View Full Version : Steelers focusing on avoiding ’06-like letdown

05-03-2009, 10:52 AM
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Mike Tomlin wasn’t coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers when their Super Bowl-winning season of 2005 was followed by a series of mishaps, letdowns and losses. That doesn’t mean he’s not familiar with what can happen when a team tries to live off its title too long.

Witness the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 2003, who followed up their Super Bowl win by going 7-9. Similarly, the Steelers started 2-6 in 2006—the year of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s serious motorcycle accident—and finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

“Teams come hard at you,” Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said. “You become a target.”

The Steelers will be such a target again this season, and some of them were talking Saturday at their three-day weekend minicamp about what to do about it.

Tomlin can draw from his experiences as an assistant coach at Tampa Bay but said he intends to coach mostly “from the gut”—responding to each challenge as it arises.

“It is a different time, a different place, a different set of circumstances,” Tomlin said. “On a personal note, my approach and mentality in regards to some of the things I can pull from, I’m sure I will.”

So will Taylor and Hines Ward, Roethlisberger and Willie Parker and the nearly 20 other players who were part of both of the Steelers’ Super Bowl-winning seasons the past four years.

Last year, Roethlisberger said the June 2006 motorcycle crash that disrupted his season long before it began was a byproduct of him not being careful or conscientious enough after winning the Super Bowl, and it wouldn’t happen again.

Parker remembers how it took the 2006 Steelers almost until midseason to remember how they won the season before, so he didn’t want to create any distractions this year by holding out with only a season left on his contract.

“It’s nothing about the contract. I’m here to work,” Parker said. “I’m a Steeler until somebody tells me otherwise. The contract will take care of itself.”

The Steelers should have one advantage in avoiding the letdown of ’06—an easier schedule than they had not only that season, but also last year, when they went 12-4.

They will play the AFC West rather than the AFC South and the NFC Central rather than the NFC East. Based on their opponents’ 2008 records, they will play one of the NFL’s three easiest schedules.

To Taylor, preventing a repeat of 2006 requires remembering that every team wants to judge itself against the NFL champion, regardless of what its record was the previous season.

“We feel like we’re a target regardless, but there’s just that extra oomph, teams are going to come at you and that’s just the way it is,” Taylor said.

Taylor likes how the Steelers organization is staying with its business-as-usual approach, with an emphasis on the coming season. Enter the Steelers’ practice complex, and there are few signs this is the home of the NFL champions.

The Lombardi trophy from February is displayed along with the other five won by the Steelers not in a prominent place in the city where the public can view them, but in a quiet corridor near the coaches’ offices.

Employees answer the phone with a simple, “Pittsburgh Steelers,” with no mention of the recently won NFL title.

“The organization keeps it level and with a tone that keeps distractions to a minimum,” Taylor said. “Coach (Tomlin) does a great job of coming in and doing that and we’ve got some veteran guys who know what it takes coming off the last Super Bowl. He has experienced Super Bowls and we have experienced Super Bowls, and that’s a good mix.”
:imho: we are far from the let down of the '06 season.

05-03-2009, 11:00 AM
I was just talking about the 06 let down with a friend... it's actually my biggest fear! This time around though there are not any distractions like a coach retiring or motorcycle accidents :crossfingers:

05-03-2009, 11:21 AM
Alot things are or were different from the '06 season... I do know that "To be the man, you have to beat the man." " they have a target on their backs"
Ben (I hope) doesn't get hurt, like bounce his face off another windshield and deal with multiple concussions.
If the team is focused and doesn't get too caught up in the "super bowl hangover"
they look like they had a solid draft
a repeat is possible, not easy, but can win it again!

05-03-2009, 12:55 PM
“It is a different time, a different place, a different set of circumstances,” Tomlin said. “On a personal note, my approach and mentality in regards to some of the things I can pull from, I’m sure I will.”
One of the main reasons there won't be a letdown, is Tomlin. He won't let that happen, if he even senses that creeping into the players, he is smart enough and savvy enough to nip it in the bud.

Tomlin era:
Regular Season: 22-10 Postseason: 3-1
Career record: 25-11
Super Bowl: 1-0

05-04-2009, 03:39 PM
I agree this time around Tomlin is here and not Cowher and he is the kind of coach who seems to keep the team and all the players as a whole completely focused on the task at hand. Cowher let things go a little too much I think and let the players do what they wanted especially the veterans. Tomlin will not take that type of approach this time around and never has had that kind of approach to begin with. Plus, you take into account all of the players that won the Super Bowl back in 2005 that won it last year and are going through the same thing again. Guys like Ben,Hines,Willie,Miller,Troy, Reed,Deshea,Hampton,Keisel,Aaron Smith,Farrior, Harrison,Ike,Hoke,Kirschke,Starks they all have won twice and a lot of those guys are now veterans and you can bet that they will be more focused and know even more now what it takes to repeat then they did in 2006.

This team will be right there once again come January competing for another Lombardi Trophy barring a major injury to Ben and the defense completely falling apart. Plus, I love this schedule as well it's a very winnable and managable schedule for the Steelers. I love the Steelers chances of getting off to a fast start and possibly winning their first 7 games the way the schedule looks. And if this Steelers team gets a 1 or 2 seed again and homefield advantage in the playoffs they are going to be very very tough to beat.

05-04-2009, 04:25 PM
Agreed TIB 43, Tomlin is the difference maker here, he will have these cats ready believe that, Cowher was dealing with money issues an he was to friendly with the veterans, we needed change an i'm glad the Rooneys pick Tomlin:yesnod: But it still all comes down to Injuries:yesnod: If we stay healthy an the ball bounces our way a few times, an maybe if we get an call or two:lol: we really have the pieces in place to do some serious damage to opposing teams, this draft was an draft for depth an for the future an if the new C.B's pick up the system this year we will have an good Nickel D.B in Lewis i think we get better in K.R an P.R an if Wallace or Shaun Mcdonald can do what Nate did, or Frank the tank be an true short yardage/ goaline/ F.B then we will be really hard to beat:tt02:

05-05-2009, 02:42 AM
Yea I think we got a real good chance of repeating. Im not reading to much into easiest schedule though because any team can win any given sunday but I do see us havin a legit shot. Meaning if someone ask me in the beging season who I think wins superbowl 44 Id put money on us. Just take it one game at a time. Tomlin will have us prepare ready go to battle with those damn titans come week 1. I havent forgoten how they disrespected us last season after the game and im sure no one else and especially the steelers havent

05-05-2009, 10:15 AM
BC lost his desire in 06'...

05-05-2009, 10:45 AM
Yeah Bill Cowher said in an interview winning the Super Bowl wasnt as great as he thought it would be, so it was no longer enough motivation from him, so he didnt know how to motivate the team. So, when Big Ben went down, Cowher couldnt rally the troops.

05-05-2009, 10:54 AM
Yeah Bill Cowher said in an interview winning the Super Bowl wasnt as great as he thought it would be, so it was no longer enough motivation from him, so he didnt know how to motivate the team. So, when Big Ben went down, Cowher couldnt rally the troops.

Yep that's the same one I saw...

Sorry man, he lost the team!

Old news anyway, this team under MT will not crumble!

05-13-2009, 05:08 PM
Bill would've been a completely different coach in '06 if they'd shown him the money.

05-13-2009, 07:48 PM
x factor = health of ben/run game- hence o line; the D will obviously bring it ... because if ben went down last year we had byron, who does have his shortcomings, but who on our roster is even in his neighborhood?? ... i mean does any1 really think charlie batch can take us through the playoffs? unless the run game improves DRAMATICALLY we cannot win w/out ben .. i know some may disagree, but make the case and I am willing to listen , however it is doubtful that an objective analysis would leave you to believe that we can beat decent teams w/ out big ben

Silverback 92
05-13-2009, 08:17 PM
Ben dont do nothing dangerous this summer please