I was trying to think of a bigger drop off in play from a Super Bowl team than from the 2005 Steelers. The only team with that big of a drop off in play that I can think of would be the 2002 Raiders. The team that got spanked so hard by Gruden's Buccaneers that they are still realing. That one game changed the Raiders from a Super Bowl participant to the worst team in the league. But the Raiders lost that game badly, so what is the Steeelers excuse? They still have some talent. Their coaching situation is stable. So why then the drop off in play? Starting the season 1-2 and about to go 1-3 is not the way Super Bowl champions are "supposed" to start a new season. It's starting to look bad for the steel curtain. Very good chance these Steelers don't make the playoffs at all. If they do squeak in, they'll be knocked out quickly. I think it come down to heart. The bus had heart, will, and determination. But the bus aint back. Parker, a surprise success, has been great, but he's not the bus. Last year he played with fire just to make the team. This year his stats are down. Last year Parker had a 4.7 yard per carry average, this year his avg is down to 3.8 yds/carry. Last year the bus took the duties near the goal line. Parker isn't the type of runner to punch it in in the red zone. Then there's "Hollywood" Ben. His success seems to have gone to his head. Is his head still in the game, or still stuck the bumper that car that creamed him and his motorcycle (sans helmet) this off season? What ever was special about Roethlisberger last season appears very ordinary this year with 34.3 passer rating and NO TDs thrown. A bright spot for this floundering team from the steel city could be their defense. Palomalo (not sure if I spelled his name right, but does it really matter?) is getting heathly. This defense is ranked 11th in the league. Not bad, hey it's slightly better than average. But compare that the San Diego's #1 rated defense and who wins that battle? There is one facet of the game that the Steelers are better than the Chargers, and that's coaching. Cowher is the longest tenured coach on a single team and makes solid decisions. Ultra conservative Shittenheimer, on the other hand, doesn't like to all the weapons this team has. Is he saving Gates for the end of season parade? Even with coaching superiority, the 2006 version of the Steelers are not a team of heart or desire. They go through the motions, but 1-3 looks to be a hole that they may not be able to snap out of. Give the Steelers and their fans respect. They are the champions for now, because next year the Chargers are going to demand that kind of respect after we win this year's Super Bowl.