Spence: 'They set the standard high'

Posted Jan 5, 2016

Today's Steelers know what it means to wear the black and gold.

Just outside one of the team meeting rooms at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex sits the greatest example of what tradition in the National Football League is all about. In view of the players as they walk in and out of the room are the team’s six Lombardi Trophies, the pinnacle of success in the NFL.

“I take pride in playing for the Steelers, with all of the greatness that comes with the history of this team,” said fullback Will Johnson. “We know the guys who have been around here for a while know the tradition, we share it with the young guys and it’s something we definitely take pride in.”

That history includes the Steelers securing their 28th playoff berth this year, the most of any NFL team since the 1970 NFL merger. It’s a stat that even takes the players by surprise, and makes them realize how special it is to wear the black and gold.

“This is the best organization,” said linebacker Sean Spence. “From talking to other guys around the league and how their organization works all of us are blessed to be in such a great organization. Everyone is family here.

“It started a long time ago here. Like Coach (Mike) Tomlin says the standard is the standard. They set the standard high and we are following in their footsteps.”

There is nothing Steelers’ players want more than to continue that tradition and that quest for another Lombardi Trophy begins this Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card playoffs. 
“We take pride in it,” said linebacker Arthur Moats. “Any time you are able to add to this legacy that is great here it’s great. You know what the standard is here. Any time you can add to it, to continue the legacy, is special. The Rooney family has done a great job of producing this type of football to have the right players here to do it.

“You don’t want to let those guys down. They paved the way for us. They started the whole legacy. We are just glad to be able to carry the torch.”