It has been a while since Steelers’ fans had anything to cheer about. Moments of optimism, as experienced after the team’s six-game winning streak last season, have often given false Hope and diverted attention from deeper lying issues.
The stability, creativity and intelligence that was the driving force behind the team in the 1970s have slowly been eroded, leaving a team that has lost its way. Each passing season, the feeling of disappointment becomes more predictable and fans are becoming accustomed to the reality of their current status.
Look to the Past
Looking back on the glory days can be a dangerous habit but the Steelers need to draw on that nostalgia more than ever right now – not to bask in the memories but to remember what it was that caused people to admire the “Steeler Way”. You can’t bottle what they had back then but you can identify some of the key elements and try to replicate something that at least bears a similarity.
Some of those past standards still held firm in the mid-00s when the Black and Golds claimed their fifth and sixth Super Bowl Championships but the assumption that the Steelers are always capable of repeating such feats no Longer exists. In fact, they now look like a team that is more likely to throw away a golden opportunity than to grab it with both hands.
A combination of poor drafting, dubious coaching decisions and a lack of player development has made the Steelers a predictable opponent. Their offensive game plan is no longer effective and they do not have the personnel to get creative when it really matters. When it comes down to the crunch moments in the key games, they always fall short. And they do not have the defensive quality to bail them out. It is no surprise that they are priced at +1400.00 in the American football odds to win the AFC this term.
Like any team that suffers sustained failure, the whole organization must be questioned. And measures need to be put in place to safeguard against further decline. And that’s where taking notes from the past can count.
The best Steelers’ teams of the past worked as a unit. The concerns of the individual were never as important as those of the team. The players always supported each other and became greater than the sum of their parts. Any arrogance or attitude came from being part of a winning machine not from selfishness.
The opening game of the 2019/2020 season gave zero reasons for hope as the Steelers were humiliated 33-3 by the Patriots suggesting life without wide receiver Antonio Brown will not be easy. However, it was Brown’s selfish antics during his time in Pittsburgh, along with those of Ben Roethlisberger, that highlighted the need for a change of approach. The team no longer thrived on togetherness but pandered to individualism. Something had to give and a big step back was needed before the team could ever hope to move forward again.
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