The 1st Annual Beer We Go Steelers All “Merril Hoge” Team

January 30th, 2011
by admin

This team exemplifies Professionalism, Heart and Passion for what they do with little to no publicity.  The  Unsung and Often Overlooked Team Players that Drive Team’s to the Ultimate Team Goal, The Lombardi Trophy!

This write-up will break down a top ten list of Players and Coaches that live by the Tomlin manta “the standard is the standard”.  The guys that may not get the media’s attention and may never make a Pro Bowl, the guys that step up in big spots and never back down from a challenge; The guys that bond winning franchises and dynasties for their selfless workmanship.  We, as fans, all love our superstars such as Troy, Ben, Lamar, Hines and James and Mike Tomlin but superstars do not make a team, it is a WE mentality that makes a winning team.  Not everyone gets to be the star quarterback or team captain thus the reason for this team.  A lot must go into the maturation of a Super Bowl Champion Caliber team and in a lot cases there are people that just do not get the publicity.  That is where we come in to give some credit where credit is due!  So, without further adu, Your 2010 All “Merril Hoge” Team: 

Before I address this team, I need to take a moment and think about the guy that made this all possible, the late and great Arthur “The Chief” Rooney.without him none of this discussion may be relevant.  Hail to the Chief!!

10.     Greg Warren: A model of consistency, never noticed yet a key cog in the machine.  I know I for one will never forget the fateful day last year that he was injured.  The Silverback snapping is something that I will hope to never have to see again!!

9.      Ziggy Hood:  Again, I remember last year when Aaron Smith went down.  The defense went from the best rush defense in the league to middle of the road.  Not this year!!  Ziggy performed!!  Ziggy made plays and proved that the high draft pick was well deserved.  Our hats off to the big man, keep developing and you will be a perennial Pro Bowler.

8.      Antonio Brown / Emmanuel Sanders / Mike Wallace:  Talk about stepping up!!  Losing Tone in draft I know I was not the only one with doubt.  In comes the new generation Steeler receiver.  The Young Speed Guns!!  You literally blink and these guys are past you.  An honorable mention to “El Yeah” and Hines for assisting in this development.  The spot was a toss up between the Young Guns vs the wily veterans as I think Hines does more with Heart and Passion than anyone else on this team but in the end I felt as though he is also quite public and how could you be an unsung hero after a Super Bowl MVP.  These Young Guns are the real deal and are well on their way to becoming bona fide superstars.  I recall a few years back, Ben requested Big Physical receivers, I’m sure he would have a 2nd opinion now as this is a speed game and we have the weapons to beat any defense when these guys touch the field! 

7.      Keyaron Fox:  The leader of the special teams and one of the best role players a team could have!  This guy would absolutely start on over half the teams in the league.  Is he disappointed to not be a starter?  Probably. Does this show in his play every Sunday?  Hell No!!  The guy is a difference maker and a leader amongst men!!  17 special teams tackles for a linebacker is not too shabby either!!

6.      Lawrence Timmons: Do you realize what this guy has done?  Led the NFL’s top ranked defense in both Solo and Assisted tackles with a 135 total.  When you name the defense like I did earlier, you probably name 5 guys before you get to his yet he performs each and every play as if it was his last.  Take it a step further, 1st round draft picks that do not start for 2 years yet you do not hear their mouth screaming for more playing time is rare!  Especially ones that make plays when they do see playing time.  Further to this point, a guy drafted behind him was starting and producing and well on his way to superstardom in Woodley.  Did this phase Lawrence?  I think not!!  It only fueled the fire to help him become quite possibly the NFL’s most improved player.  Most teams, he would be number #1 on a list like this, however, we are talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers here!! 

5.      Shaun Suisham / Jeremy Kapinos:  I apologize for not having statistics to back up the argument, all I know is we started the season with different well established pieces to the kicking game and did not miss a beat after they were either cut or injured.  The cherry on top was the day that Suisham carried both duties which was a highlight to the season if you ask me.  TEAM PLAYERS!!  These guys have done everything asked of them and more and receive very little publicity in doing so!!  Three cheers to the Kicking game as with a defense as good as our, this piece to the game is critical and better off being unmentioned.until now!!

4.      Doug Legursky: This guy could be classified as “utility extraordinaire”.  Guard.check.  Fullback.check. Center in the Super Bowl.check?  The one guy that epitomizes the manta “the standard is the standard”  Back-up for an Pro Bowl center and missed very few beats.  He could probably plug a hole in the Steelers locker room if needed.  Great off season pick-up, has played admirably all season plugging holes and now due to an injury has his time to accept and bask in the spotlight.Doug, this spotlight is well deserved, now kick some Raji Ass!!   

3.      Charlie Batch:  Performance from Charlie can measured on so many levels.  As you can and will see, he is the transistor on this list from Player to coach to upper management (a hint of what’s to come).  Charlie stepped in when we needed him most and provided a calming stability that could have come at a better time.  If it wasn’t for a late defensive relapse against the Ratbirds in the 4th week, we would have been 4-0 headed into the bye and Big Ben’s return.  Upon Ben’s return, Charlie stepped back into the role that he excels in.Game time preparation and Management / Coaching as the Game unravels.  We all know that his insight to in game strategy is unparalleled.  His knowledge and experience with the system is irreplaceable for a back-up quarterback.  He is one of many players on this team as you can witness above that puts himself second to the successes and failures of the team.  He is happiest when others receive the accolades for his hard work.  We are blessed to have such a man to continue to build championships.  Not to mention his off the field work within the community.  Charlie, your approach to your work & life gives me chills and we can only hope to walk in a similar path as you are as an ultimate “Unsung Hero” on and off the field.  We are glad that we have you and will hope that you stay with us well after your playing career is complete!!

2.      Sean Kugler: This guy was brought in to replace Larry Zeirlein under a very strenuous and up hill situation to coach an offensive line that was never billed to be even average at best.  This unit for many years has been the weak link to an otherwise strong team.  Then things got worse.  Before the season even really got started we lost over half of the starters from 2010 and replaced them with career back-ups, aging veterans or an unproven Rookie.  To think that the Starting five in the Super Bowl includes a Kemoeatu, Foster, Legusky, Adams & Scott and we ran over the Jets in the AFC Championship game speaks volumes towards the tremendous job that Kugler has done.  I’m sure that he is humble and gives the credit to the players and organization as a whole.  Sean, you deserve more credit than Captain Tailgate at a Steelers Bar the day before the Super Bowl buying Bill Hillgrove his Jameson’s on the rocks!!  We love you Bill but Captain Tailgate was a bit dissapointed that you didn’t hold up your end of the bargain and mention Captain Tailgate during the game…well there is always this year to make up for that!!  Sean, your results driven mentality could only be dubbed as a miracle.  Crazy to think that Kugler is one miracle away from becoming a Saint…let’s pray that we run up 500 yards on the Pack and next year we will be going to Saint Sean of Heinz Field on Sundays!!

1.      Kevin Colbert:  The building of a dynasty may as well start with you Kevin; you are a mastermind of judging talent and work ethic from the top to the bottom of this fine organization.  I am not sure if people truly realize the moves that you have made this year to shake up the establishment that was a Super Bowl caliber team that missed the playoffs the year before.  This is this year, I could probably write a novel over your career on the success ratio of your decisions and how they molded this dynasty but that is a completely other post.  To shed some light, let’s start with leading up to draft day, (excuse my ignorance if this is not in chronological order as this is coming straight off the skull and I am doing this at work with no internet access) what was the major problem with last years season?  Special Teams!!  What did Kevin do, bring back veterans that understand the importance of special teams such as El yeah and Arnez Battle.  Then he brought back into the fold additional past Steeler Super Bowl Champions such as McFadden (through he draft) and Foote to help bring the swagger back to this team.  Then there was the draft, Pouncey, Worilds, Sylvester, Sanders and Brown have all contributed to this veteran laden team.  Add the Flozell cherry on top along with the hiring of Kugler and whalla, it’s history and Steeler Lore for years to come!!  Could this history make us spoiled to the point that this generation will be telling there children and so on down the line of the tough and gritty Pittsburgh Steelers Dynasty that we are smack dab in the middle of!!  This is again a classic example of selfless professionalism and taking pride in the end result.  Stairway to 7 could not be possible without you Kevin!!  You are a Godsend and will never get the national public respect that you deserve!!  Here’s to you Kevin Colbert.  A leader of men and a person that people want to give everything to follow!!

Posted in From the Desk of President Tom Janicki | Comments (4)

4 Responses to “The 1st Annual Beer We Go Steelers All “Merril Hoge” Team”

  1. PEPI's Revenge Says:

    Great list, I would have named it the Tim Lester list since he quietly made the Bus run!

    how do you get ranked in google?

    I learned about search engine optimization, especially google, but I haven’t found a solution, would you share information with me?

  2. PE Says:

    lol, GO STEELERS!.

  3. Angelika Says:

    Loved that Merril got the nod! This really is some thing I must do more research into, i appreciate the list. Would have had Hines Ward higher!

  4. ADecarvalho Says:

    I love your writing style! I love the Steelers MARRY ME!

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