Last year, the Steelers struggled down the stretch, missing the playoffs by finishing 8-8. There were a number of games the team lost that they could have won, and a number they could have lost but did win. Then again, that's the nature of the NFL for all 32 clubs.
Still, that hasn't stopped Steelers linebacker Larry Foote from playing the old shoulda-woulda-coulda game (a.k.a. coulda-woulda-shoulda).
"Four games we should have won. Do that, and we’re 12-4, but that’s how the league goes," Foote told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "The year before, we made the playoffs and we could have lost four games. The bottom line is we lost some games that we should have won and we didn’t."
The hope here is that such thoughts will motivate the Steelers to push themselves that much harder to avoid a repeat of 2012, a season that must be called a failure by any Steelers' standards. At 8-8, the Steelers could go both ways. If they lose focus as they did a season ago, and considering their tough division, you can expect them to lose more than just half their games. If, however, they use last season's disappointment as a motivating tool, they can create a silver lining and get back to the playoffs.
Foote knows there's no utility in wishing his team would have won a few extra games, but it's always something that occupies fans' and players' time during the long offseason. The question of, "What if?" has plagued teams since the beginning of sports. Unfortunately for those teams, there's no do overs in the NFL.