Just some overall impressions to help me with closure than anything else.
1.) Max Starks - Max wasn't supposed to play for the Steelers anymore and was cut loose before the 2011 season. But fate has a sense of irony it seems, and ever since the day Max was brought back in mid season 2011, he has been our most consistent and sturdy offensive lineman. He's the voice of experience on this offensive line too, with two superbowl rings. I'm sure he can entertain the young'ins with fanciful tales about blocking for Jerome Bettis, a QB who throws the ball on time, and what a running game looks like.
2.) Heath Miller - What more can be said that hasn't been already? Mr. Miller we wish you an uneventful surgery, and a speedy recovery. I think we all know Heath will be back next year and he won't miss a beat. That's just who he is.
3.) Brett Keisel - Right up until Ben threw the season away on Sunday, I still believed that the Steelers would play the super bowl. Why, you ask? Because, I say, this is the first time the Keisel family has welcomed a new child into the world before the season, and then not played in the superbowl at the end of the season. The Beard did everything he could to get his team there though, racking up his biggest sack total since 2006 and constantly making disruptive plays throughout the year. Enjoy some time with your family Kiesel, you deserve it.
4.) Shaun Suisham - Yes he missed two field goals on Sunday. Both weren't his fault. One was a bad snap and a bad hold. One was a prayer, a hope, a dream. He's never had a big leg, and the ketchup bottle doesn't give out 50 yarders like candy on Halloween. He didn't miss from inside of 50 this year (not counting the botched snap and hold) and I'd take the accuracy over the boot any day. Seemed like his kickoffs were consistently deep in the endzone or through the endzone for touchbacks too.
5.) Lawrence Timmons - F-R-E-A-K. Freak. Everyone in the clubhouse has been talking about it for a long time, and we've seen flashes of it. But we saw complete games of it this year. We saw a few strings of games of it. And maybe next year we'll see a whole season of it, and then in the future a streak of seasons of dominant play from this freak. People just drop when he gets his mits on them. They drop fast, and they drop hard. I'm excited about the future for LT. Oh yeah, and he's only 26.
6, 7, 8.) Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen - These three played at a high level all season, with Keenan making huge strides this year. He really goes after the football at the high point better than any CB I've seen on this team in a long long time. Now he just needs how to figure out the coming back down without injuring yourself part. Ike got injured at a bad time, but was having another spectacular season up until that point. Cortez Allen was responsible for three turnovers on Sunday and blanketed teams' third WRs all year until Ike got hurt. At that point he started blanketing teams's second WRs. He's got the frame to be a great CB and everything that you hear coaches say about him makes you think he's got the right mindset as well. I'm fully expecting him to become a truly great CB in the years to come.
9.) Charlie Batch People won't remember that loss that he played in (who was that against again? whatever... doesn't matter). People will ALWAYS remember that victory in Baltimore when the team needed it the most. That was one of the high points of this season. It was probably his last game action ever in the NFL and I, for one, am glad that he gets to go out like that. Great guy, on and off the field. Cheers, charlie. Thanks for the memories.
You know what? I'm not going to write about losers. There's enough people doing that already, and quite frankly writing the above has lifted my soul from the vacuous depths of season ending misery into a healthy Christmas cheer. We all know who the losers are, and if you feel like debating it feel free to use the comments section below. I won't give them a second thought though.
My high school football coach would always say every team has a life span. The 2012 iteration of the Steelers has reached the end of theirs, with only one game left and no playoffs after that. The good news is that the world didn't end last Friday, so there will be a next year.
side note: I really hope they beat the snot out of the Browns as I would not be able to take being swept by the Stains. No draft pick or player is worth that loss of dignity. I never thought I would see the day when there were some "so called" Stillers fans rooting for a loss to the Browns.... Shame