Let's put it another way. Jerome was a leader that everybody respected and rallied around his entire career with us. When he left last year who stepped up to take over some of that role? Nobody. Hines didn't, neither did Alan, Ben, Willie, Casey, Troy? Nope, the team was in disarray last year when we needed leadership the most.
Now Joey is gone, and he was the sole player who lit a fire under the team, inspired them and fired them up. Everybody respected him and followed his lead.
Our team has always been special and unique because they rallied around each other, they stayed focused, they were a family and stuck together. Now they are in a state of flux and there is more change on the way with the draft and any FA's we bring. Players need to step up in a big way and I hope to God they do because if they don't, we will struggle.
This article shows a lot about what I knew all along on how much of an impact Joey Porter has on the Steelers. Ben and Hines both explained it. Alan Faneca is now starting to question the Front Office, and with what happened to Porter, now he is even afraid to stay a Steeler now. Can't blame him.
This team felt the impact of Joey not being on the field when he was shot, when he hurt his hamstring last year, and each time was missing for any reason. Now he's gone for good it will take time to adjust no matter who steps in.
James Harrison is a good, tough, mean linebacker and I like what he brings to the table. If he stays healthy he can be a huge help for us, but still missing the identity of your defense will take some time to overcome.
If you call playing in all 16 games only four out of his eight year career and only once in his last four great shape
It seemed like the end of the world when they lost Nickerson, Brown, Lloyd, Kirkland, Holmes, etc. The team will move on... once camp starts the team will form it's own identity and just play football.