Ramon Foster has had it as bad as anybody. He’s been with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2009. There hasn’t been a worse year to have first joined the team in recent history. It was right after they won their second of two Super Bowls in a four-year span, and they’ve been unable to reach that goal again going onto 10 years since.
Foster is the only player still on the roster who came into the league with the Steelers during that 2009 season, during which they rode a five-game losing skid in the second half of the season to a 9-7 finish, resulting in their missing the postseason entirely.
They did return to the Super Bowl the following year, but lost, so Foster does know what it’s like to play in that game, but not to win it. Many players have said that it’s worse to lose a Super Bowl than to have never played in it. I’m not sure I would agree, but I can’t speak from experience.
The 32-year-old is looking to change that story in 2018 and is excited to see his teammates out there during OTAs already working toward that same goal. The Steelers had been making forward progress year after year up until last season.
They missed the playoffs in 2012 and 2013, but returned with a division title the following year. They were eliminated in the Wildcard Round. A year later, they advanced to the Divisional Round, and then a year after that, the AFC Championship Game.
Following a 13-3 regular season and their first bye week in the postseason since 2010, it looked like it would be another step forward, but Pittsburgh was surprisingly eliminated by the Jacksonville Jaguars at home in the Divisional Round.
“It still has a bad taste in your mouth. We definitely weren’t expecting to be out of the playoffs that soon”, Foster said of that loss. The Jaguars got off to a quick start and then capitalized on some offensive turnovers, one of which directly led to a touchdown.
“Our goal is always to win it. We’ve got to be a team that’s starting that process right now, and that’s why I said it’s encouraging to see as many guys that are out here right now that are starters that are making it happen”, Foster said.
And there are a lot of other guys on the team who have been waiting for a long time. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the only player with a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers, though new safety Morgan Burnett was a rookie with the Green Bay Packers when they beat Pittsburgh in 2010.
Including Burnett and running back Stevan Ridley, there are only six players on the roster who have experienced a Super Bowl, the others being Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Foster, and Maurkice Pouncey, the latter of whom was injured and did not play in the game.