Steelers would only bring mediocre quarterbacks into training camp, ensuring that when Kent finally got hurt Kordell was there to step into the breach and tease Steelers fans once again. He finally lost his job with the Steelers in 2002 to the legendary passer/insurance agent/PGA wannabe Tommy Maddox. Stewart had productive stints with both the Bears and the Ravens after that but he was never able to take an entire fan base on his emotional roller coaster again. So Kordell, where are you now?

Kordell was featured on the hit television show ?Pros vs. Joes? on Spike TV, although there was some confusion about his role on the show, was he a Joe or a Pro. It was finally nailed down that he was a Pro and Kordell proceeded to demolish the PVJ record for interceptions in a season. From there Kordell moved on to an adult reality show called Pros vs. Johns where he was able to really let loose. Unfortunately, Kordell?s long-time life partner, radio personality Mark Madden, couldn?t handle the jealousy so Kordell was forced to quit. Kordell now spends most of his time inside a Pittsburgh row house that he and Mark are renovating, not venturing outside much due to a mysterious fungus that has taken over his entire face, making him virtually unrecognizable. In his spare time he likes to play with their three cats and go for cars rides with Mark.


*Not fact checked even a little bit

Posted by David at 5/11/2007 03:32:00 PM

http://wannaberooney.blogspot.com/2007/05/where-are-you-now-kordell-stewart.html

:toofunny: