As so many in the city of Pittsburgh born in the 1970’s, I grew up hearing the stories of those amazing teams. The names of the great ones as common around the household as a member of the family. Too young to truly remember the games but I always remembered the celebrations.
I remember watching through the 80’s and wondering where those glory days had gone. We still had Coach Noll but things just weren’t the same. I can remember hearing “the team must rebuild to succeed.” Of course, not quite understanding what that entailed. I remember so well the day that Coach Cowher was hired. Something about him was an instant hit for me. I thought, this is it. We will have our glory days now, we will get that one for the thumb! Boy did we come close in Super Bowl XXX, if only….
Cowher brought the team back into contention almost every year. The Rooney’s were patient with him through the down times even when the city wanted to crucify the hometown man. So many times we came close to getting that one for the thumb, it was a dream that seemed would come to fruition any season. Finally, with building through the draft, which was the best way this team has always worked, we got there for Super Bowl XL in 2006. With the likes of some present day stars in their own rights. The team finally had a franchise quarterback it could depend on and plethora of talent around him. We surely did finally get that 5th Super Bowl win.
Following the next season, Coach Cowher retired which presented the opportunity for Coach Tomlin. Now, personally, I was curious to see how this man would proceed with our precious franchise. Of course, he began with a heck of a ball club inherited from Coach Cowher. He took the Steelers to that unprecedented 6th Lombardy trophy. The first and only team to hold 6 of those beauties.
Now, here we are in 2013 and it is fair to say that the majority of the players are now Coach Tomlin’s. Is it also fair to say that the type of players the Steelers are now obtaining are the type of players we are accustomed to? A major lack of leadership has developed amongst that locker room and where should the blame lie? We often wonder if players have been pushed out too soon looking for that young blood to take us into the future. We are now facing that same dilemma through this offseason. As it stands now, we as fans, really are clueless as to what our team could look like at the start of the season. I like Coach Tomlin but I often wonder if his leadership is strong enough. It has to start somewhere and shouldn’t that be with the Head Coach? It is fair to say that there has been a downgrade in player personnel. With Mr. Rooney now back from Ireland, will this change?
I love Steelers football as much as the next fan and I only hope that the team can pull itself together in time before it embarrasses itself any further. I will admit, regardless, I will be there every week cheering for those men in the Black and Gold I love so dearly. I only hope they prove to be worthy of our loyalty and they continue the pride of being a Steeler, the greatest franchise in the NFL.