Sunday, October 05, 2008

Violence Is Our Game

They'd better be. Violent, that is.

As this team forges its identity and as one player after another suffers one injury after another, the only way the Steelers will survive their brutal schedule will be by being more "physical" (violent) than the other team. If last Monday night's slugfest against Baltimore was any indicator, the Steelers are capable of doing just that. And they'd better continue to be up to the task, because it won't get any easier in Jacksonville on Sunday night.

The best players set the tone. For all his impetuous brilliance, Ben Rothelisberger is a tough guy. He's played through injuries all though his pro career, and he sets an example. Now, it's up to lesser players, backups, to do the same. We're looking at you, Trai Essex, who has had a reputation as a "soft" player. Mewelde Moore, playing in place of Willie Parker ... and who has yet to make a single block, so far as can see ... is another.

It doesn't get any easier. But if the Steelers are going to forge an identity, it's going to be that of a tough, "physical" football team. In other words, brutally violent.
Footnote: The photos are of James Harrison tackling a drunk Browns fan who ran onto the field a couple years ago, and of New York Giants quarterback Y. A. Tittle, who ran into bad times against a bad Steelers defense at Pitt Stadium in the nineteen sixties. Now that's what we're talking about.