As the Steelers prepare to head to Saint Vincent College for training camp, we are taking a look back at training camp from the Steelers Super Bowl seasons. Today's spotlight is the 2005 training camp.
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Coming off a strong 2004 season, expectations were high for the 2005 Steelers as they headed into training camp at Saint Vincent College.
The team was coming off a 15-1 season, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger having a fantastic rookie season and the defense finishing ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
"I think there's a greater challenge this year coming back with that same look in our eye than there was the year before, because there was low expectation," said Coach Bill Cowher, referring to a 2003 season when the team finished 6-10.
The energy was strong in camp that year and there was talk early on about the Steelers being a potential Super Bowl contender, even from within.
"No one wants it more than myself, our team and my staff," said Cowher.
Take a look at Steelers Training Camp through the years
One player who wanted it bad was running back Jerome Bettis. Bettis had considered retiring the year before, but his teammates talked him into one more season, with the hope for him to return to his hometown of Detroit, Michigan where Super Bowl XL was set to be played.
"Win the Super Bowl. It's not about the regular season," said Bettis when coming to camp that year. "I was at an autograph signing and guys said '16-0! 16-0!' And I said it doesn't matter what the record is. You can go 10-6 and make the playoffs. That's the bottom line…10-6 in the playoffs and a chance to win the Super Bowl, that's all that matters."
Training camp is always where the journey begins and there were concerns with some roster changes and everyone knowing what the team was now capable of.
"The biggest concern I have is making sure we understand that we aren't just going to be able to pick up where we left off," said Cowher. "We got there because we kind of went into training camp with a chip on our shoulder, we backed ourselves into a wall early in that season.
"We kind of went into each game realizing we had no margin for error. We created a demeanor with our football team that was built on unselfishness, this sense of no matter who was in there we were going to find a way to get it done, and we can't lose that. Just because of what we did last year record-wise, and people say you have a lot of people coming back you should be able to repeat that, it wasn't so much the people, it was our approach. We can't lose that approach."
The Steelers didn't lose the approach, using training camp as the building block for what would be a Super Bowl season, winning the franchise's fifth one in Super Bowl XL, where they defeated the Seattle Seahawks.