View Full Version : Steelers say they're hungry to match 1970s dynasty

04-20-2009, 06:23 PM
PITTSBURGH -- Super Bowl champions don't get much of an offseason.

Only 2 1/2 months after the Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/page/PIT) defeated the Arizona Cardinals for the franchise's sixth NFL title, the Steelers -- at least most of them -- were back on the practice field Monday. Rain chased them indoors for the first of 14 organized team practices that run periodically through early June and are a supplement to next week's mandatory, three-day minicamp.

After winning their second Super Bowl in four seasons, wide receiver Hines Ward (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/12795) said the Steelers don't need to be pushed and prodded to return to practice.

Apparently not -- All-Pro linebacker James Harrison (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/303162) was working out again only two days after the Steelers' last-minute, 27-23 win over the Cardinals in Tampa. Wide receiver Limas Sweed (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/437036) was talked out of doing conditioning work later that same week, but he waited only two weeks before resuming his personal workouts.

The Steelers are being driven by two factors, according to Ward: 1) A determination not to repeat the major letdown of their post-Super Bowl 2006 season, when they started 2-6 and finished 8-8. 2) A desire to match the three Super Bowls won in recent history by New England, and perhaps even the four won by the Steelers of the 1970s.

"I know I want to win another one," Ward said. "The teams in the 1970s, they won four. If we can win another one, then I think we'll be right up there with New England as one of the teams in the dynasty."

Nose tackle Casey Hampton (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/235214) believes one more Super Bowl victory would cause these Steelers to be remembered as one of the best teams in NFL history.

While they've changed coaches, from Bill Cowher to Mike Tomlin since winning the Super Bowl during the 2005 season, many of the key players (Ward, Hampton, Ben Roethlisberger (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/493043), Willie Parker (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/494527), Heath Miller (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/416861), James Farrior (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/3435), Troy Polamalu (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/396174), Aaron Smith (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/133412), Brett Keisel (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/302066), Larry Foote (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/302022), Deshea Townsend) (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/134238) are the same.

"Especially with the same core of guys, it's kind of like the same team," Hampton said. "We're trying to catch the old Steelers, back in the day, see if we can get us four, see what that would be like."

Since the Steelers won four times during the 1974-79 seasons, and the 49ers won four from 1981-89 (plus a fifth in 1994), the only teams to win three Super Bowls are the Cowboys (1992-93, 1995) and the Patriots (2001, 2003-04).

Hampton said the Steelers got "lax ... forgot how we got there" after winning three years ago, but Ward promised that won't happen again.

"We've been through that. The veteran guys who were on that first Super Bowl we won a couple of years ago, we came back with a disappointing 8-8 year," Ward said. "I think there's a different mindset coming into this. We've got a lot of veteran guys mixed in with a lot of new, unproven guys who have to step up their game. And coach Tomlin, he won't let us have a down year. His expectation levels are very high, and they should be."

Intentionally or not, management is allowing a number of players - Ward, Hampton, Foote, Miller, Parker, Keisel, safety Ryan Clark (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/303349) and kicker Jeff Reed (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/303081) among them- to go into the final season of their contracts. Only All-Pro linebacker James Harrison (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/303162), the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and left guard Chris Kemoeatu (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/414430) have signed new contracts.

Some others could be re-signed by the end of training camp, but the franchise's philosophy has long been that playing for a new contract isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"We're not going to get as complacent as we got the last time," Hampton said.

The last time Ward was going into the last season of a contract, in 2005, he stayed out of training camp for two weeks before reporting. He signed a contract extension the week of the season opener.
Ward said he won't stay out this time. One reason is he is only 220 yards away from reaching the 10,000-yard receiving mark, a number reached by only 31 players in NFL history.

"I don't want to put on another uniform," the 33-yard-old Ward said. "I'm too late in the game (his career) to worry about it. You look at all the previous players who went on and played in other places. I learned a lot from Jerome (Bettis), what he did. I want to go down in Steelers history to be one of the better wideouts to wear the black and gold."

Among those missing Monday, some due to travel problems, were Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, Polamalu, Parker, Clark, Foote, Timmons and safety Tyrone Carter (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/187507). Ward did not practice because he is recovering from left rotator cuff surgery, but he was in uniform.

Working out were three players who missed all or most of last season, punter Daniel Sepulveda (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/420625) (knee) backup quarterback Charlie Batch (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/12204) (broken collarbone) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/players/playerpage/561926) (shoulder).

April 20, 2009
CBSSports.com wire reports
Injuries and being able to stay focused should be the only things that will stop us in defending our Championship. Win another Lombardi and this generation will be talked about right along with the 70's dynasty.

04-20-2009, 06:42 PM
I agree completely. Steelers need to dominate on both sides of the ball/field--offense and defense and stay completely healthy, 100%. There's that buzz and comparison of the 70's Steelers dynasty that started it all. I truly believe in my heart and as a true, hardcore, diehard Steelers fan that we will repeat. This is our year. Every player needs to step up their game including the rookies.....especially the rookies if they want more playing time. They're going to have to make a very big impression and prove their worth. I hope that sorry, stupid bitch tom gravy stays healthy so we can beat the patriots *** in the afc championship game at Heinz so we can get that one last monkey off our back and bring a gorgeous 7th super bowl title to SteelerNation. Damn, I'm glad to be a Steelers fan!

04-21-2009, 12:13 AM
Great article, and I hope it hits home with some of the younger guys, and also whoever we end up drafting. Let everyone know if they want to wear the black and gold, they better work their asses off.

04-21-2009, 12:50 AM
Great article:yellowthumb:If we stay healthy i know that we will repeat:yesnod:Tomlin being the type of coach he is, he will make sure that these cats are accountable an focused,the only problem i see is with the running game, But if we can run the ball effectively we will be an team that's very hard to beat:tt02: GO STEELERS!!

04-21-2009, 08:12 AM
Great attitute, The vets that make up the core of this team understand the mission at hand.They will not stumble this time and become compacent,and will kick some major azz.I am humbled to be a fan since old Pitt Stadium,the loveable losers.Then came Noll.A wild rookie at defensive tackle nobody ever heard of who hated to lose,an amazing group of draft picks in the years that followed, and oh yes,that Great Attitude.I am itching for the season to start.Cause things are gonna be fun.

Sir Blitzelot
04-21-2009, 08:34 AM
This is a good sign; it seems the Steelers have a whole different attitude than the one they had entering the 2007 season. It's nice to see this team has already put Super Bowl XLIII behind them, and are focused on the 2009 season. I always feel disappointed that I missed the Steelers dynasty of the 1970's, but I think this team has a chance to create a dynasty of their own, as long as they stay healthy. :crossfingers:

04-21-2009, 10:06 AM
Man this gets me really fired up for this season!! I can't wait! I love the mindset of the guys this year! Wish August would get here soon!! :tt02:

Silverback 92
04-21-2009, 11:05 AM
keep the drive alive First to 7 !!

04-21-2009, 01:52 PM
This is just what you want to see out these guys in the offseason; staying focused and realizing how precious a championship is and staying determined to not have a let down and do their best to repeat! Tomlin has really got this team focused and the players are looking like they have the attitude that they could go out tomorrow and start playing games again!

04-22-2009, 10:23 AM
I hate that we have to wait so long before we get to watch the steelers domminate. I hope the Pens win the cup. Two sports Two Champions, not to mention the Pirate arent off to a bad start maybe they will even finish over 500....maybe.

04-22-2009, 10:43 AM
I hate that we have to wait so long before we get to watch the steelers domminate. I hope the Pens win the cup. Two sports Two Champions, not to mention the Pirate arent off to a bad start maybe they will even finish over 500....maybe.

YEA GO PENS:greenbounce2::yellowthumb:

01-24-2011, 03:48 PM
Should they win Feb. 6. They will be one step closer. Let's put talks of retirement to the side.

01-24-2011, 05:27 PM
Should they win Feb. 6. They will be one step closer. Let's put talks of retirement to the side.

Not really. The 70s team won 4 in 6 years, including back to back twice. The back to back is big for me, and really needs to happy before I can consider a team a dynasty.

Real Deal Steel
01-24-2011, 11:44 PM
I love their attitude. But the Packers are going to spread us out 3-4 WR sets. William Gay is going to have to play the game of his life because he will be on Driver or Jordy Nelson I think.

01-25-2011, 05:29 PM
RDS is right, this is a match up problem for us.

Even when I look back to the last game these two played, we got scorched. But, they had Grant and Finley in that game so they are a bit more limited, although still extremely talented.

I think Ben had over 500 yards throwing in that game, so we did some things right, too.

Unfortunately for us, this will probably be another close one-score game so stock up on BP/Heart medication and Scotch.

After the first half in the AFC CG, I am wondering if the Steelers even have another gear on top of what we saw. I would love to see it because that was a half for the ages.