Pro Football Teams


Pittsburgh Steelers:

The Deuce is loose to spell the Bus

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Football League. The team has been to the playoffs on 21 separate occasions, won 16 divisional titles, 5 conference championships and 4 Super Bowls. The Steelers are best known for their glory days of the 1970s. The team was led by players like quarterback Terry Bradshaw, wide receiver Lynn Swann, running back Franco Harris, defensive lineman “Mean” Joe Greene, linebacker Jack Lambert and defensive back Mike Wagner. The team won a divisional crown seven times in the ‘70s. They also went to the Super Bowl four times between 1974-’79 and won all four of them beating the Cowboys twice and the Rams and Vikings once in the big game. The “Steel Curtain” defense is what the Steelers rode all the way to those four Lombardi Trophies. That defense is regarded by many football historians to be the greatest defense in the history of the NFL. The NFL’s greatest single play dubbed the “Immaculate Reception,” at the end of the 1972 AFC Divisional playoff game against the Raiders. The 13-7 game would be forgotten by many if that final play didn’t happen. The Steelers only points of the game came on two Roy Gerela field goals. With 22 seconds left in the game from the Raiders’ 40-yard line Bradshaw threw it to Frenchy Fuqua who collided with Raider defender Jack Tatum at the 35 and the ball flew back and was snagged by Harris, before it could touch the ground, at the 45-yard line. Harris then ran the ball into the end zone with five seconds left on the clock. All the fans that had purchased Steelers tickets that day got more than their money's worth for that game.

Last season the Steelers had a sub-par year as far as their standards go or as far as NFL standard go for that matter. The team finished with a disappointing 6-10 record and despite that head coach Bill Cowher received a contract extension through the 2007 season. If Cowher does finish out his contract he will be the coach of the Steelers for 16 straight seasons. There really isn’t any reason that Cowher should not have any job security, he’s led the Steelers to a 115-76-1 record with eight playoff appearances and one AFC championship. Many Pittsburgh fans believe the Steelers could’ve beaten the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX if Neil O’Donnell didn’t throw the ball to Dallas Cornerback Larry Brown twice which led to 14 Cowboys points.

In the off-season the Steelers didn’t make a great deal of moves but the moves they did make were very deliberate and made the team better. The team needed help in three areas right away Punting, running back and defensive tackle. They got just that when they signed punter Chris Gardocki, running back Deuce Staley and defensive tackle Travis Kirschke.

In the draft the team needed to get younger at a few key positions, namely at quarterback. With their first pick they selected Miami of Ohio quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 6’2” 242 pound Roethlisberger is built more like a linebacker than a quarterback and is mobile too. A number of teams would’ve picked Roethlisberger before they picked Eli Manning or Phillip Rivers who went number one and number four in the draft. In the second round the Steelers added some talent to the cornerback position by selecting Ricardo Colclough out of Tusculum College.

On the offensive side of the ball the Steelers are a very dangerous team. Led by wide receivers Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress the team didn’t have very much trouble with their aerial attack. The big question going into this season is how long the Steelers will wait before they push rookie standout Roethlisberger into the starting quarterback position. No matter what, Roethlisberger should be ready to go in because starting quarterback Tommy Maddox has a history of injury problems.

On the defensive side of the ball the Steelers are one of the more solid units in the National Football League. The team finished 12 th in both rushing and passing defense which fetched them the 9 th best total defense in the NFL. They are the team that started the trend of running the 3-4 defense as their base defense. With linebackers like Kendrell Bell and Joey Porter they can run whatever defense they want and still be able to stop opposing teams.

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