Off to a good start


You hear it time and again from football players after a game, it's just one of 16 games and you can't put too much into it. And usually after the first game of the season, the 16 teams saying that are normally the ones on the losing end.

Because starting off the season with a win, while it doesn't give you a free pass to the post-season by any stretch of the imagination, it's a whole lot better than the alternative.  

"It's good, but just as a loss wouldn't mean the season is doomed a win doesn't guarantee you a successful season," said safety Ryan Clark. "It's better to work on the things you did wrong when you are 1-0, though. We're excited about the win, but we also know we have a big challenge ahead of us."

As Steelers players arrived for meetings on Monday, following a 15-9 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons at Heinz Field, the mood was upbeat, as it well should be. Is there work to be done still, yes and they all acknowledge that. But it's a good start.  

"It's always good to start off with a W," said cornerback Ike Taylor. "The first game of the season, it puts everybody in a good mood from the staff to the players. That's what you work hard for. We can build off of this and hopefully we can get better."

And after a disappointing season in 2009, when close games sometimes went to the opponent late in the fourth quarter, being able to battle and win in overtime was a good sign.

"If you look at the last time we won the Super Bowl, that's how that season went," said Taylor. "But last season wasn't like that. We weren't winning the close games. As long as the defense sticks together and does what we need to do and give whoever is in the game, the quarterbacks the opportunities they need, we will be okay."

And in the truest of fashions, Sunday's win was a team one, with contributions coming from all directions.

"The biggest thing is it was a team effort," said Clark. "On special teams you look at (Ryan) Mundy making a big play early in overtime, the defense stepping up and then the offense finishing. That's the thing you take away from it as a positive. Everybody played a part in it."

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