The Steeler Way

The Pttsburgh Steelers, with another  team of virtual nobody’s, are in the Super Bowl again.  I heard something astounding about the Steelers the other day on ESPN Radio.  Since 1975, the Steelers have had only seven sub .500 (losing) seasons. That means over that 35 year time period, in an age where the very league they participate in (THE NFL) legislates parity and a organization quality cycle, the Pittsburgh Steelers had winning seasons 80% of the time. That is a remarkable success rate that goes far beyond the raw athletic talent on the field.
How do they do it?  (Here are the humble opinions and observations of Coach Hays)
A. Plan
The Steelers ownership have a vision of what they want to accomplish.  They paint the picture of what their vision looks like and post it on the wall for all in the management to see.  They then sit down and decide how they want to go about the business of attaining the goal.  In other words, they develop the personality of what their team needs to be. Once they know what they want to do and how they want to go about doing it, they take their picture of their goal vision off the wall and cut it up into pieces, much like a jigsaw puzzle.
B. Personnel
The Steelers ownership goes about finding the people that fit each piece of the big picture puzzle.  First the outside frame pieces are found and assembled, the right general manager, a top flight scouting staff, the right head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators and position coaches.  Now, the magic begins.  The aforementioned group watches hours of film, performs thousands of scouting visits, hundreds of interviews to find, select and sign the individual athletes that fit perfectly, like a glove, into each of the puzzle pieces.  Once each piece is found, the often undervalued ability in the NFL  to coach each of these pieces into a proper “fit” in the puzzle picture occurs.  Finally, the goal and vision picture is now ready to assemble from the pieces.
Personnel Note:
37 men on the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster for the Super Bowl are homegrown draft picks or un-drafted free agent signings.  Here is a list of their first round draft choices of the past decade.  Impressive.
2001 Casey Hampton (DT)
2002 Kendall Simmons (G)
2003 Troy Polamalu (DB)
2004 Ben Roethisberger (QB)
2005 Heath Miller (TE)
2006 Santonio Holmes (WR)
2007 Lawrence Timmons (LB)
2008 Rashard Mendenhall (RB)
2009 Ziggy Hood (DT)
2010 Maurkice Pouncey (C)
C. Performance
Through the course of the season, the organization goes about the business of working through the peaks and valleys of a 16 game NFL season in order to hang the picture back in a place of esteem on the wall.  In the case of 2010-2011 season, that place of esteem is a return to the Super Bowl.
Calm and steady, moving forward one step at a time. Every man does their job on every play. Blue collar, hard hat, lunch pail, sprinkled with a healthy dose of Pittsburgh attitude.  That is the Steeler Way.


Filed under Rants, Reads, Writes

2 responses to “The Steeler Way

  1. Can’t argue with the Steelers consistency. Their running game is dominant, their defense is ferocious (damn I wish the Eagles had Polamalu), and you can’t argue with Tomlin’s results. They’re not going away any time soon.


    • Eagles fan? Looks like you all are going to let Michael Vick drive the bus next year. Not a bad move, he looked really good at times this year. Used to love, love, love Eagles D-Coordinator Jim Johnson and tried to emulate his attacking defensive philosophy when I use to coach high school football. He and Monte Kiffen were kings of the 4-3 in their era, just as Dick Lebeau and Bellichick are masters of the current 3-4 era.
      As a long suffering KC Chiefs fan, I respect the teams in the NFL that keep their heads above the .500 line over long periods of time, as the Eagles, Steelers, Patriots, Colts, etc. have done. So hard to do.
      Good luck with your book launch this year!


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