Chambers trade wouldn't suit Steelers
By John Harris
Friday, October 19, 2007
Chris Chambers to the Steelers?
Not on your life.
On paper, Chambers, the fleet wide receiver traded this week from the Miami Dolphins to the San Diego Chargers, is almost a perfect fit for the Steelers.
A veteran pass catcher capable of stretching secondaries and providing another able target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
In a traditional football sense, Chambers-to-the-Steelers made too much sense.
The Steelers don't go by the book. They play by their own rules.
At the end of the day, Chambers didn't fit -- just like Plaxico Burress, Antwaan Randle El, Joey Porter, Chris Hope, Kendrell Bell and Kimo von Oelhoffen no longer fit in the Steelers' plans.
San Diego, desperate for another offensive weapon, reportedly paid handsomely -- a second-round draft pick -- for Chambers.
When was the last time the Steelers traded a second-round pick for another team's anything?
The Steelers don't work that way. They build from the ground up with homegrown, drafted talent. Or they sign a free agent or two on the relative cheap.
When a player becomes too old, or too expensive -- or becomes too old and expensive at the same time -- the Steelers cut him loose.
Welcome to the Steelers' cold, cold world.
Truth be told, it's hard to argue with success.
It's no accident that players love playing for the Steelers, even after they're gone.
Porter didn't want to leave the Steelers. Finances dictated his departure.
Ownership, management and the coaching staff personally select players who fit the Steelers' mold.
Most NFL players are hard workers, but Steelers players also buy into a unique team concept that is essential to the franchise's continued success.
It's why several defensive starters sacrifice their bodies and also start on special teams without a whimper.
Whatever it takes to win.
It's why all but one player -- guard Alan Faneca, who was protesting his contract situation -- failed to attend voluntary workouts last spring.
Whatever it takes.
It's why Mike Tomlin was able to make a virtually seamless transition from Bill Cowher.
(And if you think any coach could have picked up from where Cowher left off, be truthful and ask if you really believed that Mike Tomlin's Steelers -- still sounds funny, doesn't it? -- would be playing at such a high level, so quickly.)
Taking essentially the same players from last year's roster -- some of whom would have followed Cowher off a cliff -- Tomlin has molded the Steelers into his image with subtle, yet decisive alterations.
Chambers to the Steelers?
Not in our lifetime.