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The Steelers 1976 season begins here>>>

TALK AGAIN OF DIVISION TITLE

With their victory against Cincinnati, once again the talk in Pittsburgh was of winning the division. At his weekly press conference, the ever pragmatist Coach Noll reminded the media that the Steelers’ fate no longer rested in their own hands. They needed other teams to lose as well as the Steelers to win all theirs.

While fans were checking the schedule of their division rivals, Noll admitted, “If we let ourselves get emotionally involved in other team’s schedules, it can affect what we are doing. If we get help, fine. But we have enough problems just trying to win the rest of them.”

When one reporter tried to continue that line of questioning and asked for Noll’s thoughts on the following weekend’s top clash with Cincinnati at Houston, Noll bluntly replied, “How would you rather die?”

If the Steelers are going to get killed by Cincinnati or Houston, Noll couldn’t care less which team did it. “We haven’t got the luxury of looking ahead at schedules,” he added. “We have to block that all out of our minds. That’s for the fans to do. I don’t even want to get into it. That’s the fun of being a fan.”

DID THE STEELERS THINKING THEY HAD ‘ARRIVED’ PRODUCE THEIR POOR PERFORMANCES

In answer to the questions of how back to back Super Bowl winners could lose four of its first five games, often the reason given was the team thought they had arrived.

“I think it definitely could have been a factor,” offered Rocky Bleier. “You get to thinking you’re better than you are. You feel all you have to do is go out there and you’re going to win. And it’s not necessarily true.”

Randy Grossman’s take was, “You’re only a human being. You win two Super Bowls and it’s easy to let up a little. Pretty soon you think you can be good without work.” Grossman said the feeling was present as early as training camp. 

“I personally don’t feel we prepared for a Super Bowl the way we prepared in the past,” Grossman added. This year it was a known quantity of what it took to get to the Super Bowl. Before it was an unknown quantity.”

“It was a lousy training camp,” Joe Greene observed. “It was very blah. There was no zip. It was completely different to the ’75 camp when everybody was saying how they knew we could defend our championship. In ’75 it was a training camp full of hope. This camp was more or less indifference.
Maybe I am as wrong as hell because I had my own (injury) problems to worry about and it was a lousy camp for me.”

Mel Blount took the opposite view saying, “I don’t think anybody on this team thought all they had to do was show up. It was a good training camp. A lot of learning took place. I can’t remember a better one.”

Mike Webster added, “I don’t think the arrival thing was much a factor. You know if you don’t produce, they’re going to get somebody else in there. Chuck is always drilling into us that you can’t just turn it on when the season starts.”

“It’s hard to say what the real reasons are,” said Lynn Swann. “Some are obvious, some are obscure, some are bizarre, but everybody here knows we have the talent to be the best.”


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Last updated August 30th 2015.

The Pittsburgh Americans added August 2015.

Ben's early games with the Steelers.

The Steelers 1975 season in full.
The Steelers 1974 season in full.

Keeping the Faith with Chuck Noll added September 2014.
Chuck Noll tribute added June 2014.
Byron White's 1938 season with the Pirates added July 2014
The Thirties Pirates updated April 2014.
SteelerNationUK on tour 2013 added February 2014.
The story of Steeler Nation's visit to London added October 2013.

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