Former Steeler Merril Hoge thinks team will be better than last year
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:
I’ve never played 18 holes faster with 7 guys all together than I did with @Eagles greats @MichaelVick @sethjoyner Mike Quick and the rest of this amazing group today! What a fantastic day of golf supporting another great cause! #golf #charity #summer #Hersheycountryclub pic.twitter.com/gVdLHv8GZ3
— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) July 10, 2019
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!”
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! #golf #breastcancerawareness #findaway pic.twitter.com/viKGBcutyE
— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) July 13, 2019
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.