One More Time?

Although he was recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, WVU alumnus Mike Logan doesn't think his NFL career is over.

"I am definitely thinking about another year," Logan told from the stands in the Georgia Dome, where he watched the Mountaineers put up a valiant effort in their last-second Sweet 16 loss to Texas. "Right now I just want to sit back, take some time and reflect and enjoy the Super Bowl win. Everything went so fast that I didn't really have the time to enjoy it."

Logan, who has played for nine years in the NFL (four with Jacksonville, and five with Pittsburgh), is taking a cautious approach to a possible tenth season.

"I'm talking with my family and concentrating on getting healthy. I'm rehabbing my knee, and everything seems to be going well," he said with confidence. "My body seems to be feeling pretty good right now, and that's a good sign. I would love to come back for another year with my hometown team, and hopefully finish my career there."

Being re-signed by the Steelers isn't just a pipe dream, even though the club just let him go. In today's salary cap-driven world, teams often release players so they can restructure contracts and deals, and that could well be the scenario that is playing out in Logan's case. Also playing in Logan's favor is the new deal signed between the NFL Players' Association and the owners, which resulted in a higher salary cap. That means more money available for player contracts, which could provide the means necessary to bring Logan back for a sixth year with his hometown team.

"From my understanding from what Coach Cowher told me when he called Pittsburgh was having some salary cap issues, so that's why they [released me]," Logan explained. Coach Cowher called me to ask me how I was feeling and what was going on, and he said he feels like I have some good football left in me. I think they are going to try to re-sign me before camp starts. It will be with some different terms, but I am willing to do that and sacrifice to be a part of a championship team."

That sort of attitude is a valuable attribute for a squad looking to defend its Super Bowl title, so it's not surprising that Cowher, a team-first guy if there ever was one, would like to have Logan back on board for the 2006 season. And while Logan wants that as well, he also notes that going out on top wouldn't be all bad.

"The only reason [retiring now] would be a disappointment is that I set a goal of playing ten years, and that's one thing I am close to accomplishing," explained Logan. "But, I couldn't be disappointed if it ended now. Playing for my hometown team, which was a childhood dream, and capping it off with a Super Bowl would be great. I will just remain optimistic, and keep my fingers crossed, and hope that it isn't the end. But if it was, it's been a hell of a ride."

One gets the feeling that Logan is leaning toward that tenth year, and that if the Steelers make anything close to a reasonable offer he will be on board. Other than his four years in Jacksonville, he has played his entire career in or near the Steel City.

"I think playing at WVU played a role in my getting noticed by Pittsburgh," Logan said. "Being a local guy, and being around the area a lot, I'd see Coach Cowher some. I watched his daughters play basketball against Swin Cash, and when he was there I'd tell him that I'd love to play for him and the Steelers Then, when I became a free agent and the opportunity came around they signed me. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me."

Like many football players, Logan loves basketball at well, which explains why he was at not only WVU's NCAA game but also at girl's high school games. A dedicated intramural and recreational player at WVU ("We played great intramural games down at Stansbury Hall and then on the courts over at Towers"), Logan made sure to catch this edition of the Mountaineers in action at the NCAAs.

"We always go the Big East tournament and talked about going to the NCAAs when they made it, " said Logon of his group, which included former WVU roommate Jerry Mercer and teammate Jamie Brown. "Jamie lives here in Atlanta and works at Northview High School, so he got tickets for this one, and came down to enjoy the game and enjoy Atlanta."

Given his love for all sports, might Logan have seen himself out on the court helping his alma mater?

"No, it does seem like all the football guys like to play basketball, but we know what our sport is," Logan said with a laugh. "That's why we are on the sidelines watching these guys."

Mountaineer and Steeler fans, of course, hope to see the veteran back on the field for at least one more season.

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