The following is an interview conduted by Patriots247.com of Steeleraddicts.com's Top Gun.
1. When did Steeler Addicts open?
2. What prompted you to open this site?
Well, SA was actually started by a member and good friend of mine, Steelersfan. It was his dream to always have a Steelers site where everyone could feel welcomed and nobody would be chastised for having an opinion that may differ from someone else. Basically a site where everyone gets along and generally has a good time hanging out and talking Steeler football. Things transpired in Steelerfan's personal life that necessitated the need for him to step down as owner of SA. He offered me the torch and I gladly accepted. AZ_Steeler and myself run the site along with a stellar group on staff and we enjoy every minute of it.
3. What is your least favorite NFL franchise?
No question about it, the Baltimore Ravens
4. It's Mike Tomlin's first season coaching the Steelers. How has he done?
So far he's done very well. He's following in some pretty big footsteps as only the 3rd Steeler Head since Chuck Noll took over. Tomlin inherited an already winning franchise just 1 year removed from a Super Bowl victory so there were high expectations from the get go. This wasn't going to be a rebuilding year for the team but rather just some tweaking here and there along with some fresh faces on the coaching staff. He's surrounded himself with others who share his mentality and attitude towards football and so far it's worked out great. I think most of the Steeler Nation was cautious about accepting Mike in his new role because most of us were expecting the Rooney's to promote from within. From his very first interview though he won over the hearts of the fans and the city with his approach and attitude towards the game. I think it's a fair assumption that overall he's done a remarkable job to date but we still have work to do.
5. What are your expectations going forward of this year's Steelers team?
Lock up the division first off, and get the highest seed possible. At this point it appears the highest we'll get is the 3rd seed which means no bye week so unless the Colts lose a couple more games so we're able to catch them we'll be on the road for the playoffs after the first week. At this point I don't know that any Steeler fan expected us to be a Super Bowl contender this year just based on the "new coach" type of mentality but at this point if we play like we're capable week in and and week out this team can go as far as they want. The problem is they aren't consistent enough with it yet which is where the "things to work on" quote I made earlier comes in.
6. What is the biggest strength of the Steelers and what is their biggest weakness?
Biggest strength is the maturity of Ben Roethlisberger and also our Defense.
Biggest weakness is Special Teams and an inconsistent offensive line.
7. Where do the Steelers rank with the best teams in the NFL this year?
I'd say we're a top 5 team for sure, on any given week we can be a top 3 or even top 2 team. We aren't as consistent week in and week out as the Patriots are but as far as the Colts or Cowboys or Packers go we are right there with them if you ask me. We have the potential to play with the Patriots at any given time but what we currently lack is consistency and that's important.
8. Are the Steelers fairly portrayed both locally and on the national scene?
I would say so, even though the Steelers have one of the largest fan bases in all of professional sports they don't get the recognition from the media that other teams do in larger markets but I'd say overall the national media seems to have the stereotypical "old school smash mouth" mindset when they talk about the Steelers and this year we are not that type of team any more; we are much more diverse.
Local media if anything is probably right on with this team, they call it as they see it; sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not so good but overall I enjoy most of the Pittsburgh media's take on the Steelers.
9. Ben Roethlisberger is having a very nice year. 25 TDs, 11 INT, compiling a QB rating of 102.9. Do you regard Roethlisberger as a top 5 QB in the NFL?
This year, yes I do. Mainly because he's matured and he's healthy. He hit the playbooks and the training facilities hard this past offseason and is a real student of the game. He does tend to drive you nuts though because even though he has the mentality of never giving up on a play it's gotten him into trouble at times. He still has a lot to learn but he's a gunslinger similar to Brett Favre. Ben will take chances and try to make something out of nothing every chance he gets. He's gotten a lot smarter with the football this year as you can see by his numbers but he's got that invincible Favre type mentality that can get you in trouble sometimes. I'm not suggesting he's on Brett's level yet but he's got the same type of gunslinger attitude.
10. What is your prediction for this Sunday's Patriots - Steelers match-up?
Close game, I don't see a blow out either way. I think the Steelers feel they have a lot to prove and that the Patriots are ripe for the picking so to speak but at the same time Champions always find a way to win and that's what the Patriots have done so far this year. It should be a great game and will definitely be a physical, hard fought, affair.
If I had to pick an actual score I'll go out on a limb and say:
11. Anything you want to add about Steeleraddicts.com?
SA is a real labor of love for me. Like Steelersfan I had always dreamed of owning a Steelers fan site where there was no drama, no BS, and where everyone could come to hang out and feel comfortable sharing their opinions and thoughts. A place where friends can meet and make new friends. A place where you don't have to worry about a staff that's overbearing or wondering if the next thread is full of troll and spammer activity. A site is only as good as it's staff and members and we have a group here that is 2nd to none IMO, some of the best people I've ever been associated with on any website.
Thank you to Top Gun for his very insightful answers and time on this.