Pittsburgh Steelers

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Posted by kaori 03/07/2009 @ 00:07

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News headlines
Pittsburgh Penguins fans celebrate championship - USA Today
The Penguins' victory comes just four months after the Pittsburgh Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl title. "It just feels great. We're the city of champions again," said James Weaver, 41, an attorney from Washington, Pa. "We have the Super Bowl and...
A Pittsburgh Steelers blog - Behind the Steel Curtain
According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette the Steelers have negotiated three year contracts (terms were not disclosed) with third round draft pick, Keenan Lewis, along with both of their fifth round draft picks. Keenan Lewis is looking to find a role in...
Steelers' 6 Rings Reflect the Team, and the Times - New York Times
Unlike the Patriots' latest ring, also in the shape of a football, the Steelers' is framed by a double border rounded at the football's points — a form that Charlie Anderson, Jostens's designer, calls “more organic.” PITTSBURGH STEELERS and WORLD...
2009 Fantasy outlooks: Pittsburgh Steelers - CBSSports.com
But while Pittsburgh is a great team, the Steelers don't have many great Fantasy options. For the most part, when you look at Pittsburgh, you're looking for reserve options, because the players never post overwhelming stats. Sure, you'll get moments...
Creating the Pittsburgh Steelers' Top Ranked Defense - Bleacher Report
by Nick Signorelli (Analyst) Prior to the 2008 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the second toughest schedule in the NFL. With games against the NFC East, and the AFC South, along with contests against the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers,...
Packers: Smith relishes opportunity - Wisconsin State Journal
But what matters more to Smith, who signed with the Packers as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers, right now is this: After falling out of favor with the Steelers last season — and ending up inactive for all of their playoff games en route to...
Ex-Steeler Mullins still living dream - Altoona Mirror
Mullins was a starting offensive guard who helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win four Super Bowls during a nine-year career from 1971 to 1979. Friday, he was at the golf course to aid the 12th annual Mount Aloysius College Celebrity Golf Tournament,...
Falcons release Michael Vick - Orlando Sentinel
MORE NFL: Former UCF standout Joe Burnett signed a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday. The financial terms of the Steelers' agreement with Burnett, a Eustis graduate, were not released. Pittsburgh also signed cornerback Keenan...
Drug Case Dropped Against Santonio Holmes - ThePittsburghChannel.com
PITTSBURGH -- Drug charges against Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Homes were dropped on Wednesday. Holmes was facing a misdemeanor marijuana charge stemming from a traffic stop last year. Police said they found three...
Big Ben practices with Steelers - ESPN
By Len Pasquarelli Just one day after limping away from practice with an apparent left knee injury, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was back on the field Thursday, participating in the defending Super Bowl champions' final workout...

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers helmet

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are currently a member of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League) (NFL). Founded in 1933, Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (6), won more AFC Championship Games (7) and hosted more conference championship games (10) than any than any other AFC or NFC team. They have also played in more AFC conference championship games than any other team and are tied with the Dallas Cowboys with 14 championship game appearances in either the NFC or AFC contests. From 1974 to 1979 the franchise became the first to win three and then four Super Bowl titles. The Steelers dynasty of the 1970s still holds the record for most Super Bowls wins over a 6-, 7-, or 8-season span (and is tied with the San Francisco 49ers for most in a 9–14 year span) while being led by the only head coach (Chuck Noll) in NFL history to win more than three Super Bowls. The 2005 team was the first sixth-seeded team in NFL history to advance to a conference championship game, win the contest, advance to a Super Bowl and then win there as well. The Steelers are the reigning National Football League champions, having won Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009, setting yet more records with the longest play, longest interception and becoming the first franchise to have three wide receiver Super Bowl MVPs.

The fifth-oldest franchise in the NFL, the Steelers were founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, by Art Rooney. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. The current owner is Art's son, Dan Rooney, who has given much control of the franchise to his son Art Rooney II. The team also enjoys a fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation.

The Steelers have had eighteen players and coaches (that primarily or exclusively were with the club) inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the third most of any franchise in the NFL. The franchise also had contributions from five other Hall of Famers for bits of their careers. It is also has a Hall of Fame broadcaster, three members of the ownership group and a player who was elected based on his administration of other teams later in his career (Jim Finks) and the only player who went on to become a Supreme Court justice (Byron White) and the only one to be in both the Baseball and Pro Football Hall of Fames (Cal Hubbard).

The Steelers currently play their home games in Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's Northside, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL first took to the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, 1933, losing 23-2 to the New York Giants. Through the 1930s, the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division, or with a record better than 0.500 (1936). Pittsburgh did make history in 1938 by signing Byron White, a future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history, but he played only one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions. Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers.

During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages. They twice merged with other NFL franchises to field a team. During the 1943 season, they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles forming the "Phil-Pitt Eagles" and were known as the "Steagles." This team went 5-4-1. In 1944 they merged with the Chicago Cardinals and were known as Card-Pitt (or, mockingly, as the "Carpets"). This team finished 0-10, marking the only winless team in franchise history.

The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, tying for first place in the division at 8-4 with the Philadelphia Eagles. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Forbes Field, which the Steelers lost 21-0. That would be Pittsburgh's only playoff game for 25 years, though the Steelers did qualify for a "Playoff Bowl" in 1963 as the second best team in their conference, though not considered an official playoff.

In 1970, with the assimilation of the American Football League into the National Football League, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of three old-guard NFL teams to switch to the newly-formed American Conference (the others being the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts). This restructuring was necessary to equalize the number of teams in each of the two conferences following the AFL-NFL merger.

The Steelers' history of bad luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll for the 1969 season. Noll's most remarkable talent was in his draft selections, taking Hall of Famers "Mean" Joe Greene in 1969, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, Franco Harris in 1972, and finally, in 1974, pulled off the incredible feat of selecting four Hall of Famers in one draft year, Mike Webster, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Jack Lambert. The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft was their best ever, and no other team has ever drafted four future Hall of Famers in one year. The players drafted in the early '70s formed the base of an NFL dynasty, making the playoffs in eight seasons and becoming the only team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in six years, as well as the first to win more than two.

The Steelers suffered a rash of injuries in the 1980 season and missed the playoffs with a 9–7 record. The 1981 season was no better, with an 8-8 showing. The team was then hit with the retirements of all their key players from the Super Bowl years. "Mean" Joe Greene retired after the 1981 season, Lynn Swann and Jack Ham after 1982's playoff berth, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount after 1983's divisional championship, and Jack Lambert after 1984's AFC Championship Game appearance.

After those retirements, the franchise skidded to its first losing seasons since 1971. Though still competitive, the Steelers would not finish above 0.500 in 1985, 1986, and 1988. In 1987, the year of the players' strike, the Steelers finished with a record of 8–7, but missed the playoffs. In 1989, they would reach the second round of the playoffs on the strength of Merrill Hoge and Rod Woodson before narrowly missing the playoffs in each of the next two seasons.

In 1992, Chuck Noll retired and was succeeded by Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bill Cowher, a native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton.

Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons, a feat that had been accomplished only by legendary coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns. Overall, Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in 10 of his 15 seasons, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXX on the strength of the "Blitzburgh" defense at the end of the 1995 season. However, the Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Cowher produced the franchise's record-tying fifth Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XL over the National Football Conference champion Seattle Seahawks ten years later. With that victory, the Steelers became the third team to win five Super Bowls, and the first sixth-seeded playoff team to reach and win the Super Bowl since the NFL expanded to a 12-team post-season tournament in 1990.

On January 7, 2007, Cowher resigned from coaching the Steelers, citing a need to spend more time with his family. He did not use the term "retire," leaving open a possible return to the NFL as coach of another team. A three-man committee consisting of Art Rooney II, Dan Rooney, and Kevin Colbert was set up to conduct interviews for the head coaching vacancy. The candidates interviewed included: offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, offensive line coach Russ Grimm, former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, and Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. On January 22, 2007, Mike Tomlin was announced as Cowher's successor as head coach. Tomlin is the first African-American to be named head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in its 75-year history. Tomlin became the third consecutive Steelers Head Coach to go to the Super Bowl, equalling the Dallas Cowboys (Tom Landry. Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer) in this achievement. He was named the Motorola 2008 Coach of the Year.

Since the NFL merger in 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers have compiled a regular season record of 363-235-2 (.607) and an overall record of 394-253-2 (.609) including the playoffs, reached the playoffs 24 times, won their division 19 times, played in 14 AFC championship games, and won six of seven Super Bowls.

On July 7, 2008, owners of the Steelers, including Art Rooney's five sons who own 80% of the franchise, looked to restructure the ownership plan of the franchise in order to comply with NFL ownership regulations. Current Steelers Chairman, Dan Rooney, and his son, Art Rooney II, President of the franchise, wished to stay involved with the franchise, while the remainder of the brothers — Art Jr., Timothy, Patrick and John — wished to further pursue racetracks that they own in Florida and New York. Since 2006, many of the racetracks have added video slot machines, causing them to violate "NFL policy that prohibits involvement with racetrack and gambling interests". On July 11, it was confirmed that investor Stanley Druckenmiller had been in discussion with the five Rooney brothers. A Steelers fan for many years, Druckenmiller "has been known to paint his face black and gold" during games. Coach Tomlin stated that the situation could become a distraction, but "I'm here to coach, they're here to play. Those questions will be answered by the Rooneys." On September 18, Druckenmiller withdrew his bid to purchase the team.

NFL owners unanimously approved the restructuring of ownership on December 17, 2008, with Dan & Art II getting the mandated 30% stake. Meanwhile, brothers Timothy and Patrick (the ones who own race tracks with slot machines, which violate NFL ownership rules) are selling their shares outright, while Art Jr., John, and the McGinley family selling some shares but retaining smaller ownership roles, with the brothers reducing their shares from 16% to 6% and the McGinley family reducing their shares from 20% to 10%. Also coming on as partners are Pilot Corporation & Pilot Travel Centers president Jim Haslam III (son of founder Jim Haslam Jr. and brother of Knoxville, Tennessee mayor Bill Haslam), Legendary Pictures president & CEO Thomas Tull, and the Paul family of Pittsburgh & Los Angeles (who are primarily involved with Pittsburgh-based Ampco Pittsburgh Corporation and serve on numerous boards, including UPMC and Pitt), each getting a 16% stake in the team. Dan Rooney mentioned he has no ill will towards Druckenmiller, mentioning he's a great Steelers fan and wishes he remains one.

Currently through the end of the 2008 season, the Steelers have a 556-522-21 (as of February 2, 2009) all-time record, including playoffs. In recent seasons the Steelers have generally performed well, qualifying for the playoffs five times and winning trips to the Super Bowl twice in the past seven seasons.

In the modern era (since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970) the Steelers have posted the best record in pro football. The franchise has won the most total games, won the most divisional titles, earned the best winning percentage (including every expansion team), earned the most All-Pro nominations and has the most Super Bowl wins (6) since the modern game started in 1970. It is also 2nd overall in playoff wins and season game wins.

The Steelers have used black and gold as their colors since the club's inception, the lone exception being the 1943 season when they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles and formed the "Steagles"; the team's colors at that time were green and white as a result of wearing Eagles uniforms. Originally, the team wore solid gold-colored helmets and black jerseys. Unique to Pittsburgh, the Steelers' black and gold colors are now shared by all major professional teams in the city, including the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball and the Pittsburgh Penguins in hockey. These also are the colors of the city's official flag.

The Steelers logo was introduced in 1962 and is based on the "Steelmark," originally designed by Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel and now owned by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). In fact, it was Cleveland-based Republic Steel that suggested the Steelers adopt the industry logo. It consists of the word "Steelers" surrounded by three astroids (hypocycloids of four cusps). The original meanings behind the astroids were, "Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure, and widens your world." Later, the colors came to represent the ingredients used in the steel-making process: yellow for coal, orange for iron ore, and blue for scrap steel. While the formal Steelmark logo contains only the word "Steel," the team was given permission to add "ers" in 1963 after a petition to AISI.

The Steelers are the only NFL team that puts its logo on only one side of the helmet (the right side). Longtime field and equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to do this by Art Rooney as a test to see how the logo appeared on the gold helmets; however, its popularity led the team to leave it that way permanently. A year after introducing the logo, they switched to black helmets to make it stand out more.

The current uniform designs were introduced in 1968. The design consists of gold pants and either black jerseys or white jerseys, except for the 1970 and 1971 seasons when the Steelers wore white pants with their white jerseys. In 1997, the team switched to rounded numbers on the jersey to match the number font (Futura Condensed) on the helmets, and a Steelers logo was added to the left side of the jersey.

The current Third uniform, consisting of a black jersey with gold lettering, white pants with black and gold stripes, and a gold helmet were first used during the Steelers 75th anniversary season in 2007. They were meant to evoke the memory of the 1963-64 era uniforms. The uniforms were so popular among fans, that the Steeler organization decided to keep them and use them as a Third option during home games only.

The Steelers in 2008-2009 became the first team in NFL History to defeat an opponent three times in a single season using three different uniforms. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh in Week 4 in their Third jerseys, again Week 15 in Baltimore in their Road Whites, and a final time in the AFC Championship in Pittsburgh in their Home Black.

Prior to the 2007 season, the Steelers introduced Steely McBeam as their official mascot. As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the team, his name was selected from a pool of 70,000 suggestions submitted by fans of the team. Diane Roles of Middlesex, Pennsylvania submitted the winning name which was "meant to represent steel for Pittsburgh's industrial heritage, "Mc" for the Rooney family's Irish roots, and Beam for the steel beams produced in Pittsburgh, as well as for Jim Beam, her husband's favorite alcoholic beverage." Steely McBeam is visible at all home games and participates in the team's charitable programs and other club-sponsored events.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have three primary rivals, all within their division: (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals). They also have rivalries with other teams that arose from post-season battles in the past, most notably the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, and Dallas Cowboys.

They also have an intrastate rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles, but under the current scheduling rules the teams only play each other once every four years. The two teams do, however, meet every year in preseason games, and are usually nationally televised on ESPN. In 2007, however, the two teams played their ritualistic preseason game on the NBC Network. The 2008 preseason game between the clubs was not televised nationally.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have sold out every home game since the 1972 season. In November 2007, the Steelers were ranked as the most popular local sports franchise out of the 122 teams in the NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL, by a study from Turnkey Sports. Another study ranked Pittsburgh as having the highest percentage of female fans of their local football team, ranking twice as high as the average city. An aspect of Steelers fandom, the Terrible Towel, is "arguably the best-known fan symbol of any major pro sports team". Invented by broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975, the towel's rights have since been given to the Allegheny Valley School in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania which cares for over 900 people with mental retardation and physical disabilities, including Cope's autistic son. Since 1996, proceeds from the Terrible Towel have helped raise more than $2.2 million for the school.

Some notable fans include Barack Obama (after the Chicago Bears), golf legend Arnold Palmer, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling , boxer Roy Jones, Jr., CIA Director and retired four-star general Michael Hayden, author John Grisham,, Bishop Thomas Joseph Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, actors Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Jeff Goldblum, & Michael Keaton, Jackass star Chris Pontius, singers Hank Williams, Jr.,Bret Michaels, Charlie Daniels, & Snoop Dogg, professional wrestler Kurt Angle, Saturday Night Live alums comedian Dennis Miller, and Seth Meyers, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, among others. Out of those fans, Bishop Tobin, Keaton, Goldblum, Angle, and Miller are Pittsburgh natives, while Palmer is a native of Latrobe (where the Steelers conduct training camp every summer at Saint Vincent College), Michaels is a native of nearby Butler (also the home of former Steelers backup quarterback Terry Hanratty), and Limbaugh once worked at Pittsburgh radio station KQV in the early 1970s. Angle, who played football at Mt. Lebanon High School in addition to freestyle wrestling, also tried out unsuccessfully for the Steelers as a fullback in 1996 following his gold medal win in the 1996 Olympic Games before going on to fame with World Wrestling Entertainment and currently Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

The Steelers are unique in the NFL with not only the third most "primary" Hall of Famers but also have the most of any franchise founded on or after 1933, the only franchise with three members of ownership in the Hall and the only player to be inducted in both the pro-football hall of fame and the baseball hall of fame.

The Steelers have had sixteen coaches through their history. Their first coach was Forrest Douds, who coached them to a 3-6-2 record in 1933. Chuck Noll had the longest term as head coach with the Steelers, he is one of only four coaches to coach a single NFL team for 23 years. Hired prior to the 2007 season, the Steelers current coach is Mike Tomlin.

As of 2006, the Steelers' flagship radio stations were WDVE 102.5 FM and WBGG 970 AM. Both stations are owned by Clear Channel Communications. Games are also available on 51 radio stations in Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, Ohio, and Northern West Virginia. The announcers are Bill Hillgrove and Tunch Ilkin. Craig Wolfley is the sideline reporter. Myron Cope, the longtime color analyst and inventor of the "Terrible Towel," retired after the 2004 season, and died in 2008.

Pre-season games not shown on one of the national broadcasters are seen on KDKA, channel 2; WPCW, channel 19; and FSN Pittsburgh. Coach Mike Tomlin's weekly press conference is shown live on FSN Pittsburgh.

National NFL Network broadcasts are shown locally on either KDKA-TV or WPCW, while national ESPN broadcasts are shown locally on WTAE, channel 4.

The Steelers franchise has a rich history of producing well-known sportscasters over the years: the most famous of which is Myron Cope, who served as a Steelers radio color commentator for 35 seasons (1970-2004).

The Steelers are now the only professional sports franchise with at least one representative on every network. NBC - Bettis, CBS - Cowher, ABC - Swann, Fox - Bradshaw, ESPN - Hoge and Stewart, NFL Network - Woodson.

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2008 Pittsburgh Steelers season

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The 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 76th season in the National Football League (NFL). The season concluded with the team winning Super Bowl XLIII to become the first franchise in the NFL with six Super Bowl titles.

The Steelers entered the season as defending champions of the American Football Conference (AFC) North Division and attempting to improve upon their 10–6 record from 2007. Despite entering the season with the most difficult schedule in the league, the team was called a Super Bowl contender by ESPN. In his second season as head coach Mike Tomlin was voted as the Motorola Coach of the Year. The Steelers opened up their regular season on September 7, with a win over the Houston Texans. The team went 12–4 over the season, winning the AFC North Division title. James Harrison—the NFL's defensive player of the year—helped the defense to lead the league in multiple categories throughout the season. The Steelers began the playoffs on January 11, 2009 with a win over the San Diego Chargers, then the following week defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, and advanced to the Super Bowl where they defeated the Arizona Cardinals on February 1, 2009.

Entering the 2008 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost ten-year lineman Alan Faneca, after his contract expired, and he signed with the New York Jets. The Steelers released Allen Rossum, Jerame Tuman, and Clint Kriewaldt, on February 22. The Steelers also lost Dan Kreider, Verron Haynes, Brian St. Pierre, and eight-year veteran Clark Haggans to free agency. The Steelers renewed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's contract with an eight year, $102 million agreement, the largest in franchise history. The team resigned Max Starks to the largest single-year deal in franchise history, despite him not being a starter during the 2007 season. Nate Washington, Chris Kemoeatu, and Trai Essex also agreed to one-year deals. The Steelers signed both seven-year center Justin Hartwig and running back Mewelde Moore to multi-year deals, and linebacker Keyaron Fox agreed to a one-year deal. Entering the season, 14 members of the Steelers were in the final year of their contracts.

The 2008 NFL Draft was held on April 26 and April 27, 2008, at Radio City Music Hall. In the first round, the Steelers selected running back Rashard Mendenhall, from the University of Illinois, with the 23rd overall pick. He was the first running back selected in the first round by the Steelers since 1989. The Steelers selected Limas Sweed, from the University of Texas, in the second round. Sweed was ranked by the Steelers as one of the top three receivers in the draft. The drafting of Sweed came after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's suggestion of acquiring a tall wide receiver; Sweed is 6-feet 4-inches in height. In round three, the Steelers selected Bruce Davis, of UCLA. Davis primarily played defensive end at his alma mater, however, he is expected to switch to linebacker at the pro level. The Steelers traded their fourth-round pick (123rd overall) to the New York Giants for the Giants' fourth and sixth-round selections, 130th and 194th overall, respectively. The Steelers selected offensive tackle Tony Hills with the 130th overall selection, in the fourth round. Like second-round pick Sweed, Hills came out of the University of Texas where he had been elected a captain of the football team during his senior season. With their fifth-round selection, the Steelers chose quarterback Dennis Dixon. Prior to an injury in 2007, Dixon was a Heisman Trophy candidate. In the sixth round, the Steelers chose their second linebacker of the draft, Mike Humpal out of the University of Iowa. Also in the sixth round, the final selection of the team was safety Ryan Mundy, a Pittsburgh native. The Steelers did not pick in the seventh round, due to a 2007 trade with the Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers Kevin Colbert said of the draft, "we’re happy with the way things turned out." Also stating that the first and second-round selections were players who the team expected to have already been chosen. Coach Mike Tomlin said that the Steelers tried to selected skilled offensive "weapons" over a strong offensive line, which struggled the previous season. The following day, the Steelers signed twelve free-agent rookies. The Steelers agreed to terms with all of their draft picks on July 25, two days prior to the start of training camp.

The Steelers held a mandatory three-day mini-camp in early May. Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu attended the camp, but did not fully participate because of injuries. First round draft pick, Rashard Mendenhall was welcomed by Steelers current running back Willie Parker. Parker was "surprised" when he heard the Steelers had drafted a running back in the first round, but hopes to a work with Mendenhall like Jerome Bettis worked with Parker during his rookie season. During the mini-camp, the offense experimented with formations using Parker and Mendenhall in the backfield simultaneously. Receiver Hines Ward took a similar approach to Parker's in welcoming second round draft pick Limas Sweed. As with other receivers in the past, Ward was "very hands-on with Sweed throughout the weekend". Coach Mike Tomlin called the new draft picks "humble", adding that he liked their "spirit and attitude"; however, it was too early to tell how well they will ultimately perform.

The team held two Organized Team Activities (OTAs) prior to the draft, in addition to 12 throughout May and June. The OTAs were voluntary, however, most players did attend. Many players routinely worked on their conditioning and strength together, in addition to "informal" on field training. A week prior to the end of OTAs Mike Tomlin said he was happy with the team's progress during the sessions. Also stating, “We are having a productive off-season and that is what we are here for. We are here to get better individually and collectively and I think we are doing that.” Limas Sweed experimented on special teams play for the first time ever, with a concentration in punt blocking. On the day of the final OTA, June 12, Tomlin stated that while he was pleased with the progress of the team, no positions would be gained or lost based on the voluntary camp. Tomlin added, "...it's been teach-oriented, it's been skill-develop-oriented. It's different than playing the game of football." The team was given 44 days off until the beginning of training camp.

In May, ESPN The Magazine released the findings of its annual survey of over 80,000 fans entitled the "Ultimate Standings: Fan Satisfaction Ranking." The Steelers ranked as the 25th best major league sports franchise out of 122 teams from MLB, NFL, NBA, and the NHL. The franchise finished one position behind the cross-town Pittsburgh Penguins. The Steelers were sixth among all NFL teams. In August, ESPN.com ranked Steelers' fans as the best in the National Football League, citing their "unbelievable" sellout streak of 299 consecutive games.

During the Pittsburgh Penguins run for the Stanley Cup multiple members of the Steelers showed support for the cross-town team. Ben Roethlisberger attended games in Detroit, where he and the Steelers won Super Bowl XL three years prior. Mike Tomlin watched Game Six of the finals outside Mellon Arena, along with 3,000 other fans, on a JumboTron which had been erected for fans unable to acquire tickets to the sold-out game. Kevin Colbert, Charlie Batch, and Tomlin attended many games throughout the regular season. In September, Penguins' coach Michel Therrien attended the Steelers' first game of the season.

On February 17, Ernie Holmes, who played for the Steelers from 1972 to 1977, was killed in a car crash. Ten days later, on February 27, award-winning journalist, Steelers radio announcer of 35 years, and inventor of the Terrible Towel, Myron Cope, died at age 79. On June 6, Dwight White, a defensive end on the Steel Curtain died from a blood clot. Upon his death, Dan Rooney called White, "one of the greatest players to ever wear a Steelers uniform." The Steelers held a pre-game ceremony in their honor prior to their first game against Houston.

The Steelers held their training camp at Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, for the 42nd consecutive year. Players reported on July 27, practices commenced the following day and ran through August 17. Throughout the twenty three day span, seventeen included practices; making the camp one of the shortest in Steelers history. The camp was less demanding under Tomlin, who was in his second year as coach. "We are a veteran team in some areas. You have to approach it differently because of that," said Tomlin.

Pittsburgh looked to build on their defense, which was ranked first in the league throughout the 2007 season. At over thirty years in age each, all three starting linemen returned. First round draft pick, Rashard Mendenhall entered camp with expectations to make an impact on the team throughout his rookie season. Pittsburgh's Willie Parker, who returned after suffering a broken leg in the 2007 season, was expected to share the load with Mendenhall. On July 29, punter Daniel Sepulveda tore the ACL in his right leg and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. The Steelers acquired Paul Ernster later in the day as a possible replacement. After concluding practices at St. Vincent's, the Steelers began to practice at their facility on Pittsburgh's South Side. Tomlin called the camp "very productive".

Pittsburgh opened their pre-season schedule with a 16–10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers scored on their first possession, after driving 80 yards on eight plays. Ben Roethlisberger's 19-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes completed the drive. In the first quarter, Charlie Batch was removed from the game after breaking his clavicle. Jeff Reed converted three field goals from 20, 24, and 50 yards. Toronto's Rogers Centre hosted the second pre-season game; it was the first pre-season game Pittsburgh played in Toronto since 1960. Pittsburgh's starting offense played longer in the second game. Willie Parker increased his output over the first game by playing on third downs. However, the team failed run the ball consistently and struggled on defense, losing the game 24–21. "We fell short essentially in all three phases," stated coach Tomlin after the game.

Pittsburgh traveled to Minnesota to play the Vikings for their third pre-season game. The Steelers's defense held the Vikings early, led by Aaron Smith who had three tackles, including one sack, in the first quarter. The offense failed to score a touchdown, with Rashard Mendenhall fumbling twice. Quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was signed to replace the injured Batch, lead the team with 129 yards passing. Jeff Reed accounted for all of the Steelers' points, kicking four field goals—the final with 4 seconds remaining—to give Pittsburgh a 12–10 victory. Entering their final pre-season game the Steelers had selected every starting player except the punter. Carolina tied the game with 1:54 remaining in regulation, but rookie Dennis Dixon lead the Steelers on a 47-yard drive, which was capped with Reed kicking the game winning 43-yard field goal as time expired. After the three point victory, Tomlin stated, "It has been a pleasure working with this group guys, but it is that time of year where we need to make tough decisions." The Steelers cut 22 players on August 30, to bring their roster to the required 53 player total. The following day the Steelers signed nine players from their pre-season team to the practice squad.

Based on 2007 records, the Steelers boasted the NFL's most difficult schedule in 2008, with an opponent winning percentage of .598; ten games were played against teams that finished 2007 with winning records. The Steelers played each of the teams in the AFC North twice, once home and once on the road. The Steelers also faced the teams from the AFC South and NFC East divisions throughout the season. Pittsburgh's matchups also included the San Diego and New England, who each won their division in the 2007 season. The Steelers played five nationally televised primetime games throughout the season, the maximum allowed number by the NFL.

Entering the first week of the season, Pittsburgh's players voted Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, James Farrior, and Jeff Reed team captains. Farrior, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu were selected to represent the Steelers at the 2009 Pro Bowl. James Harrison set the Steelers' franchise single-season record for sacks, surpassing Mike Merriweather's previous record of 15 sacks in 1984. Harrison also became the first undrafted player to win the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was the fifth Steeler to win the award—the first since Rod Woodson in 1993. Harrison and Polamalu were also voted to the NFL's All-Pro team. The Steelers' defense tied the 1973 Los Angeles Rams record by holding 14 consecutive opponents under 300 yards of total offense. The defense finished ranked first in the league in total and passing yards given up and second in rushing yards. For the fifth time in his career Hines Ward received for over 1,000 yards throughout the season. The team's offense ranked 22 in overall offense, 17 in passing, and 23 in rushing.

The 2008 season was the Steelers' seventh as members of the AFC North Division. Pittsburgh defended their division title from the 2007 season, which they obtained by tying the Cleveland Browns' 10–6 record, but holding the tie-breaker with two wins over the Browns. Through 2008, Pittsburgh is the only team to have won the AFC North four times, since its inception prior to the 2002 NFL season. Entering the 2008 season, the Steelers were chosen to win the division by sportswriter Ron Borges, as well as nine of 13 analysts interviewed by ESPN.com. Four NFL.com analysts predicted that the Steelers would finish with a 10–6 record. The Steelers finished the regular season with a record of 12–4, going undefeated against opponents in the AFC North and winning 12 games for the fourth season since 1979. The team clinched the second seed in the AFC for the playoffs and received a bye the first week of the post-season. The Baltimore Ravens finished at second place in the AFC North with an 11–5 record, clinching a playoff seed as an AFC wild card. The Cincinnati Bengals finished 4–11–1, winning their final three games of the season. The Cleveland Browns finished in the AFC North's fourth position at 4–12; the team fired head coach Romeo Crennel after the season.

The Steelers started their regular season, against the Houston Texans, in front of 64,001 spectators at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Steelers drove the ball 52 yards on their opening drive, with their biggest gain coming on a 17-yard run from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Willie Parker scored a touchdown at 5:44 of the opening quarter and added a second touchdown in the following quarter. After a LaMarr Woodley interception the Steelers extended their lead to 21 points when Roethlisberger completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ward. With 4:34 remaining in the half, former-Steelers' kicker Kris Brown converted a 34-yard field goal. Pittsburgh led the game 21–3 as time expired on the first half.

In the second half, Parker scored his third touchdown of the game—surpassing his touchdown total for the entire 2007 season—and was named the AFC offensive player of the week for his performance. Pittsburgh's defense held Houston to six yards on their ensuing drive and the Steelers drove 80 yards to take a 35–3 lead. The Texans scored two touchdowns in the final quarter, but Pittsburgh's James Harrison led the team with three sacks—forcing a fumble on the third—and the Steelers won their first game of the season.

The Steelers entered their first matchup with the Cleveland Browns having won 15 of the last 16 games between the two teams. Ben Roethlisberger started the game having missed practice time during the week due to a shoulder injury he suffered in Week One. The Steelers' defense held the Browns to 16 yards on their first four drives, as the teams played to a scoreless tie after the first quarter. After a Bryant McFadden interception the Steelers drove 70 yards and Roethlisberger connected with Hines Ward for their third touchdown combination of the season. Cleveland responded with a 14 play, 71 yard drive, but Troy Polamalu intercepted a Cleveland pass as time expired in the first half solidifying Pittsburgh's seven point halftime lead.

Pittsburgh began their second drive of the third quarter with a 48-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes and a 48-yard field goal from Jeff Reed brought the score to 10–0. The Browns' Phil Dawson converted two consecutive field goals, to pull Cleveland within four points with 3:21 remaining. After fourth down stop, Cleveland's offense took over with 26 seconds remaining, but failed to gain yardage as time expired. With the win, the Steelers increased their win streak over the Browns to 10 consecutive games—the longest current winning streak over a single opponent in the NFL.

Pittsburgh's first inter-conference opponent of the season was the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers scored on their first drive, with a Jeff Reed field goal. The Eagles offense drove 85 yards to take the lead on a touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Correll Buckhalter. The Eagles defense sacked Ben Roethlisberger eight times throughout the game, two of which resulted in fumbles. Bryant McFadden intercepted his second pass of the season which allowed Reed to add his second field goal of the day—this one from 53-yards. The field goal brought the half time score to 10–6.

Donning their throwback uniforms, the Steelers played the Baltimore Ravens in their first Monday Night game of the season. Multiple Steelers starters did not play in the game, due to various injuries. After a 3–3 first quarter, Baltimore took a ten point lead into half time with a field goal and touchdown pass in the second quarter. Rashard Mendenhall—in his first NFL start—left the game in the third quarter with a season-ending shoulder injury. On the Steelers' third drive of the half, Roethlisberger connected with Santonio Holmes for a 38-yard touchdown pass. On the first play of Baltimore's ensuing drive, James Harrison's forced fumble was picked up by LaMarr Woodley and returned 7 yards for a touchdown. The two touchdowns within 15 seconds took the Steelers from ten points behind to four points ahead. In the final quarter, the Steelers' offense was stopped on the one yard line and Reed kicked his second field goal of the night. Baltimore drove 76 yards and tied the game with a touchdown. Neither team was able to score on their final drive as the regulation clock expired.

Baltimore won the overtime coin toss and elected to receive. The Ravens started the drive at their own 15 yard line. The Steelers held them for no gain on the first two plays and Lawrence Timmons sacked Flacco on third down. The Steelers took over after a punt and Mewelde Moore caught a 24 yard reception to bring the Steelers to Baltimore's 31-yard line. Jeff Reed converted a 46-yard field goal to win the game for the Steelers. Reed was named the NFL's special teams player of the week. With the win the Steelers passed the Ravens for first place in the AFC North at 3–1, as well as extending their all-time record of 14 consecutive home wins on Monday Night Football.

The Steelers' matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars—their first since the Jaguars knocked the Steelers out of the 2007 playoffs—was featured as the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Throwback Game of the Week. On the Steelers opening drive, Roethlisberger—who missed practice time during the week due to injections for his shoulder—was intercepted by Rashean Mathis who returned the ball 72 yards for a touchdown. Pittsburgh responded by driving 71 yards, with Heath Miller receiving a 1-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. Jacksonville re-gained the lead on the next drive when Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a touchdown. Pittsburgh took the lead in the second quarter with two field goals and a 48 yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Nate Washington.

Jacksonville scored first in the final quarter with a touchdown pass from David Garrard to Marcedes Lewis. The Steelers drove from their 20 yard line in the fourth quarter, Ward received an 8-yard touchdown pass to put the Steelers up by 5 points with 1:53 remaining in regulation, however, the 2-pt conversion failed. Roethlisberger received the AFC offensive player of the week award for his 309 yard, 3 touchdown pass performance, despite having an injured throwing shoulder. The NFL selected the game as the league's Week Five Game of the Week.

Willie Parker was expected to return after missing two games, but aggravated his knee injury during a weekday practice and missed the game. Pittsburgh received the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards to open the scoring up with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Mewelde Moore to put the Steelers up 7–0. The Steelers' defense forced the Bengals offense into five consecutive three-and-outs, before the Bengals scored on their final possession of the opening half. The 5 yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Chad Johnson brought the Bengals within three points of the Steelers who added a field goal from Jeff Reed.

Pittsburgh added their second touchdown of the game on their opening drive of the second half when Moore rushed to the left side for 13 yards. Cincinnati retaliated on their ensuing drive adding a field goal from Dave Rayner. The Steelers scored three consecutive touchdowns in the final quarter, while holding the Bengals scoreless. At 8:26 of the fourth quarter Roethilisberger connected with Nate Washington for a 50 yard touchdown pass. Pittsburgh's Moore scored his second touchdown of the day—his second rushing—and Hines Ward's 16 yard touchdown reception gave the Steelers 31 points to the Bengal's ten. Moore finished the game with 120 yards rushing, while Santonio Holmes lead the Steelers with 89 receiving yards.

Willie Parker missed his fourth game due to a knee injury. Santonio Holmes also missed the game after a "small quantity of marijuana" was found in his car and the team placed him on the inactive list. Mewelde Moore opened up the game's scoring with a 32-yard touchdown run on the Steelers opening drive. The 5–1 New York Giants responded with a field goal on the ensuing drive. Pittsburgh stopped the Giants on four consecutive plays from inside the Steelers 2-yard line to force a turnover on downs. But were unable to score when two Ben Roethlisberger interceptions and a punt lead to two more field goals in the second quarter for the Giants.

At 10:10 of the third quarter Roethlisberger completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington to give the Steelers a 14–9 lead. Later in the quarter, a Steelers 53-yard touchdown pass was negated due to a holding penalty and Pittsburgh was forced to punt. In the final quarter Pittsburgh kept New York out of the end zone on three plays inside the 10-yard line, however, the Giants connected on a field goal to bring the Giants to within two points. On the next drive, James Harrison—who was called in to replace injured long snapper Greg Warren—snapped the ball out of the end zone to give the Giants a safety and tie the game. The Giants drove after receiving the safety's kickoff to score a touchdown—taking a 21–14 lead with 3:07 remaining. Pittsburgh was unable to convert on their final two drives, as Roethlisberger threw his fourth interception of the day.

The night before the United States presidential election, the Steelers played in the nation's capitol, Washington, D.C.; both major party candidates were interviewed a half-time. The Washington Redskins took a 6–0 lead in the first quarter with two field goals. The Steelers defense shut out the Redskins in the second quarter while the Steelers scored on a field goal to cut the lead in half. A blocked punt with 2:21 remaining in the half led to a Steelers 1-yard touchdown run from Ben Roethlisberger.

Due to an injury to Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich took over as quarterback in the second half. Leftwich completed a 50 yard pass to Nate Washington on the opening drive of the third quarter; the Steelers capped the drive with a Willie Parker touchdown run. Pittsburgh extended their lead in the final quarter with a touchdown pass from Leftwich to Santonio Holmes. The Redskins gained 124 yards in the final quarter, but were unable to score. The Steelers' 17 point win took their record to 6–2 on the season.

Both the Steelers and Indianapolis Colts drove more than 60 yards on their opening offensive drives, each scored a touchdown to bring the score to 7–7 after the first quarter. A Steelers 42-yard flea flicker advanced the ball to the 2 yard line. On the following play Mewelde Moore scored his second touchdown of the game. The Steelers extended their lead to ten, but an interception with 1:30 remaining in the half led to a Colts touchdown—bringing the halftime score to 17–14.

The Colts kicked a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the game at 17. A Steelers field goal in the final quarter gave them a three point lead. The Colts scored on Peyton Manning's third touchdown pass of the game to take the lead with 3:10 remaining in regulation. The Steelers drove from their own 27 yard line, but were unable to score.

Pittsburgh entered week eleven with starters having missed 31 games due to injuries. The San Diego Chargers scored first, and led 7–0 after the first quarter of play. On the second play of the second quarter, the Steelers' James Harrison forced a fumble in the endzone, then forced a safety by tackling the Marcus McNeill after he had recovered the fumble. Jeff Reed converted on a field goal as time expired on the first half, pulling the Steelers within two points.

Reed kicked his second field goal of the game from 41-yards to give the Steelers the lead going into the final quarter. The Chargers drove 74 yards on 17 plays, converting on a field goal to give them the lead again, with 6:45 remaining. On the Steelers' ensuing drive, the offense drove 73 yards and Reed converted on his third field goal of the day, giving the Steelers an 11–10 lead with 15 seconds remaining in regulation. The Chargers attempted to score on their final play, but Troy Polamalu forced and recovered a fumble, returning it for a touchdown. The call was reversed when the officials ruled that San Diego had made an illegal forward pass. After the game, head referee Scott Green admitted that the touchdown should have been counted. With the touchdown not counted the final score kept Pittsburgh under the 5 point spread by which they were favored, and resulted in over $32 million being lost in bets. The game was the first game in NFL history to end with a final score of 11–10.

The Steelers concluded their primetime schedule with their only Thursday night game of the season. The Cincinnati Bengals took a 7–0 lead in the first quarter after a 62 yard drive. In the second quarter the Steelers tied the game on a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Heath Miller. Jeff Reed converted a field goal with 1:56 remaining in the first half to give the Steelers a 10–7 halftime lead.

Pittsburgh added another ten points in the third quarter when Gary Russell ran for his first rushing touchdown of the season, after Reed's second field goal. In the final quarter, Roethlisberger rushed for a touchdown to put the Steelers up by a score of 27–10. Roethlisberger passed for 243 yards and one touchdown, while Santonio Holmes led the game with 84 receiving yards. James Farrior led the Steelers with 8 tackles.

The Steelers fell behind the New England Patriots less than three minutes into the first quarter, after an interception of Ben Roethlisberger was driven to the endzone. The Steelers came back with 2:55 remaining in the initial quarter to convert on a 20 yard Jeff Reed field goal. The Patriots extended their lead to seven points with a 29 yard field goal in the second quarter. Pittsburgh drove 63 yards on nine plays, capping their drive with a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes to tie the game at ten points at the halfway point.

Pittsburgh took their first lead of the game on their first drive of the second half, after Reed's second field goal put them up by three points. On the ensuing kickoff the Steelers recovered a Patriots' fumble and Roethlisberger connected with Hines Ward for an 11-yard touchdown pass. James Harrison forced his first of two fumbles on the Patriots' next drive and the Steelers recovered as Reed added his third field goal of the game—putting the Steelers up 23–10. Gary Russell scored a touchdown after Lawrence Timmons returned an interception 89 yards to the Patriots' one-yard line.

The Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys held each other scoreless in the first quarter. Troy Polamalu intercepted a pass in his fourth consecutive game, overall he led the league with seven interceptions. The Steelers scored first on a 24-yard field goal from Jeff Reed with 2:44 remaining in the second quarter. The Cowboys converted a 44-yard field goal as time expired on the first half to tie the game at 3–3.

A Tony Romo touchdown pass in the third quarter gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game. The lead was extended when Nick Folk converted his second field goal of the day, putting the Cowboys up 13–3 as the game entered the final quarter. Reed converted his second field goal of the game, bringing the Steelers within seven points with 7:20 remaining in regulation. On the Steelers next drive, Ben Roethelisberger threw a touchdown pass to Heath Miller—tying the game with 2:10 remaining. Deshea Townsend intercepted Romo's next pass and returned the ball 25 yards, scoring a touchdown to give the Steelers a seven point lead, which they held to the end of the game.

Entering their second game of the season against Baltimore, the Steelers' defense ranked first in the league, while the Ravens' defense ranked second. "We're going to win by any means necessary. If the defense has to score, if the special teams have to kick in a score, or if the offense has to score 50 points -- whatever it takes to win," stated James Harrison prior to the game.

Both teams were held scoreless before a record crowd at M&T Bank Stadium until a Baltimore field goal gave the Ravens a 3–0 lead at 12:34 of the second quarter. Pittsburgh tied the game on a Jeff Reed field goal; Matt Stover converted a second time to give the Ravens a three point lead at halftime. Stover kicked his third field goal of the game in the third quarter, extending their lead to six points. In the final quarter, Reed kicked his second field goal of the game to put the Steelers within three points. On the Steelers final drive of the game, the offense drove 92 yards over 2:53, with Ben Roethlisberger completing a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 50 seconds remaining. The Ravens embarked on one more drive, but the Steelers second interception of the game prevented them from scoring. With the victory the Steelers won their second consecutive AFC North title and clinched a first round bye and became the first AFC franchise to amass 550 wins.

Pittsburgh entered their final road game of the regular season with a chance to surpass the Tennessee Titans for the top seed in the AFC. The Steelers and the Titans were scoreless after the first quarter, when Tennessee took a 3–0 lead on the second play of the second quarter. Justin Gage's 34-yard reception later in the quarter extended the lead to 10–0. Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes also received a touchdown pass in the second quarter, bringing the halftime score to 10–7.

In the second half, Ben Roethlisberger threw his second touchdown pass of the game—to Hines Ward—to give the Steelers their only lead of the game. After a 21-yard touchdown run on Tennessee's ensuing drive, the Titans entered the final quarter with a three point lead. The Titans scored two touchdowns in the final quarter, and the Steelers were unable overcome two Roethelisberger fumbles and two interceptions throughout the game.

Although the Steelers were guaranteed the second seed in the AFC Tomlin stated, "It is a big week for us." Willie Parker's 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the Steelers longest run of the season. With less than two minutes left in the first half, Ben Roethlisberger was hit by D'Qwell Jackson and Willie McGinist and had to be immobilized and carried off the field after suffering from a concussion. Byron Leftwich replaced Roethlisberger and scored the Steelers second touchdown of the game to give the Steelers a 14–0 lead at halftime.

Pittsburgh scored the only points of the third quarter when Jeff Reed converted his sole field goal attempt of the game. The Steelers added two touchdowns in the final quarter—on a Gary Russell rush and Tyrone Carter's return of his second interception of the game. "We were so upset we had to practice on Christmas, we had to take it out on the Browns," said Larry Foote after the victory.

Due to the Steelers' regular season record the team finished in second place in the AFC, qualifying them for the post-season. Along with the Tennessee Titans, who finished with the best record in the AFC, the Steelers received a bye during the opening week of the post-season. The 2008 season was the seventh of the past 16 that the Steelers were the first or second seed in the AFC entering the playoffs—never winning the Super Bowl during those seasons. Pittsburgh defeated the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional round, giving up a franchise post-season low of 15 rushing yards. The victory was head coach Mike Tomlin's first in the post-season. The Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. The Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII over the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals on February 1.

Pittsburgh hosted the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field due to the Chargers' overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts during the Wild Card round. The Chargers scored on the game's first drive with a 41-yard pass from Philip Rivers to Vincent Jackson for a touchdown. After the Steelers defense stopped the Chargers on their next drive, Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes returned a punt 67 yards to tie the game at seven. With two minutes remaining in the first half Nate Kaeding converted a 42-yard field goal to reclaim the lead for the Chargers. Pittsburgh's offense responded with a 7 play, 66 yard drive in 1:33 to take their first lead of the game after a 3-yard touchdown run from Willie Parker.

The Steelers opened the second half with a 7:56, 13 play drive which concluded with Ben Roethlisberger's sole touchdown pass to Heath Miller. San Diego had one offensive play in the third quarter, which resulted in an interception. The Steelers entered the final quarter with a 21–10 lead. Gary Russell scored on a 1-yard touchdown rush to extend the Steelers lead. The Chargers scored on their next possession, when Legedu Naanee received Rivers' second touchdown pass of the game to conclude a 73 yard drive. With 4:17 remaining Willie Parker scored his second touchdown of the game—with a 16-yard run. The Chargers' Darren Sproles concluded the game's scoring with a 62-yard touchdown reception, bringing the final score to 35–24.

Pittsburgh scored the game's first points, with Jeff Reed converting on field goals from 34 and 42 yards in the first quarter. Santonio Holmes received a pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter and ran for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 13–0 lead. Baltimore's Willis McGahee ran into the endzone for a touchdown with 2:44 remaining in the second quarter—bringing the halftime score to 13–7. Reed converted his third field goal of the game from 46 yards in the third quarter. McGahee scored his second touchdown of the game with 9:32 remaining in the final quarter bringing the Ravens within two points. Troy Polamalu intercepted a pass from Joe Flacco and returned it 40 yards to score the final touchdown of the game, giving Pittsburgh a 23–14 victory.

Jeff Reed concluded the first drive of Super Bowl XLIII with a field goal—giving the Steelers a 3–0 lead over the Arizona Cardinals. Gary Russell scored on a 1 yard touchdown rush on the Steelers' second drive and the Cardinals responded by scoring a touchdown on the ensuing drive. On the final play of the first half James Harrison intercepted a pass from Kurt Warner and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. As he did in the first quarter, Reed scored the sole points of the third quarter giving the Steelers a 20–7 lead entering the final quarter. The Cardinals scored three consecutive times in the fourth quarter—with two Larry Fitzgerald touchdown receptions and a Steelers' holding call in the endzone that resulted in a safety—to give them a 23–20 lead with 2:37 remaining in regulation. Pittsburgh drove 78 yards in 2:02 and scored on a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes. The Steelers four point lead held as time expired and the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowl titles.

Santonio Holmes was voted the game's Most Valuable Player. Mike Tomlin became the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl. Harrison's interception return was the longest play in Super Bowl history. On February 3 a parade was held in Pittsburgh to celebrate the victory, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette an estimated 400,000 people attended. The city's name was ceremonially changed to "the City of Sixburgh" for the duration of 2009.

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2009 Pittsburgh Steelers season

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The 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers season is the franchise's 77th season in the National Football League (NFL). The team will enter the season as defending Super Bowl champions; they will attempt to improve upon their 12–4 record from 2008. The Steelers will open the season on Thursday, September 10, 2009 in the NFL Kickoff Game. The team's coaching staff will remain the same for the third consecutive year.

The Steelers' opponents for the 2009 season are based on the NFL's predetermined scheduling formula. The combined 2008 record of the Steelers' 2009 opponents was 110–144–2 (.430 winning percentage), which is the fifth easiest schedule in the league. Of course it should be noted that past performance does not necessarily guarantee future performance, when evaluating strength of schedule in this manner.

As the defending Super Bowl champion, the Steelers will host the kickoff game for the 2009 season on Thursday, September 10, at 8:30 p.m. EDT. Their opponent for the kickoff game will be announced in March, while the rest of their schedule will be announced in April.

The 2009 season will be the Steelers' eighth as members of the AFC North Division. Pittsburgh will defend their division title from the 2008 season, which they obtained by finishing with the division's best record.

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Source : Wikipedia