As we head towards the Super Bowl we’ll begin a series of articles looking back at the season that was in 2010 and what to look forward to on February 6th, 2011.
Mike Tomlin has navigated his Steelers team in 2010 in a way that many thought was impossible. It’s just truly remarkable when you stop and break it all down. Playing the first 4 games without Ben Roethlisberger and having to rely on both Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch who wasnt even going to be considered to be on the roster in preseason and finishing 3-1 was the start to this amazing journey. Having to use a makeshift offensive line pretty much every single week and every single game at some point this season when different guys went down and still being able to win games consistently and show the kind of resilience the Steelers did game in and game out was amazing. Losing Aaron Smith in the Miami game 3 months ago today and seeing the evolution and the emergence of a guy like Ziggy Hood step in and have a huge playoff season here these two games was just awesome as well. Then there’s the NFL crackdown on the Steelers defense, all the fines and publicity that went on with Harrison and Clark most notably. The NFL officials tossing flags at our beloved defense like candy just because of the perceived “reputation” that the defense has.
Nobody gave this Steelers team a chance during the course of this season through all this adversity. It was always either the Jets,the Patriots,or the Ravens in the media’s eyes as the teams to beat in the AFC. And despite all that and through everything I mentioned the Steelers are the team in the AFC left standing and the ones that will make the walk down the runway and run out of the tunnel in Dallas in 13 days. It’s been a great journey and to see this organization hoist another Lombardi Trophy this season with everything they have gone through with Ben and the injuries and coaching and personnel changes in the off-season and during the season I believe would be the Steelers greatest Super Bowl victory in this great franchises proud history.
It’s hard to say if Bill Cowher were still coaching this team, if the Steelers would be at this point, ready to head to Dallas. While Cowher always had the physically tough approach down pat, the mental approach was always something that was somewhat in question if you ask me. The way the Steelers responded in tight situations over his tenure was usually a crap shoot in my opinion. Perhaps it was the lack of a franchise Quarterback until Ben came along, perhaps it was other things that we could go on and on about. I love Cowher as much as anyone, and he is a big reason why we finally got our “1 for the Thumb”. However, if you ask me do I want Tomlin or Cowher right now, it’s Mike hands down.
So far most of the media and many NFL fans on talk radio think that the Steelers are going to get killed in this game. They say Pittsburgh has no answer for the Packers offense, they say the Steeler offense can’t handle the Packers defense. The Packers are destined, that Aaron Rodgers is too hot right now. That Pittsburgh won’t hang for 60 minutes. The list goes on and on…
The Packers are as good an NFC representative as we’ve seen in quite awhile. They have overcome a lot too and have made believers out of a lot of people, especially late in the year. They stuck together when the chips were down and responded. The problem is, the Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl here too everyone. Newsflash, Pittsburgh has overcome more than its share of problems on and off the field in 2010 too. Tomlin’s group thrives on adversity & challenges, a direct mentality and ideal of their Coach. They don’t back down just because something is hard or they are behind the 8 ball. That’s something about this team that Tomlin has really driven home since he got here. Mentally tough players as well as physically tough. The never give up attitude gives them a chance to win in virtually any situation. You have to love that attitude that the players carry into this game. Everyone said the Ravens would beat us, then they said the Jets would own us, and look who is headed to Dallas. It ain’t over yet folks and if Mike Tomlin’s team is fortunate enough to hoist that 7th Lombardi then we will know that it was earned and all the critics can bow down and eat crow.
BlitzburghRockCity – SteelerAddicts.com
Thanks also to SA Forum member Troyisabeast_43 for his input.
Photo courtesy of everyjoe.com