Former Steeler Merril Hoge thinks team will be better than last year |

Former Steeler Merril Hoge thinks team will be better than last year

Frank Carnevale
Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge listens during a concussion seminar at Heinz Field on Thursday, April 7, 2016 on the North Shore.

Golfing at a charity event last week, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Merril Hoge shared some thoughts about his former team and said he thinks they might be better this season than last.

“I think the key word here is team. Teams win championships,” Hoge said to PennLive on Wednesday while taking part in the Mid Penn Bank Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Hershey Country Club in Dauphin County.

“Quarterbacks don’t win championships, defenses don’t and offenses don’t. They have a lot of weapons there and they feel more like a team now,” Hoge continued. “I like their odds better this year than I did last year.”

The Steelers missed the playoffs last season and had some locker-room issues: wide receiver Antonio Brown complained about playing time and forced a trade (he’s now with the Oakland Raiders); and running back Le’Veon Bell sat out the season rather than signing a franchise tag (he’s now with the New York Jets).

Younger players like wide receiver JuJu Schuster-Smith and running back James Conner took on bigger roles last season and Hoge seems to imply they can contribute more and help quarterback Ben Roethlisberger win now.

Hoge shared a photo from the event to his Twitter:

Hoge was joined on the green by a few other former NFL players, including quarterback Michael Vick, who played for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and Jets as well as one season with the Steelers, before retiring.

Hoge shared a photo with Vick with the caption, “His rookie year I called @michaelvick must see TV and if you watched him play you knew why. The more time I spend with him the more impressed I am with who he’s becoming after football too!”

The golf event raised $200,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, according to PennLive. In 2003, Hoge was diagnosed with stage II Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Hoge played with the Steelers from 1987-92. He’s been a football analyst for ESPN since 1996.

Frank Carnevale is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Frank via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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.