Re: An Outsiders Perspective
Insightful post as always LITP (although I disagree with Cowher not being a great coach - 10 playoff appearances/6 AFC championship games/2 Super Bowl appearances in the cap era is pretty impressive when the only franchise level QB Cowher had was Ben, to which I attribute Cowher getting less conservative in the playoffs last year). Cowher's record without a franchise level QB certainly compares favorably to that of Belichek when he has not had Brady and that of Shanahan when he did not have Elway.
In the cap era you are not going to have overwhelming across the board superiority in talent as the 70s Steelers/80s 49ers/90s Cowboys did, so a lot of playoff success hinges on your team getting hot at the right time. Even the Pats required last second FGs for 2 of their three Super Bowls.
The Steelers got hot at the right time last year. So far this season they are diminshed at running back (no Bettis for second half power running), QB (Ben's off season problems), receivers (injured Ward and no Randle-El), defensive backfield (injured Troy) and, for whatever reason, OL (age?). Add that to a coaching staff that has a HC who, at best, is uncertain to be in Pittsburgh in 2007, which has to translate to uncertainty with the assistants as to their employment beyond this year, and the Steelers do not have the margin of error to blow by playoff quality opponents.
To win it all you need a lot of luck in today's NFL; I am grateful the Steelers had it last year and can leave the angst of wondering if they will ever win it all to Manning, Dungy, and Colts fans.
Last edited by Atlanta Dan; 10-09-2006 at 03:00 PM.