"Relentlessness...refusing to be denied. Nothing ever stops the forward movement, you're just still coming."
That quote could be said about the Steel Curtain defense, as well as the Terminator, a fictional half man, half machine that refuses to quit until his mission is accomplished.
The above quote was said by Joe Greene, the greatest Steeler of all, and the player most like the Terminator. Joe Greene played with a relentless style, as did his teammates that made up the greatest defensive line ever assembled. Their tenacity and constant rush at opposing offenses is one of the main facets of their game that made them such a dominant, devastating group. That kind of constant relentlessness and tenacity is almost impossible to comprehend, something that is normally saved for the movies.
While you never find out what Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 Terminator runs on, Joe Greene likened himself to rocket fuel as he terrorized opposing quarterbacks while winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1972 and 1974.
"I like to think that I played with rocket fuel as opposed to diesel," Greene said in NFL Network's A Football Life dedicated to Greene. "Diesel is powerful, but slow and methodical. Rocket fuel is explosive. It's fast, it's quick. In layman's terms, get after it."
Like most '80s classics, the Terminator can often be found playing on TBS, TNT or some other random cable channel throughout the week. One night a few years back, while visiting my parents, my dad and I stumbled upon the first Terminator movie on TV, and instead of continuing to channel surf, we decided to stay put and watch the Terminator try in vein to take down Sarah Connor, the mother of the fictional savoir of the human race.
Born a year after the first Terminator was first released in 1984, I never understood the big hoopla associated with these movies. But something resonated with me after watching the first movie that night with my dad. I was in awe of the how director James Cameron created a character that would stop at nothing-physically, nothing-to achieve his goal. He was devoid of feelings and emotion, a true robot in every since of the word, whose only sole mission on the planet was to achieve his one objective.
I saw the second movie shortly after, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't connect with me as much as the first film. I think my connection to the first movie is largely because what I see in the Terminator in that film is the same thing I've witnessed in some of the greatest Steelers' defensive units throughout the decades. The Steelers have had fierce defensive units, units that, like the Terminator, seemed detached from feeling and sympathy for their outmatched opponents. While they weren't T-800s, guys like Greene, Jack Lambert, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Greg Lloyd played with that reckless, fearless, relentless abandon that did not end until the final whistle was blown.
Hopefully, Terminator Genesis returns to the movie's origin, where the Terminator is back to being that bruting force of steel, forging through any obstacle to the job done. I hope that's what I see at the movies today, and that's also what I hope we see out of the Steelers defense in 2015.