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Stlrs4Life
01-12-2008, 10:39 AM
http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080112/SPORTS13/801120359/1034/SPORTS



HOME (http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage) > Sports (http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SPORTS) > Kevin Noonan (http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SPORTS13)
Pats may be great, but they'll never be the greatest

Posted Saturday, January 12, 2008
http://www.delawareonline.com/graphics/columnists/head_noonan.jpgOPINION
Kevin Noonan


Some people are calling the New England Patriots the best team in NFL history. And if the Pats run the table in the playoffs -- starting with tonight's game against Jacksonville -- a lot of people will agree with them.

And they'll all be wrong. Only one team can be called the best of all time, and it ain't the Pats. That honor belongs to, and always will belong to, the Pittsburgh Steelers teams of the mid- to late 1970s that won four Super Bowls.

Pick any of their Super Bowl seasons, and those Steelers were better than these Patriots. And it doesn't matter that none of those Pittsburgh teams went undefeated.

It's all a matter of timing, and that's where the Patriots can't match up with the Steelers. You can't compare eras when it comes to talent, but you can compare them in other ways. And in this case, that means the era before free agency and the salary cap, and the era after they were made such an integral part of the game in 1994.

Those two related policy changes had an impact on the NFL like nothing else, with the possible exception of the college draft. They put restrictions on today's teams, restrictions the Steelers of the 1970s didn't have.

That's why it's impossible to put together a team like that now, and why nobody will ever touch them. Not even a team that goes 19-0.

This Patriots team had eight players selected to the Pro Bowl, and that's impressive. Those Steelers teams had nine players elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that's unparalleled.

Look at the Patriots roster, and how many Hall of Famers do you see? Quarterback Tom Brady, of course, and probably resurrected receiver Randy Moss and linebacker Junior Seau. Perhaps one or two more could make it if the Pats win a couple more Super Bowls.

But nine from one team in the same era? It's never happened before, and it'll never happen again. That Steelers squad should have its own wing at Canton.

Their Hall of Famers on offense include all the skill players -- quarterback Terry Bradshaw, running back Franco Harris and wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth -- and center Mike Webster. On defense, it was end Joe Green, cornerback Mel Blount and linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert.

So, Pittsburgh has more Hall of Famers from the '70s than the Eagles have had in 75 seasons. Plus, those Steelers teams had other players who made it to at least one Pro Bowl, like defensive end L.C. Greenwood, linebacker Andy Russell and defensive backs Donnie Shell, Glen Edwards and J.T. Thomas.

Then, the salary cap and free agency arrived, and everything changed. One of the great teams of the past 20 years was the Dallas Cowboys squad that won three Super Bowls from 1992 to 1995 with a star-studded lineup that had plenty of All-Pro players. When the salary cap and free agency era began, Dallas discovered it couldn't keep all of its stars.

Many of them left because the Cowboys simply couldn't squeeze all of those players under their cap, and Dallas became the first team that had to make the tough decision of whom to keep and whom to let walk away. They focused on quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and receiver Michael Irvin, but free agency and the cap chipped away at them until the Cowboys became just another team.

The Steelers' best players in the 1970s, their Hall of Famers, played their entire career in Pittsburgh, with the exception of Harris, who played his final season with Seattle, and Webster, who finished up with Kansas City.

New England deserves plenty of credit for the mini-dynasty it has created despite the salary cap. The Patriots are a very good team, and if they go 19-0 they'll be a great team. But they'll never be the greatest team

19ward86
01-12-2008, 05:21 PM
AMEN

Thomas Mihalich
01-12-2008, 05:28 PM
I would love to see them get destroyed in the playoffs. Or even better, lose on a bad call or turnover with seconds left on the clock.....in triple overtime....:wink02:

Rhee Rhee
01-12-2008, 05:51 PM
wait a minute... he's trying to say the steelers are greatest team ever... yet what he actually wrote is kind of like saying the patriots are the greatest team because they're putting toegether a 19-0 squad with the FA and salary cap... kinda weird...

Dynasty
01-13-2008, 12:01 AM
no i think its saying that even though the pats 17-0 is impressive, it will never be comparable to the steelers

Steeldude
01-13-2008, 12:57 AM
wait a minute... he's trying to say the steelers are greatest team ever... yet what he actually wrote is kind of like saying the patriots are the greatest team because they're putting toegether a 19-0 squad with the FA and salary cap... kinda weird...

:sofunny: i thought i was the only one to notice that

MACH1
01-13-2008, 01:42 AM
Umm...4 in 6 thats top in my books. With the same team.

Rhee Rhee
01-13-2008, 02:48 AM
:sofunny: i thought i was the only one to notice that

lol whew... i thought i was the only smart one ;)

Elvis
01-13-2008, 06:58 AM
wait a minute... he's trying to say the steelers are greatest team ever... yet what he actually wrote is kind of like saying the patriots are the greatest team because they're putting toegether a 19-0 squad with the FA and salary cap... kinda weird...
These 2 franchises would have been fun to have seen play. The steel curtain vs that offensive line that gives Brady all the time in the world to throw...
our DB's vs Randy Moss and Wes Welker and Co...( I about bet ya that the Steelers 70's team never seen the speed of these 2 players... but I also dont think that the Patriots will face a monsterous defense that the Steelers possessed in the 70's either.
But I thought that the article said the same thing RheeRhee..

Galax Steeler
01-13-2008, 07:25 AM
These 2 franchises would have been fun to have seen play. The steel curtain vs that offensive line that gives Brady all the time in the world to throw...
our DB's vs Randy Moss and Wes Welker and Co...( I about bet ya that the Steelers 70's team never seen the speed of these 2 players... but I also dont think that the Patriots will face a monsterous defense that the Steelers possessed in the 70's either.
But I thought that the article said the same thing RheeRhee..

Agreed could you have imagined what kind of game that would have been.

Rhee Rhee
01-13-2008, 04:34 PM
These 2 franchises would have been fun to have seen play. The steel curtain vs that offensive line that gives Brady all the time in the world to throw...
our DB's vs Randy Moss and Wes Welker and Co...( I about bet ya that the Steelers 70's team never seen the speed of these 2 players... but I also dont think that the Patriots will face a monsterous defense that the Steelers possessed in the 70's either.
But I thought that the article said the same thing RheeRhee..

now that would have been a true test for patriots offense and their o-line... i dont think they could handle our menacing d-line...

MACH1
01-13-2008, 04:39 PM
now that would have been a true test for patriots offense and their o-line... i dont think they could handle our menacing d-line...

You also have to ask your self what set of rules would they play by. Todays put a skirt on the qb or old school rules where slapping em in the ear hole was legal?!

Atlanta Dan
01-13-2008, 04:45 PM
Hate to say it but you can only compete in the era in which you play - 4 SBs in 7 years with an undefeated season for one of them certainly will put the Pats in the discussion with the 70s Steelers achieving 4 SBs in 6 years - Pats have not faced multiple quality opponents like the 70s Raiders & Cowboys year after year or faced division rivals like first the Bengals & then the Oilers, but the 70s Steelers did not face free agency

Preacher
01-13-2008, 04:56 PM
Hate to say it but you can only compete in the era in which you play - 4 SBs in 7 years with an undefeated season for one of them certainly will put the Pats in the discussion with the 70s Steelers achieving 4 SBs in 6 years - Pats have not faced multiple quality opponents like the 70s Raiders & Cowboys year after year or faced division rivals like first the Bengals & then the Oilers, but the 70s Steelers did not face free agency

Nor salary caps...

But I think the wild card that will always give me the edge for the Steelers is the *

Bill
01-13-2008, 07:21 PM
I'm glad I will always be able to tell Patriot fans that they won because they cheated. Tell them their season has an asterisk in every other fans' minds.

steelers2685
01-13-2008, 08:42 PM
The Steel Curtain would have murdered Tom Brady. Imagine Jack Ham getting in that backfield after him. He wouldn't survive a game vs. our Steelers of the 70s. Randy Moss would have never been able to get past Mel Blount. And Swanny/Stallworth would have ran circles around Asante Samuels while he was still taunting from the last play that he almost picked one off.

Hands down, Steelers fan or not, the Pats have an * on not just this season, but their past 3 Super Bowls in my opinion. The Steelers of the 70s, however, were a tough bunch of S.O.B's who got the job done and will ALWAYS be atop the hierarchy of greatest teams ever.

Lord Stiller
01-14-2008, 09:36 AM
Great article

No team will ever compare to the 70's Steelers :tt02:

Jman
01-14-2008, 10:17 AM
Interesting read.

memphissteelergirl
01-14-2008, 11:00 AM
The Steel Curtain would have murdered Tom Brady. Imagine Jack Ham getting in that backfield after him. He wouldn't survive a game vs. our Steelers of the 70s. Randy Moss would have never been able to get past Mel Blount. And Swanny/Stallworth would have ran circles around Asante Samuels while he was still taunting from the last play that he almost picked one off.

Hands down, Steelers fan or not, the Pats have an * on not just this season, but their past 3 Super Bowls in my opinion. The Steelers of the 70s, however, were a tough bunch of S.O.B's who got the job done and will ALWAYS be atop the hierarchy of greatest teams ever.


Ya got that right!! :tt02::tt02:

SteelersJW
01-15-2008, 03:55 PM
You know what really F|_|Ckin sucks though...If the Patriots win the superbowl they'll have won 4 super bowls in seven years. Those bastards.

beSteelmyheart
01-15-2008, 04:33 PM
You know what really F|_|Ckin sucks though...If the Patriots win the superbowl they'll have won 4 super bowls in seven years. Those bastards.
What irks me is that scumbag Bellicheat might have as many rings as Noll.

Dino 6 Rings
01-15-2008, 04:51 PM
All I can say is GO CHARGERS or...GO NFC!!!

anyone but the Cheats!

Rhee Rhee
01-15-2008, 08:03 PM
You know what really F|_|Ckin sucks though...If the Patriots win the superbowl they'll have won 4 super bowls in seven years. Those bastards.

not bastards... cheaters!

Atlanta Dan
01-15-2008, 09:00 PM
What irks me is that scumbag Bellicheat might have as many rings as Noll.

Belichick will tie Noll with 4 rings as HC if he wins this year

Belichick already has 5 rings counting his 2 as the Giants coordinator (a tie with Dick Hoak - do not know if any coach has more than 5)

CASTEEL
01-16-2008, 01:50 AM
wait a minute... he's trying to say the steelers are greatest team ever... yet what he actually wrote is kind of like saying the patriots are the greatest team because they're putting toegether a 19-0 squad with the FA and salary cap... kinda weird...

I was thinking the same thing..... if they can do it WITH the salary cap....errrrrr....

OX1947
01-17-2008, 12:30 PM
If they go 19-0, they will be the greatest team ever. There is no if ands or buts about it. Going 19-0 in a hard cap, free agency era. Set every record on the planet on offense and have won 3 super bowls already. I just wish Bela garbage wasn't the coach.

fansince'76
01-17-2008, 12:34 PM
If they go 19-0, they will be the greatest team ever. There is no if ands or buts about it. Going 19-0 in a hard cap, free agency era. Set every record on the planet on offense and have won 3 super bowls already. I just wish Bela garbage wasn't the coach.

They cheated. Puts enough doubt in my mind, sorry.

The Duke
01-17-2008, 01:02 PM
They cheated. Puts enough doubt in my mind, sorry.

exactly

without their cheating I would actually be happy for the pats, but now they're all a bunch of cheaters

Rhee Rhee
01-17-2008, 01:05 PM
exactly

without their cheating I would actually be happy for the pats, but now they're all a bunch of cheaters

i honestly think they should be given one loss against the jets... they cheated hands down and thats stupid... they can win another superbowl for all i care but they will NOT go undefeated...

pmanning
01-18-2008, 12:39 PM
===Some people are calling the New England Patriots the best team in NFL history. And if the Pats run the table in the playoffs -- starting with tonight's game against Jacksonville -- a lot of people will agree with them.

And they'll all be wrong. Only one team can be called the best of all time, and it ain't the Pats. That honor belongs to, and always will belong to, the Pittsburgh Steelers teams of the mid- to late 1970s that won four Super Bowls.===

None of it matters really. I'm not surprised to see on a Steeler forum you thinking the Steelers were the best dynasty. Fine. But what about the Packers of the 60's who won 5 championships in 7 years including the first two Super Bowls? There's about 11 players in the Hall of Fame from those teams including the coach for which the Super Bowl trophy is named after.

Bottom line. You can't compare different eras and no one knows who would have won and that's probably best. Just enjoy each of these teams that have stood out from their peers.

By the way, my condolences to Steeler fans over the death of Ernie Holmes.