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Looking Forward to Next Season in the Afterglow of the Steelers 6th Super Bowl Win

Looking Forward To Next Season
in the Afterglow of the Steelers 6th Super Bowl Win.
by Rob Carter
As we all bask in the afterglow of Santonio Holmes’ catch, and subsequent Steelers 6th super bowl win, it’s hard to think about next year. But leave it to me to throw water on Steelers fans’ victory lap and think about next season. Maybe the best way to make a prediction for next year is to compare this off season to the off season the Steelers had after Super Bowl 40.

After Super Bowl 40, the Steelers lost their 3rd wide receiver and a member of their defensive backfield. Sound familiar? It should. This season Bryant McFadden and Nate Washington who left via free agency to Arizona and Tennessee respectively. I don’t think anyone is thinking that Nate Washington was as good as Antwaan Randall el. As for Bryant McFadden, it seems as if the new coaching staff is not as committed to him as Cowher was. And with the ready made replacement William Gay waiting on the bench, the Steelers management did not see resigning McFadden as a priority. As long as Big Ben stays out of any traffic accidents, personal wise, the Steelers are in better shape now than they were after their 5th Super Bowl.

What competition will the Black and Gold face? One of the biggest roster moves made in the NFL this off season will be by the Patriots. And that’s just by having Tom Brady get healthy and being able to play this year. In our own division, Baltimore lost some key members of their defense. They left with defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan, to play for the jets. But, Baltimore should have a better offense this year as second year quarterback Joe Flacco, continues his development.

Some other contenders could include the Indy Colts, who are an interesting team - very young on defense, while having veterans on offense. And if the Houston Texans can ever play the whole season the way they do in December, they could make themselves a playoff contender. As usual the biggest threats in the A.F.C. to the Steelers should be the Patriots and the Colts.

And as I’ve explained in my previous article, the Steelers being successful in the coming year will rest on in large part on Tomlin. He’s a much younger coach than Cowher was when he won his championship. In contrast, Cowher viewed his win as a validation of a very successful coaching career, like a lifetime achievement award, which may have been a reason for the backsliding to an 8-8 record the next year. Tomlin sees his championship much differently. He has just begun his coaching career, and is still looking to solidify his legacy, not just as a good coach, but as a great coach in the NFL. He is not at the end but is instead on the way up.
So, are the Steelers in better place in this off season than they were after the last championship? In my very early analysis, even considering the personnel and much easier schedule for this upcoming season, it looks like the Steelers are in a lot better position this off season to repeat a win, than they were after the last championship win. Bask in the afterglow, but don’t sweat what’s next for the Steelers.

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