By Michael K. Reynolds
The Rooneys, GM Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin are about to launch an anticipated, new software release for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Steelers Way 3.0 is coming to a stadium near you and it has fans buzzing with excitement about this upcoming year and those to follow. For a team at times slow to adapt to change, this is one of the most radical releases in years.
With an emphasis on youth and speed and a fresh new approach to building a championship roster, the Steelers and their fans are entering this season with a renewed optimism.
STEELERS WAY 1.0
As has been highly documented and touted in the past weeks there is no question the greatest architect of the Steelers Way was Coach Chuck Noll.
With an operating system built on unrivaled toughness, commitment and athleticism the Steelers Way was first released in 1969 and was the model of excellence for well beyond a decade.
The secret to this phenomenal program was an astonishing ability to find and develop top-tier talent from small colleges by employing a scouting module that no one else could match.
Four Super Bowl wins later and boasting its own branch of the Hall of Fame, many would argue this was the greatest software release of all time and is the foundation of all future Steelers updates.
STEELERS WAY 2.0
Many longtime Steelers fans believed Noll could have coached for another ten years beyond his retirement, but like it or not, a new era arrived with the onset of Cowher Power.
For a man not necessarily known for strategic brilliance, Coach Bill Cowher was renowned for getting the most out of his players in a time when other teams were pampering their best players. His biggest software upgrade was reinstalling the fear in the Steelers defense.
Although this release no longer had the drafting advantage over its rivals as the original software version, it overcame this by virtually ignoring the passing game in favor of a league-best defense and a punishing ground game.
It wasn’t until the mid-2000’s when a critical quarterback patch in the name of Ben Roethlisberger made this version championship grade.
Then it became so successful it was adopted by incoming coach Mike Tomlin and continued to perform well with two more Super Bowl appearances resulting in one more Lombardi trophy.
Unfortunately, it began to run slow, and the defense was plagued with uncharacteristic error messages. Its biggest shortcoming was it started to perform poorly in the offseason.
STEELERS WAY 3.0
Which brings us to this year’s exciting new release. With the front office finally bowing to the pressures of its core customers Coach Tomlin now gets to truly put his stamp on a software launch of his own.
Here are the latest new features of the just-released operating system:
- An Active and Productive Off-Season
- Aggressive Emerging Player Retention
- Additional Salary Cap Spacing
- More Needs-Based Drafting
- Emphasis on Speed and Youth
- Revamped Defense Focused on Flexibility and Playmaking
- A Faster Release/Demotion of Underperforming Veterans
- Ramped Up Player Development
- Shorter Turnaround Time From Draft to Starter
The team plans to use the preseason to test out the BETA version. Expect a few bugs in initial uses of this new release, but if the early reviews are any indication this should provide a whole new level of performance for the Black and Gold.