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Steelers Offseason Thread (1 Viewer)

Frenchy Fuqua

Footballguy
#1 About the Team

Post-Season Analysis: '05 picture might be even better

Sunday, January 30, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

KEY DATES:

Feb. 22: Teams designate franchise and transition players

March 2: Free-agency period begins

April 23-24: NFL draft

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Slick posters from the Steelers' 2004 season are on sale through the Post-Gazette. They're nice keepsakes. Frame them, hang them on the wall, and send them as gifts to family and friends.

It's a good way to remember the Steelers' record 2004 season, at least the regular season, because this is one newspaper product that provides only the good news.

You won't find the Steelers' 41-27 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship on the poster. Perhaps it will be included in a poster for next season, because, as Bill Cowher said, this is the beginning, not the end.

A poster that would better define the entire season would be a glossy reprint of the Jan. 26 front page of Hines Ward in tears. Now that tells the story, and it's not necessarily a bad one. Ward shows the passion and bitter disappointment of an entire team.

It just might represent a beginning, because the Steelers rebuilt a base in 2004, one of philosophy and attitude and, yes, talent that should carry them for several years. Somewhere along the line, the Steelers need to discover how to get over the hump and whether something they are doing or not doing prevents them from succeeding in the postseason. Otherwise, everything seems to be in place for them to make a run at the Super Bowl next season and beyond.

If anything, the Steelers should improve in 2005. That doesn't mean they will win 15 games again. Their schedule may preclude that. The Patriots and Jaguars visit Heinz Field and the Steelers play at Indianapolis, San Diego, Green Bay and Minnesota. That's not a schedule conducive to winning 15 games. But then, the Steelers beat both teams that will play in the Super Bowl, quite handily, in successive games at home the past season.

Although teams can go sour in a hurry in the NFL, the Steelers should be better for many reasons.

Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton returns, and his backup Chris Hoke proved he deserves more playing time, perhaps in the nickel and dime defense.

Ben Roethlisberger should be a much better quarterback, more knowledgeable about defenses and his offense. The Steelers can afford to put more on his shoulders next season and strike a better balance between the run and the pass than they did in 2004. His coaches, though, must put him through a rigorous offseason program, on and off the field, and make sure he spends much of his time at the team's training facility, starting in March.

As well as the offensive line played, it may improve with Kendall Simmons back at right guard and massive Max Starks at right tackle. As with Roethlisberger, safeties Troy Polamalu and Chris Hope will benefit next season from their first as starters. So, too, will linebackers Clark Haggans and Larry Foote.

The offense and defense will benefit from the entire coaching staff's return. This was Cowher's best staff up and down the line, starting with the two new coordinators, **** LeBeau on defense and Ken Whisenhunt on offense.

Free agency, which robbed some Steelers playoff teams in the 1990s of top talent, won't be a large factor this year. They may lose Plaxico Burress, but Antwaan Randle El is ready to fill that role if they do. They may lose Kendrell Bell, but he was lost for the season anyway and Larry Foote played well in his absence. They will lose Keydrick Vincent and probably Oliver Ross on the right side of their line, but Simmons and Starks will more than make up for that.

Here are some moves the Steelers should make:

Ask Chad Scott to take a pay cut, the way Jerome Bettis did this past year. They may not want to pay Scott, a veteran cornerback, $4 million in salary, but he's worth having back at a more reasonable number.

Make Plaxico Burress a decent offer. He's not likely to take it because someone will unload a ton of money on him. The other option is to put the franchise number on him and swallow more than $7 million as a cap hit for one season. That would allow the Steelers to see if Burress and Roethlisberger can build on their rapport and buy the Steelers one more year to find or develop another receiver behind Randle El.

Sign Hines Ward, who has one year left on his contract, to a long-term deal. He represents the heart and soul of the team.

Make Ross an offer, but not a big one because Starks will take over at right tackle. Ross would become the top backup at tackle/guard if he accepts their terms, although he likely will leave as a free agent. Vincent will sign elsewhere as a free agent.

Convince Bettis to play another season, and do it soon. The Steelers can go with Duce Staley, Bettis, Verron Haynes and Willie Parker another season. However, if Bettis decides to retire or does not like the terms, the Steelers will need another good running back, through the draft or a free-agent bargain.

Find out what Tommy Maddox is thinking, and if he will accept his role as the backup to Roethlisberger. If he is steadfast against it, trade him. Charlie Batch, provided his knee is sound, would re-sign as the No. 2 quarterback. Otherwise, Brian St. Pierre can be No. 2.

Alonzo Jackson is not an outside linebacker. Either try to use him as a situational pass rusher or turn him into a 3-4 defensive end. If he can't do either, be done with him.

The Steelers do not need to sign any expensive free agents, no matter what happens or which players leave. They do not need to pursue cornerback Ty Law or find someone on the outside to replace Burress. They need to continue to look for players such as Travis Kirschke, Clint Kriewaldt, Willie Williams and James Harrison -- good players who either bargains in free agency or were on the street, players who can help you win.

The draft can be used to truly take the highest-rated players on their board, unless he's a quarterback, in the top rounds. The Steelers can use a tight end who is a good pass receiver and can become a steady target for Roethlisberger. They don't need to abandon their philosophy about blocking tight ends, but a complement to that would help. It's something they haven't had in a long time.

Cornerback and wide receiver also should be high on their list, whether or not Scott and Burress return. The Steelers always need outside linebackers but they should consider one of those undersized athletic defensive ends in the middle rounds and give him a year or so to develop, the way they did with Joey Porter, Jason Gildon, Clark Haggans, etc.

Kimo von Oelhoffen is 34, so finding a stud defensive end -- like Aaron Smith -- should be a priority.

Most importantly, Cowher and his staff need to follow the plan they devised a year ago when everyone seemed to draw motivation from their 6-10 record in 2003. The thoughts of preventing that again carried them through the offseason and into training camp.

How do you draw that kind of motivation after blowing through 16 games with 15 victories? That's easy. Instead of the Post-Gazette's slick salute to that accomplishment, the Steelers should construct a poster of their own. Reproduce the photo of a tearful Hines Ward and nail it to the inside of each player's locker, on the door of each coach and in the office of every Steelers executive.

#2 About the Fans

Forum: Steelers love -- truly, madly, deeply

The best qualities of Pittsburgh, says Maxwell King, are evident in the phenomenon of Steelers fandom

Maxwell King is president of The Heinz Endowments and the former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

I think it was Jeff Hartings, the center, who made the observation that he'd rather lose with these guys -- his Steelers teammates -- than win with almost any of the other teams in the league. And somehow this past week, the whole town seemed to agree.

Despite the awful heartbreak of losing the AFC championship game on that brutally cold Sunday night, there has been almost no recrimination with our Steelers in the many of thousands of conversations around town. What you heard in those conversations was how badly we felt for the Steelers, the Rooneys, for ourselves, for all our heroes like Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger and The Bus.

There was sadness and frustration, but little blame. And that seemed amazing to me.

Not only does this town seem to love the Steelers unconditionally, but it has achieved the strongest bond between community and team that I've ever encountered.

I grew up outside Cleveland and rooted for the Browns, moved to New England before New England had a team and rooted with most everyone up there for the New York Giants.

I lived almost 30 years in Philadelphia and backed the Eagles with feeling. But only when I moved here six years ago did I find out what it is to be a totally mad, passionately committed fan. And I use the word committed with the full insane-asylum connotation.

Everyone here seems to feel that way. In fact, everyone all across America who ever had any contact with Pittsburgh seems to be gripped by that passion.

Steelers Nation.

Why? What is it about this team? This town? Why does the devotion grip me? Grip all of us? What gives it that distinctive, deep power?

I think I've figured it out, and even though I'm a newcomer (like everyone else who hasn't logged at least 40 years here), I want to share these insights. There are, really, two reasons for it.

Reason No. 1: the simple, powerful fact that the personality of the team completely matches the personality of the town. The traits of both are perfectly aligned -- the same tough, unpretentious, straightforward, hardworking character that emphasizes camaraderie, community and effort.

That's Pittsburgh: big-hearted, hardworking and straight-shooting. That's the Steelers' team members: devoted to each other, devoted to the community and utterly relentless in their pursuit of excellence. No place else that I've seen, or read about, offers such convergence of character as Pittsburgh and its team.

Reason No. 2: The Rooneys. Here's a family that cares as much about its community as it does about its team and cares more about either than it does about money.

Dan and Pat Rooney still live on the North Side, a few blocks from the stadium, where they grew up, and provide leadership for the community as well as the team. Art Rooney Sr. is such a community icon that local playwrights have created a work of one-man theater devoted to exploring the magnificence of his character. (Can we imagine such a tribute for Al Davis of Oakland? Or even the more benign Jeff Lurie of Philadelphia?)

People who live and work in Pittsburgh, or anywhere in Pennsylvania for that matter, know that we're as lucky to have the Rooneys as we are to have the Steelers, and that the Rooneys' deeply traditional communitarian and Christian values are such a significant part of what makes this team -- and this town -- great.

Those two reasons -- the alignment of values between the team and the town, and the strength of the Rooney family -- explain, to me, the power of our devotion to the Steelers and the lack of team-directed anger that so often accompanies a community's relationship with a sports franchise.

Remember, I was a Browns fan. Do you recall the Browns' game where the fans, lacking beer bottles, threw transistor radios and even a small television set at players and referees as they fled the field? And I spent almost 30 years in Philadelphia, which means I was there when the Eagles' fans booed Santa Claus when he appeared for a Christmas pageant, and then threw snowballs -- actually, hard-packed frozen ice balls -- at Eagles players who underperformed.

Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.

 
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That's cool. Steeler fans are some of the best in the country by and large, and obviously the team was great this year.But I couldn't disagree more with Hartings thing. I know it sounds warm and fuzzy for him to say what he said (if he really said it), but I'd never want a guy who'd rather lose with his buddies than win with any other team in the league.Never.J

 
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Hey, if you're going to live with a rookie quarterback, you're going to have to die with him. That's exactly what the Steelers did. I don't doubt that they'll be back next year.They can talk all feel-good about the amazing regular season they had all they want. Too bad it ended up meaning diddly-squat. The fact is, when it came down to validating that season, they went out and laid an egg. The best defense in the NFL gave up 41 points. They barely showed up. As a fan, I would be embarrassed about that. I certainly wouldn't embrace it. That was a huge letdown and those great fans in Pittsburgh deserved much better.If you'd rather go out like that, then win with anyone else, then I hope you enjoy many more losses in the big games to come. I'm sure the fans in New England, Indy, Baltimore, New York, Buffalo, KC, Denver, etc., etc. will be happy to hear it.

 
They can talk all feel-good about the amazing regular season they had all they want. Too bad it ended up meaning diddly-squat. The fact is, when it came down to validating that season, they went out and laid an egg. The best defense in the NFL gave up 41 points. They barely showed up. As a fan, I would be embarrassed about that. I certainly wouldn't embrace it. That was a huge letdown and those great fans in Pittsburgh deserved much better.
Yes it did end badly and yes we can be disappointed in not going all the way. Hey, I didn't have SB expectations until about week 13, so when the bar got raised, anything short of a title is a HUGE disappointment. Given that I figured they were 8-8 material in August, it's a nice to be wrong like that.:stillers: :stillers: :stillers:
 
Some thoughts on the Bouchette article:

Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton returns, and his backup Chris Hoke proved he deserves more playing time, perhaps in the nickel and dime defense.
I'd like to see them groom Hoke to be Kimo's replacement. Kimo played NT for us and was able to make the switch successfully. I really liked what I saw from Hoke this year and would like to see them try the same.

They may lose Plaxico Burress, but Antwaan Randle El is ready to fill that role if they do.
No, he isn't.

They may lose Kendrell Bell, but he was lost for the season anyway and Larry Foote played well in his absence. They will lose Keydrick Vincent and probably Oliver Ross on the right side of their line, but Simmons and Starks will more than make up for that.
Love that simmons is coming back but from what I saw from Starks this year I am not sure I was to rely on him to be the every down RT. It's possible, but I'm not sold on it yet.

Ask Chad Scott to take a pay cut, the way Jerome Bettis did this past year. They may not want to pay Scott, a veteran cornerback, $4 million in salary, but he's worth having back at a more reasonable number.
A *SEVERE* pay cut. like 75% . He's not worth anything more than that.

Make Plaxico Burress a decent offer. He's not likely to take it because someone will unload a ton of money on him. The other option is to put the franchise number on him and swallow more than $7 million as a cap hit for one season. That would allow the Steelers to see if Burress and Roethlisberger can build on their rapport and buy the Steelers one more year to find or develop another receiver behind Randle El.
This is a very tough call. I think they should Franchise Buress although I certainly understand the logic of the people who say we shouldn't. I just don't want to see him walk and us get nothing...I think someone will want him enough to take him even if we do franchise him.

Sign Hines Ward, who has one year left on his contract, to a long-term deal. He represents the heart and soul of the team.
Duh.

Charlie Batch, provided his knee is sound, would re-sign as the No. 2 quarterback. Otherwise, Brian St. Pierre can be No. 2.
BSP can be a turd, if that is what Bouchette is trying to say -- but he is not a backup QB. We need one of TM or CB as the backup/

Alonzo Jackson is not an outside linebacker. Either try to use him as a situational pass rusher or turn him into a 3-4 defensive end. If he can't do either, be done with him.
Alonzo Jackson is not an NFL calibre football player. Cut him, the sooner the better.

The Steelers do not need to sign any expensive free agents, no matter what happens or which players leave. They do not need to pursue cornerback Ty Law or find someone on the outside to replace Burress.
I agree that they don't need to go after the big dogs in FA but I can't help but wonder how much someone like TJ Houshmanzadeh is going to command on the market, and if he may not be worth a million - 2 million.

They need to continue to look for players such as Travis Kirschke, Clint Kriewaldt, Willie Williams and James Harrison -- good players who either bargains in free agency or were on the street, players who can help you win.
I agree with this, but this should be their mentality EVERY year, not just the years when we may be in a pinch to fill a couple positions.

The draft can be used to truly take the highest-rated players on their board, unless he's a quarterback, in the top rounds. The Steelers can use a tight end who is a good pass receiver and can become a steady target for Roethlisberger. They don't need to abandon their philosophy about blocking tight ends, but a complement to that would help. It's something they haven't had in a long time.
Bouchette didn't mention it, but get rid of Jay Remiersma! Not sure if his contrat is up or not, but he was a total waste of money for us. If he still has time left on his contract, cut him.

 
That's cool. Steeler fans are some of the best in the country by and large, and obviously the team was great this year.But I couldn't disagree more with Hartings thing. I know it sounds warm and fuzzy for him to say what he said (if he really said it), but I'd never want a guy who'd rather lose with his buddies than win with any other team in the league.Never.J
Joe "Bear" Bryant
 
That's cool. Steeler fans are some of the best in the country by and large, and obviously the team was great this year.But I couldn't disagree more with Hartings thing. I know it sounds warm and fuzzy for him to say what he said (if he really said it), but I'd never want a guy who'd rather lose with his buddies than win with any other team in the league.Never.J
Joe "Bear" Bryant
Been a Jets season ticket holder since 91. I get to the parking lot some 5 or 6 hours before the game. Each time Pittsburgh has come to town, the parking lot was slammed with Pittsburgh nuts before I even got there. Some of them were @-holes, every team has them, but the majority of their fans are cool and they follow the Steelers as if their games were a Dead concert. Fish and Boys and fans are a close second to them in terms of numbers and a far cry in terms of knowledge and loyalty.
 
Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
 
Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the advice.
 
A couple questions, while I agree with most of what the article says, and IMHO, Pittsburgh is a team on the rise if they can find a RB replacement for Bus.But as I'm not a fan of the team, though I am of certain players, perhaps someone can clarify a couple things.

Some thoughts on the Bouchette article:

They may lose Plaxico Burress, but Antwaan Randle El is ready to fill that role if they do.
No, he isn't.
I assume you simply mean ARE isn't the tall WR that needs to be double teamed.I'm not sure the Steelers need it, they can be successful with Ward and ARE, although he wouldn't "fill the role"
Make Plaxico Burress a decent offer. He's not likely to take it because someone will unload a ton of money on him. The other option is to put the franchise number on him and swallow more than $7 million as a cap hit for one season. That would allow the Steelers to see if Burress and Roethlisberger can build on their rapport and buy the Steelers one more year to find or develop another receiver behind Randle El.
This is a very tough call. I think they should Franchise Buress although I certainly understand the logic of the people who say we shouldn't. I just don't want to see him walk and us get nothing...I think someone will want him enough to take him even if we do franchise him.
Makes sense, probably a good idea.
Charlie Batch, provided his knee is sound, would re-sign as the No. 2 quarterback. Otherwise, Brian St. Pierre can be No. 2.
BSP can be a turd, if that is what Bouchette is trying to say -- but he is not a backup QB. We need one of TM or CB as the backup/
Agreed, IMO Batch is more than a serviceable backup.
The Steelers do not need to sign any expensive free agents, no matter what happens or which players leave. They do not need to pursue cornerback Ty Law or find someone on the outside to replace Burress.
I agree that they don't need to go after the big dogs in FA but I can't help but wonder how much someone like TJ Houshmanzadeh is going to command on the market, and if he may not be worth a million - 2 million.
He's asking for an $8 million signing bonus.
 
I thought this was going to be Steve Nash's assessment of what went wrong in Pittsburgh. My bad. Something like that is probably premium content.

 
Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
gotta agree with this post. steelers will never win the big one with cowher as their coach!
 
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the advice.
:no: ...fixed...

Art Modell ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the post Sparky.

 
I assume you simply mean ARE isn't the tall WR that needs to be double teamed.I'm not sure the Steelers need it, they can be successful with Ward and ARE, although he wouldn't "fill the role"
I'm not saying that ARE couldn't have some moderate success, but he will never replace Burress. I can't imagine any team anywhere that will feel the need to double team ARE. And if they don't that's an extra defender running around somewhere else, probably to stuff the run.
I agree that they don't need to go after the big dogs in FA but I can't help but wonder how much someone like TJ Houshmanzadeh is going to command on the market, and if he may not be worth a million - 2 million.
He's asking for an $8 million signing bonus.
Heh. Oh. NM then.
 
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Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
OK, BGP - for all the times I have heard you express this, you have yet to offer even one potential solution. I'd like to know what you would do if you were Rooney, right here, right now. Would you fire Cowher for his "repeated failure" in big games despite the fact that the team went from 6-10 one year to 15-1 the next? And if so, who would you replace him with? Who is out there and available that is better for this team, this franchise, and the city of Pittsburgh. I'm being dead serious now..... give me something here.
 
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town.  Thanks for the advice.
:no: ...fixed...

Art Modell ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the post Sparky.
Fans never forgave Belichick after the Kosar incident. He was a PR nightmare. Cleveland fans and Modell ran him out of town. Belichick goes on to win 2 (likely 3) SBs. Cleveland also ran Modell out of town. He also went on to win a Super Bowl. Coincidence that all of this happened after these guys left Cleveland? :no:
 
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Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
BGP, what exactly is it that Steelers fans are supposed to do to put pressure on Cowher? Maybe the fans should have thrown beer bottles at Cowher after the game. Should we be sending him threatening letters or perhaps kidnap his wife or one of his daughters and tell him he'll never see them until he wins the Super Bowl? If you had listened to any sports talk show in Pittsburgh you would know there has been plenty of criticism about Cowher this year and throughout the years. A few have legitimate points but most of it comes from idiots that don't know the first thing about football but think they do because they watch ESPN or because they help coached their kid's Pop Warner team.Your comments regarding Cowher not trying to figure out how to get to the next level are ludicrous. I guarantee you that Cowher wants to win the Super Bowl very badly because he knows that there will always be people saying that he can't win the big one. Cowher's regular season record is excellent but his career will always be lacking unless/until he wins the Super Bowl. I can assure there is plenty of motivation for Bill Cowher.Personally I think Cowher did the best job of his career this season. He took a team that was 6-10 the previous season and was expected by most of the pundits to finish below .500 and dead last in the division. Instead, the team won 16 games and made it to the AFC Championship game. He did this with a team that suffered injuries to many of its starters and with a rookie QB at the helm. In addition he has the team poised to be a position to be very competitive for the next couple seasons.
 
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town.  Thanks for the advice.
:no: ...fixed...

Art Modell ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the post Sparky.
Fans never forgave Belichick after the Kosar incident. He was a PR nightmare. Cleveland fans and Modell ran him out of town. Belichick goes on to win 2 (likely 3) SBs. Cleveland also ran Modell out of town. He also went on to win a Super Bowl. Coincidence that all of this happened after these guys left Cleveland? :no:
Fans never forgave Belichick after the Kosar incident.
TRUE
He was a PR nightmare.
TRUE
Cleveland fans and Modell ran him out of town.
FALSE...Cleveland media and Modell ran him out of town. Big difference.
Belichick goes on to win 2 (likely 3) SBs.
TRUE
Cleveland also ran Modell out of town.
FALSE...don't have the time or space needed to explain this one to you. Just know that you're wrong.
He also went on to win a Super Bowl.
TRUE
Coincidence that all of this happened after these guys left Cleveland?
:hophead:
 
Cleveland fans and Modell ran him out of town.
FALSE...Cleveland media and Modell ran him out of town. Big difference.
My two brother-in-laws are huge Browns fans and they turned on Bellichek because of his treatment of Kosar. They still don't like Bellichek.
 
I'm really just interested in hearing BGP's take on the situation if he owned the Steelers. What would he do? Obviously, sustained success (9 playoffs in 13 years) is not enough if you just can't get over the hump. So, what is the alternative? Apparently, loyalty is an overrated attribute. So, what is the better solution? A coaching carousel? Or do they attempt to pry Parcells or Belichick with an absurd multi-year, 50 million dollar deal? Seriously - what would you do?

 
I'm really just interested in hearing BGP's take on the situation if he owned the Steelers. What would he do? Obviously, sustained success (9 playoffs in 13 years) is not enough if you just can't get over the hump. So, what is the alternative? Apparently, loyalty is an overrated attribute. So, what is the better solution? A coaching carousel? Or do they attempt to pry Parcells or Belichick with an absurd multi-year, 50 million dollar deal? Seriously - what would you do?
ill say what i would do. hire a bill james-like "game manager" to tutor cowher in probability and game decisions. cowher plays afraid to lose in big games. a good statistics guy could show him that playing it by the book is not always as safe as it seems.
 
I'm really just interested in hearing BGP's take on the situation if he owned the Steelers. What would he do? Obviously, sustained success (9 playoffs in 13 years) is not enough if you just can't get over the hump. So, what is the alternative? Apparently, loyalty is an overrated attribute. So, what is the better solution? A coaching carousel? Or do they attempt to pry Parcells or Belichick with an absurd multi-year, 50 million dollar deal? Seriously - what would you do?
You could use the Cleveland Browns plan:1. Hire Chris Palmer as HC2. Fire Chris Palmer after 2 years, then hire Butch Davis3. Fire Butch Davis after 2 years, then hire someone else...
 
I'm really just interested in hearing BGP's take on the situation if he owned the Steelers. What would he do? Obviously, sustained success (9 playoffs in 13 years) is not enough if you just can't get over the hump. So, what is the alternative? Apparently, loyalty is an overrated attribute. So, what is the better solution? A coaching carousel? Or do they attempt to pry Parcells or Belichick with an absurd multi-year, 50 million dollar deal? Seriously - what would you do?
You could use the Cleveland Browns plan:1. Hire Chris Palmer as HC2. Fire Chris Palmer after 2 years, then hire Butch Davis3. Fire Butch Davis after 2 years, then hire someone else...
:rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao: Seriously, BGP - how about it?
 
Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the advice.
:rotflmao: Seriously BGP, I would understand if this was just your Cleveland bias but you claim it isn't and then comment on the team and still write questionable stuff.
 
QUOTE Cleveland also ran Modell out of town. FALSE...don't have the time or space needed to explain this one to you. Just know that you're wrong.
There is a thread on this. The city of Cleveland seemed to cause Modell to leave and much of the blame was placed on him. I'm afraid this will cause a hijack but I just wanted to state it isn't completly false. Although I will say it was more the city's legislature then the fans.
 
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town.  Thanks for the advice.
:no: ...fixed...

Art Modell ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the post Sparky.
Fans never forgave Belichick after the Kosar incident. He was a PR nightmare. Cleveland fans and Modell ran him out of town. Belichick goes on to win 2 (likely 3) SBs. Cleveland also ran Modell out of town. He also went on to win a Super Bowl. Coincidence that all of this happened after these guys left Cleveland? :no:
Absolutely wrong. The team was moved by Modell while Belichick was the coach. The Kosar incident pissed people off, for a while, but it was dying out. The Browns were back in the playoffs in 1994, and there was excitement again. In the beginning of 1995, before the move actually happened, they started out 3-1 and were looking good. Then the move talk started to escalate and was annouced, and that was it.
Correct. Bill was the coach when the team was in Baltimore. He was fired weeks (maybe a month or two) after the move.I've said it before, I think Cowher is a good football coach, but doesn't win the big game. There could be many reasons, but thats not the point. Pitt seems to live with winning the division every 2-3 years or so and then bowing out in the playoffs. It almost as if Rooney runs the organization like Cowher runs the team. Why shouldn't Rooney take a chance to get the coach in to win NOW with this team? Look at what Gruden did with the Bucs. Sure, he might have gravy trained a SB (based on the roster he was left) like Ashlee gravy trains Jessica ( :rotflmao: ), but he brought that team to the ultimate goal of every team. He made them champions.

Maybe the right coach is not out there at this moment and Cowher is the best alternative....I can understand that. At some point, which may have already passed by but will come again, Rooney has to make a move. Hell, we all know Butch Davis was the sexy pick and had a great resume when he was brought to Cleveland. Everyone wanted him and the national media raved. IMO, he can coach, he just couldn't do everything else it takes to run the football operations at the same time. What if he was brought into a situation like Pitt where all he had to do is coach a 15-1 team? I think he could succeed, but we'll never know. Butch might be a bad example and thats not the point....the point is somebody out there could get your Pitt team over. Maybe Cowher just isn't that guy.

But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires. ;)

 
Here, our passion really is unconditional, and our relationship with the team largely a happy one. And, so, we're already talking to each other about why next season will be the one that takes us even further. We agree, Jeff Hartings: These are our guys, and we wouldn't trade them for any other team in the NFL.
And that is where Steeler fandom goes wrong.They put absolutely no pressure on Bill Cowher to win an NFL title. He almost loses at home to the Jets then gets blown out by the Patriots, and the Steelers fans are ecstatic. The ownership backs him wholeheartedly.That has to be the cushiest job in the league.How do Steeler fans ever expect a better product (winning the super bowl) if no-one is held accountable for this? Cowher will feel no need to try to figure out what went wrong or how to take it to the next level. He will be under no pressure to improve himself as a coach.
Again you prove yourself clueless when it comes to knowledge about football. I suppose Pittsburgh should pattern themselves after that clueless team that you choose to follow.
 
Cleveland ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the advice.
:no: ...fixed...

Art Modell ran two of the best coaches in NFL history (Paul Brown and Bill Belichick) out of town. Thanks for the post Sparky.
Fans never forgave Belichick after the Kosar incident. He was a PR nightmare. Cleveland fans and Modell ran him out of town. Belichick goes on to win 2 (likely 3) SBs. Cleveland also ran Modell out of town. He also went on to win a Super Bowl. Coincidence that all of this happened after these guys left Cleveland? :no:
Absolutely wrong. The team was moved by Modell while Belichick was the coach. The Kosar incident pissed people off, for a while, but it was dying out. The Browns were back in the playoffs in 1994, and there was excitement again. In the beginning of 1995, before the move actually happened, they started out 3-1 and were looking good. Then the move talk started to escalate and was annouced, and that was it.
Correct. Bill was the coach when the team was in Baltimore. He was fired weeks (maybe a month or two) after the move.I've said it before, I think Cowher is a good football coach, but doesn't win the big game. There could be many reasons, but thats not the point. Pitt seems to live with winning the division every 2-3 years or so and then bowing out in the playoffs. It almost as if Rooney runs the organization like Cowher runs the team. Why shouldn't Rooney take a chance to get the coach in to win NOW with this team? Look at what Gruden did with the Bucs. Sure, he might have gravy trained a SB (based on the roster he was left) like Ashlee gravy trains Jessica ( :rotflmao: ), but he brought that team to the ultimate goal of every team. He made them champions.

Maybe the right coach is not out there at this moment and Cowher is the best alternative....I can understand that. At some point, which may have already passed by but will come again, Rooney has to make a move. Hell, we all know Butch Davis was the sexy pick and had a great resume when he was brought to Cleveland. Everyone wanted him and the national media raved. IMO, he can coach, he just couldn't do everything else it takes to run the football operations at the same time. What if he was brought into a situation like Pitt where all he had to do is coach a 15-1 team? I think he could succeed, but we'll never know. Butch might be a bad example and thats not the point....the point is somebody out there could get your Pitt team over. Maybe Cowher just isn't that guy.

But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires. ;)
You surely can't be referencing the gravy train master Butch Davis. That guy rode the gravy train coattails of Jimmy Johnson his entire career.
 
But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires. ;)
Why, to make sure you guys never win the division as long as the franchise exists?What happens if they bring someone else in and the guy goes 5-11 for the next 5 years. Then what? Oops ?! I'll take a coach that keeps you in the mix every single year.. sooner or later, the pieces will be there to get over the hump. It's not on Cowher - he can only do so much - he wasn't out there throwing the ball directly to the Pats' DBs, Roethlisberger was.
 
OK, BGP - ... right here, right now. Would you fire Cowher...? And if so, who would you replace him with? Who is out there and available that is better for this team, this franchise, and the city of Pittsburgh.
Still waiting for an answer here.::crickets::
 
What happens if they bring someone else in and the guy goes 5-11 for the next 5 years. Then what? Oops ?! I'll take a coach that keeps you in the mix every single year.. .
sounds like your happy just getting to the playoffs. most fans want their team to actually win the SB.

i'd vote on getting rid of cowher-but like a previous poster stated-i hope they keep him until he retires. better for the rest of the league.
 
Are people really inferring that Cowher doesn't care if he wins the Super Bowl in his lifetime? I'll admit the Steelers have had some difficult home playoff losses during his tenure but when I think of driven coaches who seem like they bleed with their teams losses Cowher's name definitely comes to mind .... and I'm not a Steeler fan.The Rooney's should be given credit for the way they run their organization. They've made a committment to a Coach who has been successful running the team. They've never wavered from that commitment or fallen victim to the tempation of hiring the hottest candidate available .... every 2 years (see Daniel Snyder). How can any team criticize this method. This should be the model ... not the exception.

 
The article makes an excellent point about Bettis. The Steelers need to figure out what he's going to do in the next three weeks. This is an offseason with plenty of free agent backs available. It's also a fairly deep draft, although I think it's a bit overrated. However if the Bus does hang it up I really think the Steelers need to add a guy to that backfield. There's no doubt this is a run-first team and that's not going to change anytime soon. However I don't think Staley is able to carry 20 times a game over the course of a 16 game season. Guys like Haynes and Parker are nice compliments but neither can be the feature back. If the Steelers are suddenly faced with a backfield without the Bus, featuring only these three players and the emphasis is still on the run to keep pressure off Roethlisberger, the Steelers 2005 campaign could get ugly in a hurry.

 
As long as Bill Cowher is coaching this team in the playoffs, the Steelers don't worry me. I think he graduated from the Tony Dungy / Marty Schottenheimer school of playoff coaching.

 
As long as Bill Cowher is coaching this team in the playoffs, the Steelers don't worry me. I think he graduated from the Tony Dungy / Marty Schottenheimer school of playoff coaching.
:goodposting:
 
As long as Bill Cowher is coaching this team in the playoffs, the Steelers don't worry me. I think he graduated from the Tony Dungy / Marty Schottenheimer school of playoff coaching.
No, he's taken 4 teams to the AFC Championship that lost, but he can't do everything. His QBs in those games were Neil O'Donnell, Kordell Stewart twice, and rookie Ben Roethlisberger. The 1995 team should have won, but the QBs on the other opposing teams have been John Elway and Tom Brady (with a little Drew Bledsoe sprinkled in). Anyone who thinks Cowher is a bad coach needs to wake up. There aren't more than a couple coaches in the NFL who I'd want over him.
 
As long as Bill Cowher is coaching this team in the playoffs, the Steelers don't worry me. I think he graduated from the Tony Dungy / Marty Schottenheimer school of playoff coaching.
No, he's taken 4 teams to the AFC Championship that lost, but he can't do everything. His QBs in those games were Neil O'Donnell, Kordell Stewart twice, and rookie Ben Roethlisberger. The 1995 team should have won, but the QBs on the other opposing teams have been John Elway and Tom Brady (with a little Drew Bledsoe sprinkled in).
and your point is....... ?????weren't those his QB's??face it-he wilts in the playoffs.
 
Are people really inferring that Cowher doesn't care if he wins the Super Bowl in his lifetime? I'll admit the Steelers have had some difficult home playoff losses during his tenure but when I think of driven coaches who seem like they bleed with their teams losses Cowher's name definitely comes to mind .... and I'm not a Steeler fan.The Rooney's should be given credit for the way they run their organization. They've made a committment to a Coach who has been successful running the team. They've never wavered from that commitment or fallen victim to the tempation of hiring the hottest candidate available .... every 2 years (see Daniel Snyder). How can any team criticize this method. This should be the model ... not the exception.
I'm not sure if you non-Steelers fans realize it, but the only 2 people to coach the Steelers since 1969 have been Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher. And the only team in the NFL with a better record since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger is the Miami Dolphins. 35 Seasons with just 2 head coaches. You'd think that would have to be an NFL record.
 
I think it's crazy to think of getting rid of Cowher. One team a year wins the Superbowl. So all other coaches are failures? If you get another coach, chances are he will be worse, not better.

 
But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires. ;)
Why, to make sure you guys never win the division as long as the franchise exists?What happens if they bring someone else in and the guy goes 5-11 for the next 5 years. Then what? Oops ?! I'll take a coach that keeps you in the mix every single year.. sooner or later, the pieces will be there to get over the hump. It's not on Cowher - he can only do so much - he wasn't out there throwing the ball directly to the Pats' DBs, Roethlisberger was.
So he didn't have the pieces this year? :popcorn:
 
But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires.  ;)
Why, to make sure you guys never win the division as long as the franchise exists?What happens if they bring someone else in and the guy goes 5-11 for the next 5 years. Then what? Oops ?! I'll take a coach that keeps you in the mix every single year.. sooner or later, the pieces will be there to get over the hump. It's not on Cowher - he can only do so much - he wasn't out there throwing the ball directly to the Pats' DBs, Roethlisberger was.
So he didn't have the pieces this year? :popcorn:
Well considering he had a rookie qb (who predictably choked) going up against the mighty patriots team---I would say no he didn't have the pieces this year.
 
But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires.  ;)
Why, to make sure you guys never win the division as long as the franchise exists?What happens if they bring someone else in and the guy goes 5-11 for the next 5 years. Then what? Oops ?! I'll take a coach that keeps you in the mix every single year.. sooner or later, the pieces will be there to get over the hump. It's not on Cowher - he can only do so much - he wasn't out there throwing the ball directly to the Pats' DBs, Roethlisberger was.
So he didn't have the pieces this year? :popcorn:
He went 15-1 with a team that almost everyone (including you, I guarantee it) picked to go 8-8 at best. I think maybe 2 pundits out of 100 I read even thought they'd make the playoffs, let alone the AFC title game. He went into that game with a rookie QB who made too many mistakes early for the team to overcome. It's that simple. For those of you who claim he doesn't play to win in the playoffs, how do you explain the decision to go for it on 4th and 1 early in the game (which backfired, by the way) Or the onside kick in the Super Bowl that shocked everyone? No coach had ever had the stones to make a call like that in the Super Bowl, before or since.Fact is, all you Cleveland fans can bash Cowher all you want, but if the Steelers fired him, you guys would be all over his jock, guaran-f'n-teed.
 
LOL, Kosar is a name synonymous with AFC Championship defeat. Cowher should be a god to you, he actually advanced to one Super Bowl.

 
But hey, I hope the Steelers keep Cowher till he retires.   ;)
Why, to make sure you guys never win the division as long as the franchise exists?What happens if they bring someone else in and the guy goes 5-11 for the next 5 years. Then what? Oops ?! I'll take a coach that keeps you in the mix every single year.. sooner or later, the pieces will be there to get over the hump. It's not on Cowher - he can only do so much - he wasn't out there throwing the ball directly to the Pats' DBs, Roethlisberger was.
So he didn't have the pieces this year? :popcorn:
He went 15-1 with a team that almost everyone (including you, I guarantee it) picked to go 8-8 at best. I think maybe 2 pundits out of 100 I read even thought they'd make the playoffs, let alone the AFC title game. He went into that game with a rookie QB who made too many mistakes early for the team to overcome. It's that simple. For those of you who claim he doesn't play to win in the playoffs, how do you explain the decision to go for it on 4th and 1 early in the game (which backfired, by the way) Or the onside kick in the Super Bowl that shocked everyone? No coach had ever had the stones to make a call like that in the Super Bowl, before or since.Fact is, all you Cleveland fans can bash Cowher all you want, but if the Steelers fired him, you guys would be all over his jock, guaran-f'n-teed.
I haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher in this thread, my original post made some good points for thought (none really addressed). What do they call it, constructive critisizm? Then I asked a simple question and you always have to bring up where my loyalties are. Don't get so defensive all the time, this has nothing to do with Cleveland. We have our own issues, and many of them.So he didn't have all the pieces this year because the pundits picked him 8-8 and under and the QB finally woke up from the dream. :confused: Just like I picked the Steelers (lets just say) at 8-8, I'd say majority of Steelers fans thought they had the pieces this year as the regular season was nearing the end. How could you not, you were 5-1, then 9-1, then 13-1, and then 15-1, right?
 
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I haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher in this thread, my original post made some good points for thought (none really addressed). What do they call it, constructive critisizm? Then I asked a simple question and you always have to bring up where my loyalties are. Don't get so defensive all the time, this has nothing to do with Cleveland. We have our own issues, and many of them.So he didn't have all the pieces this year because the pundits picked him 8-8 and under and the QB finally woke up from the dream. :confused: Just like I picked the Steelers (lets just say) at 8-8, I'd say majority of Steelers fans thought they had the pieces this year. How could you not, you were 15-1, right?
If you haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher, then my statement does not apply to you, but rather to those who did. Don't be so defensive.To answer your question, I thought they maybe had the pieces this year after beating New England and Philly, but it was by no means a sure thing. I am disappointed they lost, but they lost to a great team. Frankly, being the second-best team in the NFL this year is a LOT better than I had anticipated, so while I am disappointed, I still view the season as a success. Most of their stars are young - they're going to be around for a long while. I am excited about the future of the team. If that's not good enough for some people, so be it. I guarantee if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd feel the same way. Ask yourself, which season did you enjoy more, the 2002 season where the Browns made the playoffs, or the last 2?
 
I haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher in this thread, my original post made some good points for thought (none really addressed). What do they call it, constructive critisizm? Then I asked a simple question and you always have to bring up where my loyalties are. Don't get so defensive all the time, this has nothing to do with Cleveland. We have our own issues, and many of them.So he didn't have all the pieces this year because the pundits picked him 8-8 and under and the QB finally woke up from the dream. :confused: Just like I picked the Steelers (lets just say) at 8-8, I'd say majority of Steelers fans thought they had the pieces this year. How could you not, you were 15-1, right?
If you haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher, then my statement does not apply to you, but rather to those who did. Don't be so defensive.To answer your question, I thought they maybe had the pieces this year after beating New England and Philly, but it was by no means a sure thing. I am disappointed they lost, but they lost to a great team. Frankly, being the second-best team in the NFL this year is a LOT better than I had anticipated, so while I am disappointed, I still view the season as a success. Most of their stars are young - they're going to be around for a long while. I am excited about the future of the team. If that's not good enough for some people, so be it. I guarantee if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd feel the same way. Ask yourself, which season did you enjoy more, the 2002 season where the Browns made the playoffs, or the last 2?
Cool.I also want to point out that I don't think Cowher should be axed this year. How could you justify firing a coach that led a 15-1 team to the playoffs.BUT, I think this year may have started a clock that has about 800 days to go. There are now HUGE expectations (not that Pitt never has expectations) and he needs to win with these guys. Cowher has the opportunity to fill in a few problematic areas to get his best team ever on the field. They won't be 15-1 again probably, but the team could be better. If you don't win a title within two years and you're not calling for his head, then something is wrong imo.
 
I haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher in this thread, my original post made some good points for thought (none really addressed).  What do they call it, constructive critisizm?  Then I asked a simple question and you always have to bring up where my loyalties are.  Don't get so defensive all the time, this has nothing to do with Cleveland.  We have our own issues, and many of them.So he didn't have all the pieces this year because the pundits picked him 8-8 and under and the QB finally woke up from the dream.  :confused: Just like I picked the Steelers (lets just say) at 8-8, I'd say majority of Steelers fans thought they had the pieces this year.  How could you not, you were 15-1, right?
If you haven't bashed Pitt or Cowher, then my statement does not apply to you, but rather to those who did. Don't be so defensive.To answer your question, I thought they maybe had the pieces this year after beating New England and Philly, but it was by no means a sure thing. I am disappointed they lost, but they lost to a great team. Frankly, being the second-best team in the NFL this year is a LOT better than I had anticipated, so while I am disappointed, I still view the season as a success. Most of their stars are young - they're going to be around for a long while. I am excited about the future of the team. If that's not good enough for some people, so be it. I guarantee if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd feel the same way. Ask yourself, which season did you enjoy more, the 2002 season where the Browns made the playoffs, or the last 2?
Cool.I also want to point out that I don't think Cowher should be axed this year. How could you justify firing a coach that led a 15-1 team to the playoffs.BUT, I think this year may have started a clock that has about 800 days to go. There are now HUGE expectations (not that Pitt never has expectations) and he needs to win with these guys. Cowher has the opportunity to fill in a few problematic areas to get his best team ever on the field. They won't be 15-1 again probably, but the team could be better. If you don't win a title within two years and you're not calling for his head, then something is wrong imo.
It'll really depend on how the season shakes out. Frankly, the guy would have to do a lot wrong for me to be calling for his head. I, for one, appreciate stability at the head coaching spot. Cowher has built up a lot of points with me by constantly getting the best out of the talent he has. If you look at it closely - the guy has been to 5 AFC Championships and 9 playoffs in 13 years with possibly one of the worst collections of QBs that any team in the NFL has had over that span. Now, he has his guy for the future - if they can fill a few gaps, they can get over the hump. Look at how fickle success is in the NFL these days - even this Patriots team, on the brink of a dynasty, missed the playoffs two years ago. Anything can happen - and I will cast my lot with a guy who gets you in the hunt 2 out of every 3 years without fail any day of the week.
 

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