August 18, 2007

These Are NOT Your Father's Pittsburgh Steelers...

The theme of the day is acceptance. Acceptance and embrace of the NEW Pittsburgh Steeler offense. Not that it's all that new. Most of us remember a similar foray in 2003, with a man once known as Tommy Gun running the show. But as Steel City Insider Adam Gretz notes, do not make the mistake of thinking that this year's Steelers are anything like the 2003 Steelers. Tommy Maddox is no Ben Roethlisberger. Amos Zeroue is no Willie Parker. Plus, now we're working with Tight End Heath Miller, and most importantly Wideouts Santonio Holmes, Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington, and Willie Reid (also of course Hines). So no, this offense is nothing like that offense. We should be ready for this change. We saw how the Steelers shocked everyone by throwing the ball during the 2005 playoffs en route to a Super Bowl victory. Our personnel is only better now, with Willie becoming an established back and the additions of burners Santonio Holmes and Willie Reid. The future is bright for the Steeler offense under Bruce Arians.

And also, don't kid yourself in thinking we aren't going to run the ball (not that any of you are necessarily). The Steelers will always run the football. It's ball control, a big part of winning games. But with an offense that threatens the long pass at any moment, things can really open up for the running game, especially with Willie Parker coming out of the backfield. If you think 213 yards in one game is where he stops you're deluded. It's not out of the question that Willie could break his own record this year if the circumstances are right. Plus, with Carey Davis or Gary Russell, we have our traditional between the tackles back. Sure, we're hoping Najeh will be able to be successful at this too. But I'm just being realistic with my expectations. Najeh hasn't shown us that he is much of a threat, and I personally would love to see Davis or Russell take over the 2nd back duties at some point this season.

So as you watch the game this evening (that is if you're lucky enough to be in the 'Burgh and not have it blacked out) try and wrap your head around how great the Steelers can be this season with a new approach. It may be hard to digest since the Steelers have pretty consistently played the same "pound the rock" game of football for the duration of their 75 year existence. But don't let your love for the past cloud your vision of the future. Does it really matter how the Steelers win so long as we're winning? We'll still get our running game, but we'll also get some fireworks from the passing game. I envision a lot of excitement from Big Ben, Santonio, Ced, Nate, Willie Reid and Fast William Parker. God I love Steeler football. Why can't it be September 9 tomorrow?

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