Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Steelers Postseason Experience

With the Steelers heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, I took a look at the roster and came to a startling realization: many of these guys have never played a playoff game. An NFL roster is a constantly changing makeup of long-term veterans, role players and recent draft picks and the Steelers have seen their share of turnover in the last 3 seasons with aged veterans retiring and emerging stars cashing in elsewhere in free agency. Here's a breakdown of the Steelers 53-man roster as we head into the playoffs:

0 Playoff Games (27)

  • Dri Archer
  • Martavis Bryant
  • Josh Harris
  • Daniel McCullers
  • Ryan Shazier
  • Stephon Tuitt
  • Chris Hubbard
  • Brad Wing
  • Le'Veon Bell
  • Terence Garvin
  • Jarvis Jones
  • Landry Jones
  • Shamarko Thomas
  • Ross Ventrone
  • B.W. Webb
  • Markus Wheaton
  • Vince Williams
  • Mike Adams
  • Kelvin Beachum
  • Antwon Blake
  • David DeCastro
  • Robert Golden
  • Will Johnson
  • Sean Spence
  • Arthur Moats
  • Cody Wallace
  • Bruce Gradkowski

0 Playoff Wins (5)

  • Marcus Gilbert
  • Cam Heyward
  • Clifton Geathers (2011 with IND, 2012 with PHI)
  • Steve McLendon (on 2010 roster but inactive for playoffs/Super Bowl)
  • Mike Mitchell (2013 with CAR)

0 Home Playoff Games (3)

  • Marcus Gilbert
  • Cam Heyward
  • Cam Thomas (2013 with SD)

0 Conference Championship Games (3)

  • Darrius Heyward-Bey (2013 with IND)
  • Brice McCain (2011 with HOU)
  • Ben Tate (2012 & 2013 with HOU)

0 Super Bowl Appearances (3)

  • Michael Palmer (2011-12 with ATL)
  • Maurkice Pouncey (injured/inactive for 2010 Super Bowl)
  • Jason Worilds (inactive for 2010 Super Bowl)

0 Super Bowl Wins (4)

  • Antonio Brown
  • Ramon Foster
  • Will Allen
  • Shaun Suisham

1 Super Bowl Win (4)

  • William Gay
  • Matt Spaeth
  • Lawrence Timmons
  • Lance Moore (with NO 2009)

2 Super Bowl Wins (6)

  • Heath Miller
  • Greg Warren
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • James Harrison
  • Troy Polamalu
  • Ike Taylor

Another way to look at this list is that only 6 players remain from the team that won Super Bowl XL under Bill Cowher and only 10 of the 53 have a Super Bowl ring. 14 of 53 have played in a Super Bowl and 17 have played in at least one conference championship game. Shockingly, less than half of the current roster (only 20 of 53) have won a playoff game and more than half has no playoff experience. While this team might be a little short on players with postseason experience, that also means that those players are that much hungrier to taste the glory some of their other teammates have had. The Steelers have treated the month of December like their own personal playoffs and have won four in a row heading into the postseason. The time has come for this generation of Steelers to make their mark in the postseason, and there is no better opponent for their playoff initiation than the hated Ravens.

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