Eric Ebron was a talented pass-catching tight end coming out of North Carolina. He has proven that to be the case since arriving in the NFL, even if his journey hasn’t always gone as planned. While he has had some of his own ups and downs as a player, both in performance and in health, what he feels is most lacking in his career is simple: winning.
Drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2014, he spent four years there, during which, admittedly, they weren’t bad. They posted three winning records, going 11-5 his rookie year, and made the playoffs twice. They went 7-9 in the other year.
During his two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, they went 10-6 in 2018 with Andrew Luck, and then 7-9 last year after Luck retired. But the difference is the 2018 season is the only time that he experienced a postseason win. And that’s what he wants.
“I’m more interested in just winning than anything else”, he told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller earlier today on SiriusXM Radio. “I’ve been a part of some really bad seasons and one really good one, and I felt what it felt like to win. That’s all I really care about, is just winning”.
His history with winning isn’t as bleak as he makes it sound. In six seasons, he’s been on four winning teams and has gone to the playoffs three times, albeit with a 1-3 overall postseason record. He’s never been on a team that has finished the year worse than 7-9.
But at the same time, that says a lot about where his standards are. He considers 7-9 a really bad year. that’s in-line with where the Pittsburgh Steelers are philosophically on an organizational level. They haven’t had a losing season since before Ben Roethlisberger was in the NFL, in 2003.
Their expectations annually are first and foremost to win the AFC North and then to win the Super Bowl. Every season in which they fail to win it all is a season that is deemed a failure to achieve their goals. Pittsburgh doesn’t award itself any participation trophies, and doesn’t mince words about failing.
“We are what our record says we are” is what we hear, for example, from general manager Kevin Colbert after each season in which the Steelers fail to make the postseason. That includes last year, when they went 8-8. That includes 2018, when they went 9-6-1. Coincidentally enough, Ebron’s Colts helped keep them out of the playoffs in Week 17 that year.
But now they’ve joined forces, and the Steelers seem to feel as though they are in the best position top to bottom that they have been in in some time to do some damage in the postseason. They haven’t won a game in the playoffs since 2016, and haven’t been there since 2017, so they’re ready to make their move, and Ebron is ready to help them get there.