Larry Foote needs to use last season's at times embarrassing performance as his sole motivation for 2013. Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Need To Find More Than Record For Motivation

Motivation.  It’s the life blood for all that we do.  And for the Steelers’ Larry Foote, the lack luster 8-8 record from last season is his (and the team’s) motivation to do better in 2013.

We’re pissed off we didn’t make the playoffs.  On top of that, our rival won the Super Bowl. I know guys are taking it personally. It’s just a whole different mindset to the offseason. I know guys are ready to get back where we need to be.

My sincere hope is that Larry and his teammates look beyond just the 8-8 record of 2012 as their motivation for how they play next season.  Didn’t make the playoffs?  Darn right that should make you angry.  But do you know WHY you missed the playoffs?  I hope that a coach or other player on that roster who had a large chunk of playing time last season puts up these seven words on a big ol’ poster up in the locker room:

“Oakland, Tennessee, Dallas, San Diego, Cleveland”

Each and every practice.  Each and every Sunday just before the team takes the field.  The team should be forced to circle up, stare at those seven words, and reflect on why they lost each of those games.  Each of those games had pinnacle moments where the team – offense or defense – just crapped the bed and found an L in the column among the waste.  Of course poor play will help a team get to 8-8 or worse.  But, the problem with the Steelers was that each and every one of those games were either in hand or quickly became trap games.  I don’t really accept the fact that the Steelers were well within grasp of being a playoff time.  They were shaky all season.  And instead of doing things that pushed them into becoming a playoff team, they continued the roller coaster like play and never made it past eight wins.  It’s probably a good thing they didn’t make it into the playoffs else they would have suffered a more embarrassing loss than they had the year previous by getting ‘Tebow’d.’

I do admire that Foote is taking his frustrations beyond a personal level.  He is taking it from a team and teammate standpoint, and that shows maturity in that view point.  But, I wouldn’t be so concerned about their greatest rival winning the Super Bowl last season.  It’s not like they had an opportunity to prevent the Ravens from going and thus winning the Super Bowl.  The only motivation they need from the Ravens is to beat the damn Ravens.  We also have to keep in mind that with the loss of so many players from last season’s roster that the 8-8 record will not have as much affect on a good chunk of players than if most of the 2012 roster were still around.

So let’s just say this, Larry.  Train your butts off.  Study your brains out.  And put it all out on the field each and every game down to every single man on that sideline.  Do it all for one thing and one thing only – that Lombardi Trophy.

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