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Old 12-22-2009, 06:20 AM   #1
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Default How will 2009 season be remembered?

How will 2009 season be remembered?
http://community.post-gazette.com/bl...k/default.aspx
By Bob Smizik | Tuesday, 1 a.m.

What an insane football year it has been. In February, a second dynasty was in bloom. Beginning in November and continuing into December, the franchise was in devastation and humiliation. Only to be given new life two days ago. The season is 14 games old and no one had a real grip on how good -- or how bad -- the Steelers are. One week they take you to the heights, the next to the sewer.

Which mean no one has a handle on what the future holds. Will there be more championship behind a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback? Or will there be rebuilding in the face of a crumbling defense?

How will 2009 be remembered by the Steelers Nation?

* As the beginning of the end of the Mike Tomlin era?

If the team can't be evaluated neither can Tomlin. Was the five-game losing streak that included losses to three of the worst teams in the NFL, just a blip on Tomlin's path to greatness? Or was he the guy lucky enough to inherit a Super Bowl-caliber team? Is he the legitimate heir to Noll and Cowher? Or a fast-talking smoothie with no depth?

* As the end of the Bruce Arians era?

Already there are rumors that Arians is on his way out, and not so much for philosophical differences with Tomlin but for personal ones. Will Arians be remembered as the man who took the Steeler Nation kicking and screaming into a new era of offensive football behind Ben Roethlisberger? Or the man who broke trust with a near-sacred tradition and changed the Steelers, for the worse, forever.

* As the end of the Dick LeBeau era?

Whether he stays or leaves, he’ll be remembered in Pittsburgh with reverence, respect and appreciation. He's truly one of a kind with his old-school ways that elicited loyalty, affection and high-levels of performance from modern-day athlete young enough to be his grandchildren. If he leaves, regardless of the collapse of this year's defense, his successor will face the near-impossible task of following a Steelers legend who, at least until late this season, could do no wrong.

* As the end of the Dan Rooney era?

Dan's son, Art II, has been in charge, at least by title, for several years. But this is his first season without his dad, now the ambassador to Ireland, at his side. There's no way Dan could have changed anything on the field this year, but his wisdom, experience and gentle but exceedingly firm handle on events may well be missed during what ever retooling is necessary after this season and as the Steelers possibly enter the uncharted territory of the NFL without a salary cap.

* As the year that prompted director of football operations Kevin Colbert to leave his dream job and recast his lot with Bill Cowher in Chicago or Charlotte or Washington?

Colbert has been highly effective and extremely low-key in helping to build two Super Bowl winners. How many better-known general managers can make that claim? He's paid well by the Rooneys but probably could make more elsewhere. Maybe he's looking for a new challenge. Besides, now's the time to get out with the defense imploding and the depth looking thin and thinner. Colbert's a Pittsburgh guy with very little ego and leaving the Steelers seems unimaginable. He's not going anywhere.

* As the year injuries began the premature closing down of Troy Polamalu's NFL career?

He plays with a fearless, reckless style that could make him older than his 28 years (29 in April). He missed five starts in 2007 and nine, going on 10, this year. Most of that missed time was due to knee injuries. Even the miracles of modern medicine can't make oft-injured knees as good as new, particularly for players who rely on speed and agility as does Polamalu. He should have several more good years in front of him. But with his style and his injuries nothing is certain.

* As the year Roethlisberger earned his place with the elite quarterbacks of the NFL?

Based on performance, that should be a given. Perception is another matter. Peyton Manning remains the gold standard of NFL quarterbacks and Tom Brady is not far behind, although his play seems to have slipped this season. Drew Brees and Philip Rivers are closing hard and so is Roethlisberger. Maybe the Steelers tradition for great defense and running is hurting Roethlisberger. If it is, it's only a matter of time before he outruns that legacy and ascends to the top.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

This year will be remembered as a team who severely underachieved...
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

How about as an incredible run to a seventh ring?
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

Quote:
* As the year injuries began the premature closing down of Troy Polamalu's NFL career?

He plays with a fearless, reckless style that could make him older than his 28 years (29 in April). He missed five starts in 2007 and nine, going on 10, this year. Most of that missed time was due to knee injuries. Even the miracles of modern medicine can't make oft-injured knees as good as new, particularly for players who rely on speed and agility as does Polamalu. He should have several more good years in front of him. But with his style and his injuries nothing is certain.
Gawd - even the thought of this horrifies me.

Don't want to go beyond that as the season isn't over yet and our playoff hopes, though dangling by a thread, aren't exhausted as of yet.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LamarrWoodleysFade View Post
This year will be remembered as a team who severely underachieved...
+1
and I would add in all compartments of the game.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

(Sorry for my language)

But this season will go down as one BIG C0CK TEASE!
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessStill View Post
(Sorry for my language)

But this season will go down as one BIG C0CK TEASE!
hungry much?
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

Hopefully, this year will be the year that the Steelers nearly blew their chances at the post season, only to come back and win the last three games, and with some help by a few other teams, made it into the playoffs and (at least) beat the Bengals.

Sorry Cincy... we truly are sympathetic over the whole Chris Henry thing. But your team still sucks. Never forget that.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

"Remember that time Bobby Bouchette returned at halftime and the Mud Dogs won the Burbon Bowl?"

against all odds the steelers make an improbable rebound and win it all.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: How will 2009 season be remembered?

The season of what could have been
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