The Fists of Steel
Behold, a dark, cold cloud has risen over the national football league sending strong men whimpering like children into the night. Indeed, who can stand before the Men of Steel... Bell, Holmes and Porter are warriors like this city has not seen since the days of lore when Lambert, Blount and Greene stalked the football land. The Steeler-Raven game promises to be a classic battle between real men obsessed with the thought of ruling the football world with an Iron Fist. In this case � with Fists of Steel.
The pendulum has suddenly swung back in the Steelers favor. Kendrick Bell, the LB taken in the second round of the draft is leading the charge. For what ever reason, the Linebacking position was not deemed as a necessity by many teams during the off-season when it is clear that having a dominant defense with an aggressive front-seven is guaranteed success in the NFL.
Most coaches and GMs were still enamored over the prowess of the Ram offense � and why not? It�s an exciting display of athleticism, one that garners the attention of casual fans everywhere. However, infatuation and finesse can be a deadly disease in the NFL when the real war rages at the line of scrimmage. This battle is at the heart and very essence of football.
To arm themselves, the Steelers seized the opportunity to snag two defensive players � Casey Hampton and Kendrick Bell � and it has made this defense the best in the league once again. A long standing cliché and tradition is the notion that defense wins championships�. Well, the Steelers might very well be on their way.
It is hard to say that this might be the year, but the Rams and Ravens are proof that it can be done.
Still, two players are not enough to completely turn this team around. There are several other factors that have swung the pendulum for the Steelers:
- Bill Cowher�s attitude - Is it because Marty Shottenhiemer returned to coaching and Cowher saw what a worthless philosophy he has or maybe Marty is too busy to bother Cowher and give him poor advice? Whatever the reason, Cowher has returned to the days of more risk and innovation in running the offense.
- Bill Cowher�s attitude � Is it because Cowher�s career was now riding on the fragile psyche of Stewart that he finally decided to get a QB coach so Stewart could get constant attention and refinement? Hard to say, but Stewart has never been this poised in the pocket and has never looked more like an NFL caliber QB.
- Bill Cowher�s attitude � Is it because the lack of talent was so apparent at ILB that Bell made the starting lineup and Casey Hampton gets significant playing time as a rookie? Though Cowher lauds over veterans, especially in the case of WhipBoy Whitman, Bill has finally seen the light to let the best players play � regardless of league experience.
- Bill Cowher�s attitude � Is it because simply being in "�A Position to Win" in the fourth quarter has taken on different meaning this year or has Cowher finally re-discovered what it takes to win � the desire to win.
Cowher is certainly a different coach this year in attitude and mindset. Even though Bill seemed truly stunned at times Monday night against the Titans, he did seem accepting of the unorthodox play calling and the waves of Chaos on defense. Get used to it Bill � it fits you very well.
Will the Steelers win Sunday?
Hard to say, but the Ravens and the rest of the NFL cannot expect to stand before such a force for very long � a force with Fists of Steel!