Steelers Players Embracing Underdog Role
PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Did the oddsmakers really take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ resume this year and in previous Super Bowls?
It doesn’t appear so because they gave the Green Bay Packers a 2 1/2 point edge in the game. That’s despite the Steelers’ six Super Bowl titles, 14-4 record this season and the No. 2 AFC seed.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense because you are not alone. The players are feeling the same way.
“I kind of don’t understand what everybody sees that we don’t see,” Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor said. “I feel like, deep down, in the back of people’s heads, they really don’t want us to win, people don’t like successful people. Just the tradition we have here, the success we have here, I just feel that a lot of people don’t want us to succeed. They’re getting tired of seeing the same people over and over again. I guess they want to see somebody new.”
“Until that happens, I’m just glad to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.”
The Steelers started their season as underdogs and have embraced it all season.
They weren’t picked by many to be in Super Bowl XLVand some weren’t expecting them to win their division either.
“I think we do our best when we’re underdogs,” Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke said. “People were talking at the beginning of the season, how we were going to go 6-10 or 7-9.”
“I think when you put our backs against the wall, when you tell us that we’re an underdog and we can’t do something, that’s when we fight and we’re at our best.”
The last time the Steelers were underdogs in the Super Bowl, they won their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Back in the 2005-06 season, the Steelers entered the playoffs as the No. 6 seed and they upset three teams with better records. They went on to beat the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks 21-10, in Super Bowl XL.
Having spent his entire career with the Steelers, Hoke said, “You know that winning is an expectation. You’re not hoping to win – you’re expecting to win here.”
It sounds as if they’ve adopted the mantra of coach Mike Tomlin’s “standard is the standard.”