- The love is forever: Throughout the 2017 season the Steelers wore a patch on their jerseys, pins on the coaches' shirts, in remembrance of late Chairman Dan Rooney, who passed away in April.
But more than that, they held his memory in their hearts, playing every game with him on their mind, with the love for him deep inside of them. They wanted more than anything to win the Super Bowl for him this year.
But as Cameron Heyward said, that drive won't end just because the season has, and just because the patches might no longer on the jerseys next season.
Coach Mike Tomlin had a close relationship with Rooney, one that he misses and winning for him is something that will always be in his heart.
"We cannot win enough games to pay tribute to that man," said Tomlin. "We can't stack enough Lombardi Trophies in there to adequately pay tribute to that man. So, I share his sentiments, but if the confetti would've rained on us and we would've walked off with the Lombardi, it still probably doesn't express my appreciation for all that he's given me. Everybody has an opinion, everybody has a perception, and I respect that. But what he's provided me personally, I can't win enough games, I can't win enough championships. That was just a symbol of our appreciation for the standard he's provided us, the legacy he's provided us, the leadership, friendship, whatever he's provided us. It was a token of our appreciation. The outcome of games and stuff are not going to meet the standard."
- Support system: Ryan Shazier was with the team throughout the final week of the season, attending meetings and at Heinz Field on Sunday for the game against the Jaguars. Tomlin, who didn't have any update on Shazier, did say that the support for him will continue, and likely even pick up now that the season is over.
"He's fighting and fighting every day," said Tomlin. "We're probably going to have more time to support him, and I'm sure guys are doing that. It's less formal and just more appropriate right now. He's a teammate and a brother. Guys have acted appropriately so. The 2017 season is over, but obviously he's in the midst of a fight, and we're going to continue to support him daily in that."
Staying put:** Before the players left for the offseason on Monday, Martavis Bryant made it clear that he wants to be back next season.
"They stuck with me through my whole process," said Bryant. "I love the guys here, love the coaches."
During the season there were reports that Bryant wanted traded and he wasn't happy with his role. But midway through the year, things changed.
"It was just a natural evolution of understanding the roles and the development roles that happen over the course of a season, whether it's him or anyone else," said Tomlin. "Part of being a team on the rise is each man gaining understanding in those areas and embracing it and making it special. What he went through isn't any different than what these guys go through. Some of it is more public that others. Some of it's not. That's the journey of the season."