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lamberts-lost-tooth
02-04-2009, 11:55 AM
Time is on Steelers' side for repeat
By Mark Craig
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Published: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:04 AM EST


TAMPA, Fla. — In a young man’s game, the Steelers have a 36-year-old coach and a 26-year-old quarterback.

Can you say repeat?

You can, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin can’t. Or we should say won’t.

“I think repeating and saying ‘defending Super Bowl champion’ in today’s NFL is somewhat of a misnomer,” the former Vikings defensive coordinator said the morning after his Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII, a record sixth Super Bowl title for the franchise.

“When I walk down the hallway and look at the (four) championships of the Steelers in the ‘70s, it’s the same faces in the same positions on those photos. That’s not the reality in today’s NFL, to be quite honest with you.”

Free agency began in 1993 and changed the NFL and the stress levels of head coaches forever. Basically, there is no offseason. So it helps when your coach looks as eager the morning after winning the Super Bowl as he did back in July.

“We’re a month behind in terms of ’09,” Tomlin said.

The guy wins the Super Bowl and he’s concerned about being a month behind on the next one? Now that’s a coach equipped to handle the modern NFL.

“Our players have worked a month longer than their competitors that they’ll be competing and vying with for that championship in ‘09,” Tomlin said. “I have to have some sense of that and understand that. But as far as myself, I will fall in soon with our personnel department in getting ready for the draft and free agency.”

The NFL Scouting Combine is later this month in Indianapolis. Free agency starts soon after that. Kevin Colbert, the Steelers director of football operations, is well into his preparations for the 2009 season. Tomlin will take one or maybe even a whopping two days off to be with his kids before joining Colbert.

“That’s just the cycle that is this thing,” Tomlin said. “That’s what makes it beautiful.”

It’s such a young man’s game that Tomlin went into the playoffs as the league’s youngest coach and came out as its third-youngest. A couple of 32-year-olds in Josh McDaniels and Raheem Morris were hired by the Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively.

In a copycat league, the Broncs and Bucs are looking for the next Mike Tomlin. The real one still has more than three years before getting all those big black balloons that come with the big 4-0.

There have been eight back-to-back Super Bowl champions. The Steelers did it twice under Chuck Noll.

“You won’t hear me say words like ‘repeat,’ because we’ll be brand new in ’09,” Tomlin said. “This group will always be special to me, but sometime soon, it will be assuming its place with others in history. It’ll be just that: history.”

Tomlin was the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl at 36 years, 323 days. That’s almost three years younger than Jon Gruden was (39 years, 162 days) when he won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Buccaneers.

Of course, it helps the young head coach when he inherits a young Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben won his second Super Bowl with an eight-play drive that should be preserved in Canton, Ohio, next to the exhibit on John Elway’s “The Drive.”

Trailing 23-20 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left, the Steelers started the drive with a holding penalty. So a 78-yard drive would actually have to be an 88-yard drive with 2:24 left.

Roethlisberger went on to complete six of eight passes for 83 yards, including the game-winner in which he threw the ball into the only 3-inch spot that Santonio Holmes could make his amazing catch in triple coverage.

“That last drive was Joe Montana-ish,” Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward said.

Yeah, the Steelers won’t be a different team in 2009. Linebacker James Farrior and cornerback Bryant McFadden are among the upcoming free agents. But Tomlin and Roethlisberger are coming back, and they will be as fresh as ever at 37 and 27.

SUPER RATING FOR STEELERS

Upon further review, Nielsen Media Research now says that the Arizona-Pittsburgh Super Bowl game was the most-watched in history.

Nielsen said 98.7 million people, on average, were watching Pittsburgh’s exciting 27-23 victory Sunday night. That beats the 97.5 million who watched the 2008 game, which held the record for most popular Super Bowl.

On Monday, Nielsen had reported that this year’s game had 95.4 million viewers — impressive, but not a record-setter.

Nielsen explained the discrepancy of more than 3 million viewers by saying a more complete check of their records revealed additional viewership on some digital tier networks. The company hadn’t been aware that they were showing the game. (AP)
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/02/04/sports/steelers/doc49892151a02c2327523430.txt

LukesDad88
02-04-2009, 12:59 PM
Repeat? Hell, I'm expecting them to be playing for their tenth Lombardi in Superbowl L!

Preacher
02-04-2009, 01:05 PM
So it helps when your coach looks as eager the morning after winning the Super Bowl as he did back in July.

“We’re a month behind in terms of ’09,” Tomlin said.

That is what I LOVE about this guy.

steelreserve
02-04-2009, 01:39 PM
“When I walk down the hallway and look at the (four) championships of the Steelers in the ‘70s, it’s the same faces in the same positions on those photos. That’s not the reality in today’s NFL, to be quite honest with you.”

That's actually one of the things I like about this team. At least for a year or two, we've got all the same guys under contract. The worst we stand to lose this offseason is our third-string WR and a backup DB. Our players who are getting old aren't getting dangerously old yet. This lineup gives us as good a shot at winning another one in the next 1-2 years as any you'll see.

revefsreleets
02-04-2009, 02:46 PM
They need to find a way to stay hungry...that's about it. There's enough talent on the team to survive FA. they draft well, they are well coached. No reason why the nucleus of this team can't stay intact for a few more years.

Steelersfanforlife
02-04-2009, 03:26 PM
if the Steelers can fix the o-line problem then a repeat is in the bag