Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers

I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  It goes without saying that I am already planning for this week's AFC Championship Game vs. the New York Jets. (630pm Sunday on CBS).

My 5 favorite Steelers.

Hines Ward
The most interesting stat about Ward is that in his first 12 seasons he had more catches than Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and Jon Stallworth had in their combined 23 years in the NFL.  He has added another 62 catches this year to the 895 he had heading into this season.  It is hard to see how he will not end up in Canton.  Another Super Bowl win would seem to make him a lock.

Troy Polamalu
In my mind he is the best safety to ever play the game.  The Steelers are not the same without him.  He has produced some of the greatest individual defensive plays I have ever seen. A sure Hall of Famer.

James Harrison
I love the story about Harrison.  Undrafted out of Kent State in the Mid American Conference he was cut 4 times before sticking with the Steelers.  He went on to become the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and then had what I think was the greatest defensive play in Super Bowl history in Super Bowl XLIII.

Shaun Suisham
Another great story.  I was really concerned when the Steelers cut Jeff Reed in November.  Suisham, who had been living with his wife's family in Greenville, Ohio, was signed and was spectacular down the stretch. He hit 14 of 15 field goal attempts during the regular season.  Suisham is another MAC product-Bowling Green.

Ben Roethlisberger
Ben would normally be at the top of the list.  I saw almost all of his college games at Miami University (another MAC school) and it couldn't have been better for me that the Steelers drafted him.  Nevertheless, he is lucky to break the top 5.  If there was anyone who got too big for their britches it was Ben. I sincerely hope he has gotten his act together off the field.  He is a winner...on the field.  He has proven that time and again.  That will not help you if you are a loser off of it.

The Steelers have a lot of great players but it is the front office of the team that deserves a ton of credit.  It is not easy to stay on top in the NFL with the draft designed to bring the top teams down and a salary cap that is also a great equalizer. Year in and year out the Steelers get it done.  This is principally due to making very good (and sometimes very tough) personnel decisions.  No team does it better.  They have the best overall winning pct in the NFL since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

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