Steeler Natioin , we have all heard of the “Steeler Way”. What exactly that is has been debated for years and will continue to be for years to come. However there is a mystique ,a certain pride and a winning attitude that is expected from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Over the years of winning six Super Bowl Championships,playing in 8 Super Bowls , countless hall of fame players and winning records, winning is not hoped for by the Steelers, it is expected.
Long before Mike Tomlin and “The Standard is The Standard” ,before Cowher Power the foundation of the Steeler Way was set by Dan Rooney and Head Coach Chuck Noll.
Dan Rooney hired Chuck Noll in January 1969. Noll said he believed in building a team through the draft with young raw talent and then teaching the fundamentals and instilling a winning attitude. Allowing a team to grow together. He warned that this would take patience and would not happen over night, but would be best for the long-term future of the team.
Noll made it clear that he was in it to win Super Bowls not be satisfied to just be a good team. Noll and the Steelers won 4 Super Bowls in the span of 6 seasons and was named the team of the 70’s decade.
Noll came to the Steelers in 1969 with a plan and philosophy, executed it brilliantly and took one of the leagues woeful franchises and changed its whole culture and way of thinking . The Steelers way has endured ever since.
The Steelers franchise has the best winning percentage of any team since 1970 with a 61% winning percentage, 31 winning seasons , 20 divisional titles , 33 playoff wins, 8 Super Bowl bids, and 6 Super bowl wins.
Over the past few seasons the Steelers have lost a lot of the players that not only knew the Steeler Way ,but lived and breathed it. Players such as Hines Ward ,James Farrior ,Casey Hampton ,James Harrison, and Aaron Smith are just a few of those players.
The Steelers have started the 2013 season 0-2 . Many new faces have tried to fill these players shoes but filling that void won’t happen overnight.
The Steelers still have a core of veteran players known as the 08ers .These are the 12 players left over from the Steelers last Super Bowl win in 2008. This group includes players such as Ben Roethlisberger,Ryan Clark, Brett Keisel,Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, Ike Taylor, Lawrence Timmons and Lamarr Woodley. Mike Tomlin called a meeting of the 08ers before camp and let them know he was depending on them to show the new players how the Steelers conduct themselves on and off the field and what is expected of a Pittsburgh Steeler.
This week on his weekly radio show on 93.7 the Fan Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke about the 08ers planning a meeting to address the state of the team here is some of what he had to say….
Roethlisberger: We’re going to sit down and talk and figure out a way to right the ship and make sure that these young guys know that this is unacceptable, and it starts with all of us older guys, we all have to be leaders and step up and show these guys what the Steeler way is and that when we step in stadiums, and we have that black and gold on our backs and there’s a certain level of excellence that goes with that, and we need to get back to that.”
Roethlisberger seems ready to go to any length to get this point across .
Roethlisberger: “If it takes bringing in the six Lombardi trophies and setting them in the team meeting room and putting up the Hall of Fame pictures in order to get the point across to the younger players, then that’s what we will do.”
“This is unchartered for us guys that have been around here and Steeler Nation and Steeler fans.This is not what we’re all used to. So it’s something that we need to make sure that we reiterate with the young guys and get on them.”
So you see,The Steeler way is not gone or dead . No matter who is in there, no matter the odds, the goal remains the same. The Steelers don’t hope to win ,they expect to win no matter the circumstances .As the architect of The Steeler Way and great coach Chuck Noll use to say ” What ever it takes.”
Steeler Nation, this is not the time to give up, it’s time to stay strong. It’s easy to stand tall when the Steelers are winning but now is the time of the true Steeler fans . We may be down but we ‘re not out, so let the doubters,doubt! They have no idea what the Steelers and Steeler Nation are about! Steeler Nation for Life Win lose or draw! We don’t hope to win we expect it! What ever it takes!