1990 Steelers 35 vs Browns 0 (plus Marino Discussion)
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mcmillenandwife
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#21
07-01-2017, 09:37 PM

(06-30-2017, 04:07 PM)Matthew Simon Wrote: Which two seasons are you thinking of in this hypothetical, in which the Steelers go to the Super Bowl, and which season do you think they win it all? I'm just kind of curious, that's all.

Re-reading my post, I meant two MORE Super Bowl appearances (3 total).

I think we definitely go and WIN in'95. Replace O'Donnell with Marino and I think Pittsburgh beats that fading and poorly coached Dallas team by 10. So that's a season in which we already went to the Super Bowl, so it's not a pickup there, but it IS a pickup in the Lombardi Trophy category.

There's also no doubt in my mind that the '94 team gets to the Super Bowl with Marino at the helm. If there's a second Lombardi for Marino, I think it's here. The Niners were great in '94, but Pittsburgh's defense was phenomenal that year. A Hall of Fame QB under center might've been enough to take this one.

San Fran was a team of destiny in '84. I know we upset them during the regular season that year, but it was a fluke. Marino played on a better team in '84 and still failed to beat them, so while I think maybe we get there with Marino, I don't think we win.  

'89? Again, if we get there, I think San Fran slaughters us. 

'92 was a transitional year with no legitimate receiving threats. '93 was the Achilles rupture. Late '90s, age and injuries were catching Dan and frankly, if he has a Lombardi or two under his belt, I think he retires sooner.  


(06-30-2017, 04:07 PM)Matthew Simon Wrote: As for something "missing" in his quarterback makeup, that one stumps me too. Yet, there is a theory that make some sense. It should be of note, that that comment was fortuitous, because I was watching a "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame" episode about Marino, and Bill Simmons, said this:

"You look at somebody, like Brady [Poster's note: Simmons comes from Boston] or Elway, these guys had ways of inspiring their teammates to go beyond what they were, I don't think that Marino had that capability." 

Now regardless of what you think of Simmons, he does make a salient point, just explained horribly, and in the glibbest way possible.

Let me rephrase this: I like to go back to Joe Montana, during his time with the Chiefs. He had J.J. Birden, Willie Davis, Keith Cash, and Kimble Anders, none of those guys are Hall-of-Famers, however in 1993 & 94; he made those four guys look like first ballot hall-of-famers. Montana instantly improved his team just by showing up. I'm still not exactly convinced that Marino had that, especially throughout his entire career: during his college years and from 1983-85: I would say yes, but for the rest of his career, I would have to say no.


Marino was kind of a crybaby later in his career. Scowling, yelling at teammates, etc. Emotions on his sleeve. Contrast that with Montana & Elway. For that matter, contrast it with Bradshaw & Ben. I know Brady does it (yells at teammates), but in general, I don't think that works from a QB. I think most great QB's are "flat liners" in terms of in-game temperament. Short memories, good or bad. I think Dan had a tendency to get rattled and overly emotional. And he would point a finger at teammates at times. Which goes back to Bill Simmons' point in your quote, I think.


(06-30-2017, 04:07 PM)Matthew Simon Wrote: As for "Fouts Syndrome", my thoughts on that are simple, Fouts' Chargers never had a competent defense, to go with their high octane offense. In the two years the Chargers got to the AFC Championship under Don Coryell and Fouts, their defenses were ranked 18th (1980) and 26th (1981). By contrast, the Steelers of the '70s defenses ranked (in regards to the years they appeared in the AFC Championship): 2nd (1972, 1974, 1975), 1st (1976 & 1978) and 5th (1979). That's a colossal difference.


I have to disagree slightly. In terms of yards, San Diego's defense was #5 in '79 and #6 in '80 (their two best teams IMO). Combined with a top-rated offense, that's plenty good enough. The reason their defense was rated #18 in points in '80 was turnovers by the offense. If you look at the games where San Diego gave up a ton of points in '80, it's because they had 6-7 turnovers in those games. S.D.'s offense in '80 was worst in the league in terms of turnovers. That doesn't help your defense.

But to your point, S.D.'s defense fell apart in '81. Letting Fred Dean get away was devastating to effectiveness of their D-line, which negatively impacted their entire defense. Not to mention Wilbur Young, who was a beast in '79 and solid in '80.

As an side, this discussion of San Diego's turnover problem also illustrates the greatness of Pittsburgh's defense in 1979. The Steelers were a turnover factory in '79, worst in the league... yet the #2-ranked defense in yardage still ranked #5 in points. Pretty amazing how well they responded to the pressure put on them by their offensive teammates. Of course, it didn't hurt that the Steelers were also the highest scoring team in the league. 


(06-30-2017, 04:07 PM)Matthew Simon Wrote: I'm not sure if you know this (you probably do, but not everyone who reads the comments does, and if they do know, then I'm repeating old information), but "The Chief" was enamored with Marino, just like he was fond of Bradshaw. However, Art Rooney Jr. wasn't passionate about him, and apparently neither was Chuck Noll. Noll wanted to rebuild the D-Line, and prevalent rumors about Marino and drug use, (that eventually turned out to be unfounded, one year after the 83 Draft, it was revealed a drug test Marino had to take at Pitt, revealed he was clean) proved to be the difference maker in the reason to not draft him. Art Rooney Jr. later said that "The Chief" was upset at/with him for not taking Marino. Even before "The Chief" passed away in 1988, "The Chief" still told him that they should have taken him.


Yes, they definitely should've listened to The Chief! 

Did you ever wonder if Don Shula was behind the spreading of rumors bout Marino?  Alien  Laugh

In any case, good dialogue & debate. Really appreciate your knowledge and point of view, Matthew.
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Crash
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#22
07-02-2017, 04:22 AM

Art Jr. always tries to blame Noll.

Marino worked out for Noll, and Noll wanted him.

ART JR. was the one who said they had Bradshaw for at least three more years.

This was in Inside Sports ONE YEAR, after the draft.
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mcmillenandwife
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#23
07-02-2017, 05:56 AM

(07-02-2017, 04:22 AM)Crash Wrote: Art Jr. always tries to blame Noll.  

Marino worked out for Noll, and Noll wanted him.  

ART JR. was the one who said they had Bradshaw for at least three more years.  

This was in Inside Sports ONE YEAR, after the draft.


Laugh  Nobody in Pittsburgh wants to be the guy responsible for putting the kibosh on Marino. I'd want to pass the buck on that one, too. 

Regarding Noll, my understanding has always been that at the time of the draft, the Steelers expected Bradshaw to play for several more years. Bradshaw had a good season in '82 (led the league in TDs, took the Steelers to the playoffs, etc.). Picking Rivera made sense. Mean Joe, L.C. Greenwood and the rest of the "Steel Curtain" front four were gone. Ham had just retired (sadly, the playoff loss to S.D. was his final game) and the now 3-4 defense seemed legitimately in need of some retooling. 

Hindsight is 20/20. Picking a QB is always a crap shoot. I don't really "fault" anybody for it. But it's impossible no to dream "what if?" every now and then, 'ya know?
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Crash
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#24
07-02-2017, 06:22 AM

That's what Art II said.

Marino had a PRIVATE workout SPECIFICALLY arranged by Chuck Noll at TRS. And after that workout Noll was convinced.
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mcmillenandwife
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#25
07-02-2017, 07:02 AM

(07-02-2017, 06:22 AM)Crash Wrote: That's what Art II said.  

Marino had a PRIVATE workout SPECIFICALLY arranged by Chuck Noll at TRS.  And after that workout Noll was convinced.


Tony Dungy mentions the workout with Marino in a book about Noll ("His Life's Work"). He says Noll was an admirer of Marino, but that he believed Bradshaw still had a few years left and that the Steelers should be built on defense. He quotes him on it. To hear Dungy tell it, Noll made the decision. 

Gabe Rivera wasn't a bad pick at all, especially if Bradshaw had remained healthy and Rivera hadn't had the car accident. I felt the Steelers were very close to getting to the Super Bowl in '82. Take away Jack Ham holding penalty vs. San Diego and I think we're in. With Bradshaw & Rivera, I think the '83 would've been the best Steelers team since '79. 

Oh, well. Too many what if's.
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Matthew Simon
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#26
07-02-2017, 11:56 AM

(07-01-2017, 09:37 PM)mcmillenandwife Wrote: Marino was kind of a crybaby later in his career. Scowling, yelling at teammates, etc. Emotions on his sleeve. Contrast that with Montana & Elway. For that matter, contrast it with Bradshaw & Ben. I know Brady does it (yells at teammates), but in general, I don't think that works from a QB. I think most great QB's are "flat liners" in terms of in-game temperament. Short memories, good or bad. I think Dan had a tendency to get rattled and overly emotional. And he would point a finger at teammates at times. Which goes back to Bill Simmons' point in your quote, I think.

Yeah, I do agree with you on that, Marino was never someone I would call "calm, cool, and collected", yet I'm not sure that's what I going for. I think what I was trying to say was that there was some "intangible" that Marino didn't have, I think it was the ability to make his team instantly better just by showing up, with confidence and instantly instilling the trust that "This guy can lead us to the Super Bowl", again Montana with the Chiefs, or Ben's first season in 2004.
 
(07-01-2017, 09:37 PM)mcmillenandwife Wrote: I have to disagree slightly. In terms of yards, San Diego's defense was #5 in '79 and #6 in '80 (their two best teams IMO). Combined with a top-rated offense, that's plenty good enough. The reason their defense was rated #18 in points in '80 was turnovers by the offense. If you look at the games where San Diego gave up a ton of points in '80, it's because they had 6-7 turnovers in those games. S.D.'s offense in '80 was worst in the league in terms of turnovers. That doesn't help your defense.

But to your point, S.D.'s defense fell apart in '81. Letting Fred Dean get away was devastating to effectiveness of their D-line, which negatively impacted their entire defense. Not to mention Wilbur Young, who was a beast in '79 and solid in '80.

As an side, this discussion of San Diego's turnover problem also illustrates the greatness of Pittsburgh's defense in 1979. The Steelers were a turnover factory in '79, worst in the league... yet the #2-ranked defense in yardage still ranked #5 in points. Pretty amazing how well they responded to the pressure put on them by their offensive teammates. Of course, it didn't hurt that the Steelers were also the highest scoring team in the league.
Okay, you make a valid point there. I was using the "Points allowed" metric, so that's where I was getting those rankings. Yet, I was also comparing that metric in the years the two teams made the AFC Championship game. The Chargers didn't make the AFC Championship in 1979, they got upset at home by the Oilers, so that's why I didn't include the 1979 season in the comparisons. (Sorry, if it seems like I'm being a bit of a smart aleck, I'm not trying to be.)

(07-01-2017, 09:37 PM)mcmillenandwife Wrote: Did you ever wonder if Don Shula was behind the spreading of rumors bout Marino?

He probably did some of the work, (it's Shula, he used as many gamesmanship tactics, as pretty much every successful AFC team in the 70s did), but there's an article that does a much better explaining this story than I can: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/25196...-day-slide

Also, I never knew about the private workout; that's really fascinating.

Thanks for responding.

Matthew Simon

P.S. "His Life's Work" was the Chuck Noll book, that I really should get back to reading.
(This post was last modified: 07-02-2017, 12:33 PM by Matthew Simon. Edit Reason: A URL that was in there that shouldn't have been )
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#27
07-03-2017, 11:08 AM

I was the one who brought up the Bubby hypothetical so I'll chime in on Marino.

'84- Win Super Bowl. 12-4 or 13-3 regular season. This was Marino's record setting year.

'85- QB play was very poor with Malone, Woodley and Campbell yet team finished just 1 game back of CLE. With Marino, 10-6 regular season. Win division, host AFC championship and beat New England but lose to the Bears in the SB.

'86- 8-8 or 9-7. Out of the playoffs. May not get Woodson in next year's draft so it's tough to project from here.

'87- Malone was abysmal that year and the team still almost made the playoffs. I say at least 10-5 or 11-4. Lose to Denver in the AFC champ.

'88- 7-9 and out of the playoffs.

'89- 11-5. Win AFC champ, lose to SF in the SB.
Hard to predict what happens in the early '90s but I think we win 1 more Super Bowl with Marino.
'
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Crash
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#28
07-03-2017, 02:25 PM

We always played well against SF though. Would have been interesting to see Marino with us, vs. the Bears considering he beat them in Miami and their defense wasn't nearly as good as ours.

Even in 1993 we hung with SF even though Tomczak gave away the first half with his bullshit.

IMO we would have won the AFC in 84, 92, 94, maybe 95, but in 1996 also. Tomczak's bullshit against our own division cost us a bye week that year. 1997 against Denver would have been tough with Marino at QB.
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#29
07-04-2017, 06:17 AM

Harder to predict the '90s. Who is the coach and who is the offensive coordinator? Who did we draft in the 1st round in previous years? Let's just say for simplicity the only thing different is Marino under center.

'90-'91- Make playoffs, lose opening round.

'92- Win AFC. Don't think we beat Dallas in the Super Bowl but it's close.

'93- Wild Card, lose 1st round.

'94- Win AFC, lose to San Fran in the Super Bowl.

'95- 12-4 record. Win AFC and win Super Bowl against Dallas. Marino retires as a champion.
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Crash
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#30
07-04-2017, 09:37 AM

The rumors about Marino were all over the city of Pittsburgh BEFORE he even played his lackluster senior season at PITT.

Some still say it's true. Someone even admitted on Twitter recently that he did coke WITH Marino, and even said where they did it.

It wouldn't shock me if he dabbled in it, but constant use? No way. Too much to lose and his Dad would have kicked his ass.
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Matthew Simon
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#31
07-05-2017, 03:51 PM

(07-04-2017, 09:37 AM)Crash Wrote: The rumors about Marino were all over the city of Pittsburgh BEFORE he even played his lackluster senior season at PITT.  

Some still say it's true.  Someone even admitted on Twitter recently that he did coke WITH Marino, and even said where they did it.  

It wouldn't shock me if he dabbled in it, but constant use?  No way. Too much to lose and his Dad would have kicked his ass.

Who said that on Twitter about Marino and coke? I tried looking for it, but my Google-fu has failed me.

I think Peter King said it best, about Marino's potential drug use in College:

"What are you going be like when you're 21 years old, and you're the BMOC? I mean, you're going to have a few beers, you know? You're going to do things."

He said it better than I could, and I'm pretty sure one of the "things" in that quote was probably referring to, was him dabbling in coke.
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