FPS: Heeeath: The Circle Remains Unbroken

Heeeath Miller was among the former Steelers at Saturday's practice, and spent time on the sidelines, talking to Pat Freiermuth. He wasn't the only former Steeler with a Super Bowl ring to visit St Vincent this past week. Mike Tomlin spoke to reporters Saturday about what it means, not only to have Heath in the Steelers Hall of Honor, but also what it means to have a sense of brotherhood among Steelers past, and present....

"It’s great to see big Heath Miller. It’s a cool thing to be in this position long enough to have guys that come back and receive recognition for their playing days. But, equally as important is for them to come back and share and spend some time with a current player. I smiled when I watched Pat [Freiermuth] talking to Heath. We have Vince Williams here today, and Max Starks. We had Aaron Smith yesterday. That brotherhood, that fraternity, you can’t describe it, but you feel it. It is appreciated."

Many Steeler fans are used to this and think it happens everywhere. It doesn't. Nowhere in the NFL is the sense of family and tradition stronger than it Pittsburgh.

"Without question, players prefer to play in Pittsburgh," one sports agent told Homer more than a decade ago. "Sometimes they’ll look for bigger money, but they’ll probably play more, play longer, win more, and enjoy the game more because of the organization.

That agent then went on to explain how the Steelers are a family run business, and that family circle extends beyond the ownership and front office. How Steeler players - including clients of his - had been willing to leave money on the table or make other concessions to remain with the Steelers, how Steeler players would "recruit" free agents, urging them to sign with the Steelers, and how the Steelers' reputation as the best workplace in the league paid dividends year after year.

It was all about stability, tradition, and that sense of being part of a family.

Heeeeath, Vincenzo, Maxie and Aaron are all Steelers for Life. And just as Coach T finds it difficult to describe that fraternity in words, it's hard to describe what it all means to the team.

Homer, however, remembers sitting in the stands at Latrobe with Ivan Cole, watching Hines Ward out on the practice field at Latrobe talking to a rookie named JuJu, who was said to have been a good blocker. in college. "He's gonna teach him how to lay somebody out," said Ivan.

Two words: Vontaze Burfict.

The circle remains unbroken.

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