ShareThis Page

Steelers' Holmes expects return to Super Bowl

| Friday, July 3, 2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - To wide receiver Santonio Holmes, it isn't a question of his Steelers making it back to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

"We're not wondering will we make it back, if we'll make it back," said Holmes, the Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl XLIII. "We look forward to going back to the Super Bowl."

Holmes is one of several Steelers working out at Tom Shaw Performance at Disney's Wide World of Sports. The players are preparing for the first day of training camp on July 31 at St. Vincent College, and, ultimately, the team's season opener against the Tennessee Titans Sept. 10 in a Thursday night game at Heinz Field.

"At the start of that first game, it's definitely going to be a blessing to see these guys (that) did it last year," Holmes said. "But we know (with) the hard work that we put in, we're looking forward to going."

Some of Holmes' teammates who are training with him in Florida aren't as bold with their Super Bowl predictions, although they are confident.

"We definitely feel like we have a great opportunity ahead of us,'' linebacker James Farrior said. "We can't get too far ahead of ourselves. We've just got to focus on the job at hand and take it through the proper steps, and we feel we can have another good season."

Shaw, who was New England's speed and conditioning coach when the Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowls a few years ago, compared the Steelers' mindset entering this season with that of the Patriots' after they defeated Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

New England knocked off Philadelphia the following year to capture Super Bowl XXXIX. The Patriots are the last team to win two consecutive Super Bowls.

"When you think about the Steelers, there's only a couple of stars on the team," Shaw said. "Everybody else, those are the guys that really build a Super Bowl champion. I think that's one thing we had with New England. (Bill) Belichick always made sure that no one was bigger than the team."

Said Steelers cornerback William Gay: "We are like a band of brothers, like (quarterback) Ben (Roethlisberger) used to say. He's just not saying it just to be saying it."

Fellow cornerback Ike Taylor guaranteed the Steelers won't take the 2009 regular season for granted. He started on the Super Bowl XL championship team and recalls the heartbreak he experienced when the Steelers finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs the next season.

"We remember how that felt and (are) trying not to let it happen again,'' Taylor said. "We have enough players on the team who went through it and have it in the back of their heads what it's going to take to have success.

"We've got a good mix on the team of young guys and old guys. I like us. We have the confidence and the swagger.''

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.