View Full Version : Steelers try to stay focused 1 game at a time

11-21-2006, 12:16 AM

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Two years ago, Ben Roethlisberger suited up for his first game in Baltimore expecting to do what he did in his first professional game the previous week: Watch from the sideline as Tommy Maddox played quarterback.

Everything changed that afternoon. Maddox left in the third quarter with an elbow injury and Roethlisberger replaced him. The Steelers lost that day to go 1-1. They would not lose again until the AFC championship game, 15 consecutive victories, one in the playoffs against the Jets.

They did not carry a big picture with them then. Their goal was to play each week and somehow win a game with a rookie quarterback. As they head Sunday to Baltimore, where Roethlisberger will start for the first time in that city, the goal is similar except the quarterback no longer is a rookie.

"Where we're at now, we move on to the next game," guard Alan Faneca said. "We're still in that one-game mode, build off it, build off that confidence."

The Steelers have no choice at this point. At 4-6, they would embarrass themselves if they even mentioned their playoff chances. Today, they are 60-1 odds to win the Super Bowl on Bodog.com. Baltimore is 6-1.

Their dreams of going down in history as the first franchise to become three-time Super Bowl repeat winners have been dashed, only no one has told the Steelers that yet. Last year, they had to win eight in a row to win a Super Bowl; this year it would have to be a dozen.

"It's definitely too early right now," nose tackle Casey Hampton said, spitting out his distaste when someone asked about the playoffs. "We've only won four games this year! We have to worry about just winning games. We're way far away from that right now."

Hampton does not care that the Steelers play Baltimore, their fiercest rival and, at 8-2, the runaway leader of the AFC North.

"Any game in the division gets your attention," Hampton said. "We have to win all the division games. That's just the bottom line. It's just like anybody else. That's how I feel."

At 4-6, the Steelers have fallen behind 18 NFL teams, including San Francisco and the New York Jets, both 5-5. Their record is as good, or bad, as Buffalo and Green Bay, two places where they're certainly not talking about the playoffs.

But, there is that two-game winning streak, their first this season.

"Winning a couple in a row, man, that's nothing," Hampton said. "We've won 10 in a row around here. We just have to go out and get it done."

Hampton does not believe that a two-game winning streak can provide anything to the collective psyche of a team. Others do, especially on a team that was 2-6 just 10 days ago.

"It's starting to establish something we're used to and what we can identify more with," linebacker Clark Haggans said. "Last year, we went on a streak. The year before I don't know how many we won in a row; it seemed like we just kept winning."

That's the attitude this team has to have...they cant worry about anything but the next opponent. Getting caught up in the scenario that has to unfold or whatever anyone else is doing is going to be trouble so we need to just keep going 1 game at a time and see what happens.

House of Steel
11-21-2006, 12:34 AM
Amen! I agree, we must approach the rest of the games, one at a time. Baltimore is going to be a big huge game and these guys are ready to battle.

11-21-2006, 12:43 AM
I looks like the team is starting to believe in each other again and get that never say die attitude back. After coming from behind the last 2 games and winning that goes a long way in the confidence dept.

11-21-2006, 11:09 AM
Assuming the Steelers knock off the Ravens I think their confidence will shoot through the roof and we will see something amazing!! They could add to their record they set last year as the first team to ever go on the road in the playoffs and make it to the Super Bowl and win it... TWICE!!! :tt02:

11-21-2006, 11:21 AM
Winning this game will put on a hot streak and definately boost the confidence level to knock off the division leaders...but you know if we beat them this weekend they'll still think they are God's gift to the NFL again.

11-21-2006, 11:24 AM
Winning this game will put on a hot streak and definately boost the confidence level to knock off the division leaders...but you know if we beat them this weekend they'll still think they are God's gift to the NFL again.I was actually thinking about that as I was typing up my post but I didn't want to bring it up and jinx them! :)

11-21-2006, 11:28 AM
I thought that same thing too while I posted it, but we've jinxed ourselves so many times this year already that it's not even funny so I figured maybe some good thoughts would help ;)

11-21-2006, 11:33 AM
Hopefully their record has made them humble and IF they happen to go on a three game win streak it won't go to their head like their opening day victory did! :bigthumb:

11-21-2006, 11:58 AM
If this team lets anything go to their heads this year after how we've played most of our games they outta be banned from the facility for being under the influence !! :greengrin:

Iron City South
11-22-2006, 09:00 PM
Steelers waited to long to hit the panic button this year. They should have gone into "one game at a time" mode immediately after their 3rd loss of the season.

Lack of focus on the fundamentals and undiciplined ball handling. That's exactly how this season can be summerized.

This season is all about letting our younger players see some real time action. Next year, this team can be good ... real good.

11-22-2006, 10:46 PM
I like their approach, it helps almost every time.

11-23-2006, 12:01 AM
It took them till the half way point of the season to realize they just can't step onto the field and expect a win. Let's just hope it's not too late.