When you walk into the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room, you will see a few words that head coach Mike Tomlin has said all offseason cut-out in steel and placed on the wall as you enter the locker room… “The Standard is the Standard.” Maybe you are unfamiliar with what this quote means, but the 53 men in black and gold are not. Maybe you have your doubts on the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers, but under the radar is where they want to be. The Standard is the standard, and the goal is confetti.
Over 70% of the Steelers N Stuff readers voted on a poll yesterday saying that the 16-9 defeat to the Tennessee Titans changed their expectations for the Steelers this season. That 70% have basically said that the 60 minutes that the Pittsburgh Steelers performed on Sunday was all they needed to see to judge their season.
In Sunday’s game, the Steelers lost center Maurkice Pouncey (knee), linebacker Larry Foote (Bicep), and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (knee) to season ending injuries. On top of the loss that the Steelers played poorly in, they lost the leader of their offensive line, the leader of their linebackers, and a running back who showed promise in the return game and led the Arizona Cardinals in rushing a season ago.
Before the season started, most of the NFL Nation had already written the Steelers off. After Sunday’s performance, many more were added to that list. In the daily NFL chatter, the Steelers are not getting a chance. However, that does not matter. Because at the end of the day, the Steelers are 0-1. The same record as the rest of the AFC North. All that matters, is winning the confetti game as coach Tomlin reminds the team so much of.
Last time I checked the Steelers have a quarterback by the name of Ben Roethlisberger. Whether you like Roethlisberger or not, he is a proven winner. Roethlisberger has the fourth highest winning percentage as a quarterback in NFL history, and not to mention, three Super Bowl appearances.
In 2008, the Steelers celebrated their sixth Lombardi Trophy. A season where Ben Roethlisberger was sacked a total of 46 times in the season. Where they defeated division rivals the Baltimore Ravens three times including the AFC Championship, and their star receiver in Hines Ward was basically inactive with a foot injury. None of that mattered except the confetti that crowned them as champions as the last second ticked off the clock.
In 1999, Trent Green tore his ACL in a preseason game for the St. Louis Rams. Head Coach Dick Vermeil chose upon quarterback Kurt Warner who led the Rams to a Super Bowl championship. Warner was bagging groceries for $5.50 an hour previous to that as he could not find a spot on an NFL roster.
In 2007, Eli Manning and the New York Giants slid their way into the playoffs and defeated the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl when earlier in that season their coach, Tom Coughlin, was on the hot seat and Manning was close to being benched. Super Bowl XLII remains to be one of the greatest NFL games ever played.
What I am trying to say is…. The standard is the standard Steeler Nation. The Steelers have fallen and they have to brush themselves off and get back up. The road that lies ahead will not be easy. Pouncey, Foote, and Stephens-Howling will be missed. Those three men set the bar high, but the standard is the standard and the next three men must come in and do what they need to do to contribute to this football team. What matters is the confetti. From there, the hardships of the 2013 season will be remembered as something special.
Ben Roethlisberger after 2008 Super Bowl: “Who’s laughing now o-line?”
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” – Aurthur Golden
“Optimism fills the air and even the worst team from last season has high hopes and big dreams and who’s to say any different.” – Steve Kimble