Thursday, June 11, 2009

OTAs finish up

With much sorry, I have to report that OTAs are finally over.

The players headed out to their homes/vacations/continued workouts after a solid round of workouts that was shortened in this somewhat in this final week.

Tuesday's practice was skipped as Mike Tomlin took the players bowling, while Wednesday's practice was at Heinz Field, where the youngsters were given the grand tour of the facilities.

The Heinz Field practice/stadium walkthrough was closed to the media.

© My impressions of this team after watching them a number of times this spring is that they seem to still have the fire that the 2006 team was lacking.

Perhaps it's different leadership or perhaps it's because many of the key players are now over 30 and realize their opportunities are very limited to win another Super Bowl.

But whatever it is, the change is evident.

© Nearly every publication/prognostication I see has the Steelers as the second-best bet to win the Super Bowl in the upcoming season behind New England.

And you know what? I can't argue that.

But the Patriots have been the favorite for several seasons now and the Steelers have won two Super Bowls since New England won its last one.

Things can change quickly in the NFL and the favorites don't always win.

13 comments:

Blount Trauma said...

What do you mean, they're over? Are you joking? What do they expect us to do until August 1?

Sometimes when I'm trying to get my Steelers fix in the off season I feel like a guy at a fat farm trying to lick the last few crumbs out of the bottom of a contraband bag of chips.

datruth4life said...

Dale,

I think Tomlin's demeanor has rubbed off on this group to the point that they are not only playing against the upcoming schedule, but they'll be playing against themselves. Tomlin said he wants this group to seek greatness instead of trying to repeat.

I also think that the team has a good mix of young players, emerging players, veterans and key players playing for new deals that lend itself to being a driven group.

There is going to be a lot of competition for roster spots and even spots on the practice squad.

For more of my thoughts on this, you can visit: http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/?op=search

Dale, thanks for a great job as always and would like to get your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks as always for your wonderful content. I'm from enemy territory, in Cleveland, and can't afford the paid sites. Keep it up Dale - I look at your blog every day.

Steeler fan from the 70s said...

Some key players 30 and over on the roster this season:

Aaron Smith
Casey Hampton
Chris Hoke
Brett Keisel

James Farrior
James Harrison

Deshea Townsend
Ryan Clark

Hines Ward

Justin Hartwig

Seems like a lot more age on the defensive side of the ball. The offense is pretty young, although that doesn't mean that the OL doesn't need some new players.

Jared - Atlanta said...

Question IF the Steelers win the Super Bowl this year are they the team of the decade?

Dale Lolley said...

If they win the Super Bowl again this year, yes they are, at least in my opinion.
But the Patriots still have a better overall record and one more Super Bowl win at this point - regardless of the cheating.
But really, what does it matter?
A third Super Bowl win in five years, however, would constitute a dynasty.

Tim said...

I can't get on board with "regardless of the cheating." I'm not saying the Patriots wouldn't have been a very good team anyway, but I absolutely think that the cheating helped them win games. How many or which ones, I don't know. I think it's kind of like steroids in baseball. Which home runs would have still been home runs and which would have been fly outs? No one knows. But Barry Bonds' reputation has been tainted, and the Patriots' hasn't.

Jared - Atlanta said...

Don't we have more division Championships and Conference appearences?

Thanks Dale!

rocket9 said...

I think anything that takes the focus off the Steelers as the reigning champions is a good thing. I like the Patriots having to shoulder that load of favourite. Although I really think the Steelers are the best team in football and should be getting the pressure. They'll obviously get it from the fans and the media in Pittsburgh. But I have always thought being under the radar suits the Steelers perceived nature as a franchise..quiet, not too flashy, willing to give credit to other teams efforts, not pounding their own chest too much.

I am looking forward to another championship run. How is this team not BETTER than last year? I think they are just hitting their stride.

ch3 said...

Dale, how has Keenen Lewis looked so far in the OTAs? He seems to be the one pick most people scratch their heads over.

Patrick said...

This upcoming season really has the chance to be special again. Like rocket said, this team should be better than last year's and with an easier schedule. I think the whole team realizes that too. Staying focused will be the most difficult part and that begins and ends with Tomlin in my opinion.

I also like what Tomlin had to say about Dixon being the #2. When he says the neck up will determine that, it obviously says they like the physical aspect of Dixon's game and the rest I think will come with time. I really think that if Dixon ever has a chance to showcase himself during the regular season, we could have a Matt Schaub type of situation on our hands where someone is willing to trade a nice pick for our back up QB. If not, it seems we have at least 1 viable back up in Batch and most likely 2 in Dixon, who can do other things with his altheticism. Dixon could make some preseason games worth watching too.

Anonymous said...

Great comments, And a ton of stuff to think about for the dry months coming. I just have to say one thing, and I might get booed off the stage. IMO Those S.B. rings are ugly! I think that they (Farrior and co.) went a little over the top on this one. If we win this year, I guess the next ring will look similar to brass knuckles. Cant wait for the season to start. Stay healthy and keep Ben clean = 7
Zeke

Dale Lolley said...

Keenan Lewis has looked very good. I like him a lot.