The 2008 Steelers team featured Leftwich’s small feet, the launch of Tomlinisms and a guy named The Creeper

Welcome to the The Season: 2008 Steelers podcast, featuring Steelers’ 2005 second-round pick and two-time Super Bowl champion Bryant McFadden, who will be your weekly guide on the 10-year anniversary of the Steelers’ improbable run to their sixth Lombardi Trophy.

Each week, McFadden will talk to different players from that Super Bowl-winning squad. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you’ll never miss an episode.

The Steelers entered the ’08 season with the league’s toughest schedule and the preseason prognosticators didn’t expect this team to make it back to the playoffs. Starting in Week 1, McFadden relives each regular-season game, and in the process offers a behind-the-curtain peek at all of the Steelers players you remember and many you may have forgotten about — but who played a key part in an unforgettable campaign.

This was coach Mike Tomlin’s second season in Pittsburgh; the team had gone 10-6 during his 2007 rookie campaign that ended with a bitter home playoff defeat to the Jaguars. In Episode 1, McFadden and former teammate Ike Taylor talk about that first year with Tomlin, starting with the most physical training camp they had ever experienced, and punctuated by a full-pads practice the day before that fateful postseason loss against Jacksonville. But that season was a learning experience for everyone — from the new coach to his roster veteran players — and it laid the groundwork of what was to follow.

If you love football history and want an incisive, sometimes hysterical oral history of how the 2008 Steelers overcame long odds to win it all, you’ve come to the right place.

Some of the highlights from the inaugural episode:

  • Why was Tomlin’s first training camp so brutal? (5:40) 
  • Find out why Byron Leftwich, all 6-5, 250 pounds of him, was known as ‘Li’l Feet’ in the Steelers locker room; (11:15)
  • Philip Rivers talked more trash than anybody; (16:35)
  • Maurice Jones Drew once hit McFadden so hard he couldn’t breathe; (19:10)
  • Troy Polamalu’s nickname was “Michael Jackson”; (34:00)
  • Why Santonio Holmes became “The guy” for all the wrong reasons; (48:00)
  • Taylor explains why McFadden was crying on the sidelines during the Bengals playoff game; (52:15)
  • How Cedric Benson broke McFadden’s arm and why you don’t want a “prom escort” during a game (57:00)

You’ll have to listen to the entire episode for a breakdown of all the Tomlinisms — from “Iron sharpens iron,” to “Five-star matchups,” to “Are you thriving or surviving” to “Don’t be the guy.”

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