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    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    Aging Steelers running out of time to join NFL's dynasties

    These Steelers have little time left to cement their legacy

    Associated Press
    Published: Jan. 12, 2011 at 06:28 p.m. Updated: Jan. 12, 2011 at 07:12 p.m.

    PITTSBURGH -- Dealing with the Ravens' Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and Ed Reed will be difficult enough for the Steelers during their all-AFC North Divisional Playoff game Saturday.

    In terms of historical perspective, the Steelers also will be competing with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, and Tom Brady. And, from their own past, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and Mean Joe Greene.

    If the Steelers (12-4) beat the Ravens (13-4), they'll advance to their fifth AFC Championship Game in 10 seasons and their eighth since 1994. They'll also be one victory away from their third Super Bowl in six seasons. Only four franchises -- including Pittsburgh -- have won at least three Super Bowls with the same quarterback and core group of players.

    Although these Steelers are among the NFL's most accomplished teams -- their 116 regular-season and playoff victories since 2001 is third-best in the NFL -- they are among the oldest. James Farrior and Charlie Batch are 36. Hines Ward and Aaron Smith will be 35 within a few months. Chris Hoke is 34, Casey Hampton is 33, Brett Keisel is 32. Troy Polamalu will be 30 in April.

    They don't need anyone to tell them what that means, especially since free agency makes it difficult for any championship-type team to keep its key players together for more than a few seasons.

    "We have one or two more years left in us," Ward said Wednesday. "That's why this one is a little more special to us. We're two games away (from the Super Bowl). And we know how hard it is to get in this position."

    Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 28 and likely can count on a few more deep playoff runs, but the rest of a group that has repeatedly kept the Steelers in contention probably can't. They have this season, and maybe next, if they're to join the '70s-era Steelers (four Super Bowls won with Bradshaw), 49ers (four with Montana), Cowboys (three with Aikman) and Patriots (three with Brady).

    They're not printing T-shirts or putting up any motivational signs, but these Steelers want to accomplish it. Especially because no other franchise has done it twice.

    "We'd love to be part of the same legacy the previous Steelers had," said Smith, who has been out since mid-October with a triceps injury. "But I think, really, this group is so focused on just winning this one.

    "When we're all said and done and we're 10 years out of this league, we can look back and think about what kind of special group this was. But I think this group is just motivated on winning games and winning Super Bowls right now."

    Getting by Baltimore will be a challenge. The division rivals have split their four games the past two seasons, with each decided by three points. Only one of their last seven games was decided by more than four points; Pittsburgh beat Baltimore 23-14 in the AFC Championship Game two seasons ago.

    "We know what it's going to take to beat Baltimore here in our backyard," Ward said. "We're excited for the playoffs. A lot of people (in the league) have had two weeks off. They're already on vacation. So we know how rare it is to make it in this position, and the approach we've got to take. Lose and you go home, so the sense of urgency of going out there and doing the task at hand is there."

    Winning divisional-round games usually isn't a problem for the Steelers; they've won five of their last six and seven of their last nine. They haven't dropped one at home since 1992 against the Buffalo Bills. They also are 8-0 against division rivals in the playoffs since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, and they're 7-1 in the postseason since 2005.

    Yet Ward remembers how the Steelers lost AFC Championship Games at home against New England during the 2001 and 2004 seasons. He doesn't want to get so close to playing for a title, only to lose again.

    "We all think about it. The veteran guys, you get a greater appreciation because we know we (soon) won't even be together," Ward said. "For us, we want to take advantage of the opportunities we have now. We have a great nucleus of young guys that surround us -- Mike Wallace, (Maurkice) Pouncey, (Rashard) Mendenhall, (Lawrence) Timmons -- so guys like myself, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, we realize our time is coming soon. Opportunities like this, we appreciate a lot more. Let's seize the moment while we can."

    Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press



    Wouldn't it be great for the Steelers, who are the first team to win back to back championships twice, who's the first dynasty and team to win 4 championships, and the first to win 6 championships be a modern dynasty over a dynasty? More people than ever would hate SteelerNation and still knock us for nothing. Steelers are the only franchise that matters.

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    Top 30 Troyisabeast_43's Avatar
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    If the Steelers do end up meeting the Patriots next weekend in the AFC Championship game like so many people all over think they will then there will be absolutely a ton on the line in this game in terms of dynasty's and protecting the Steelers legacy of the 70's as well and stopping the Pats and Brady and Belichick from winning a 4th Super Bowl like Noll and Bradshaw did. This Steelers team is so close right now to getting back to the Super Bowl and winning this week and being just one game away from going back will make it even more special no matter who we play next weekend...

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    Assistant Coach coldrolled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troyisabeast_43 View Post
    protecting the Steelers legacy of the 70's as well and stopping the Pats and Brady and Belichick from winning a 4th Super Bowl like Noll and Bradshaw did.
    This is the number 1 reason to take it all.. We need to stop the Pats..

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    Keeper of Keys Dean Denton's Avatar
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    Wont matter if they get old or are old. The Steelers will continue to bring in talent like they always have. Sure it would be nice for the older guys, but Ben and Troy aren't old, and they have a few good season left in the tank. I would say Troy has 5 maybe 6 and Ben, if he doesn't get killed on the field or fired for being a perv has 10, maybe 12 seasons left. But, this is the team that needs to beat the Pats. Just because this is the team that has lost to them so much. But if the Pats can keep on winning with Brady, then the Steelers can do it X10 with Ben.
    Be who you are, become what you dream....

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    Yea because we have no depth withing our lineup,

    Wallace, Sanders, Brown...yea they must suck.
    Timmons, Woodley...I think worlids and Sly will be good.

    all the defense needs is some dl, and cb's.

    We have plenty of depth in the offense. We will get to seven. so what if it takes another 5 years. Christ o mighty we just won 2 within the past 5 ,Lets be thankful we've had 2 the past 5 years. We could be the browns or some other bumbass team who makes the playoffs once every ten years.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    It's no secret the defense is no spring chicken. The offense overall is youthful and in the prime of their careers right now with the exception of Ward and Flozell basically.

    For the defense especially, winning this one is so big. To win 3, and do yet again something that no other team has done would be absolutely monumental for this unit. We have 6, more than anyone else, but to get 7 and finish off the run that this group has had over this amount of time...words can't even describe it.

    In the playoffs you like to have that veteran group, guys that know how to step up and get it done under pressure like this. You figure IF the Steelers were to win the super bowl, there are a bunch of players that would probably hang it up. Guys like Ward, Farrior, Aaron Smith possibly, Hampton, Adams. The time is now, seize it and make history or go home.

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    "We all think about it. The veteran guys, you get a greater appreciation because we know we (soon) won't even be together," Ward said. "For us, we want to take advantage of the opportunities we have now. We have a great nucleus of young guys that surround us -- Mike Wallace, (Maurkice) Pouncey, (Rashard) Mendenhall, (Lawrence) Timmons -- so guys like myself, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, we realize our time is coming soon. Opportunities like this, we appreciate a lot more. Let's seize the moment while we can. I hope they truly understand this

    Wouldn't it be great for the Steelers, who are the first team to win back to back championships twice, who's the first dynasty and team to win 4 championships, and the first to win 6 championships be a modern dynasty over a dynasty? More people than ever would hate SteelerNation and still knock us for nothing. Steelers are the only franchise that matters. Great read thanks for posting this


    These Steelers have little time left to cement their legacy...THE TIME IS NOW

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    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity View Post
    It's no secret the defense is no spring chicken. The offense overall is youthful and in the prime of their careers right now with the exception of Ward and Flozell basically.

    For the defense especially, winning this one is so big. To win 3, and do yet again something that no other team has done would be absolutely monumental for this unit. We have 6, more than anyone else, but to get 7 and finish off the run that this group has had over this amount of time...words can't even describe it.

    In the playoffs you like to have that veteran group, guys that know how to step up and get it done under pressure like this. You figure IF the Steelers were to win the super bowl, there are a bunch of players that would probably hang it up. Guys like Ward, Farrior, Aaron Smith possibly, Hampton, Adams. The time is now, seize it and make history or go home.
    Well said BRC. ..I'm lovin this very much.

    --- Added 1/14/2011 at 10:23 AM ---

    Quote Originally Posted by SIXBURGH View Post
    "We all think about it. The veteran guys, you get a greater appreciation because we know we (soon) won't even be together," Ward said. "For us, we want to take advantage of the opportunities we have now. We have a great nucleus of young guys that surround us -- Mike Wallace, (Maurkice) Pouncey, (Rashard) Mendenhall, (Lawrence) Timmons -- so guys like myself, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, we realize our time is coming soon. Opportunities like this, we appreciate a lot more. Let's seize the moment while we can. I hope they truly understand this

    Wouldn't it be great for the Steelers, who are the first team to win back to back championships twice, who's the first dynasty and team to win 4 championships, and the first to win 6 championships be a modern dynasty over a dynasty? More people than ever would hate SteelerNation and still knock us for nothing. Steelers are the only franchise that matters. Great read thanks for posting this


    These Steelers have little time left to cement their legacy...THE TIME IS NOW
    Early candidate for thread of the year. We'll see. It is a great read no less.

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