The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but it won’t matter if the drama surrounding them continues to overwhelm.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are very talented, but their season is slipping away like sands through fingers.
Pittsburgh can’t seem to get its collective act together, mostly because the players can’t stop thinking about subjects outside of winning football games. For Le’Veon Bell, it’s a contract holdout that can’t end in more money before March when he is slated to become a free agent. This famously led to an outburst from offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey and Ramon Foster, showing a lack of unity and focus only days before a season-opening tie against the Cleveland Browns.
For Antonio Brown, it’s a hissy fit on the sidelines of Pittsburgh’s 42-37 loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Brown, apparently irate that he was targeted only 17 times in the affair, lashed out at assistants before not showing up to work on Monday. This all following Brown’s infamous Facebook Live gaffe in Jan. 2017, and his threatening of a journalist this offseason.
Speaking of hissy fits, linebacker Bud Dupree thought it was a good idea to slide into a fan’s DMs on Sunday night after the defeat, telling a Twitter troll that he was at his girl’s house in response to said troll asking where Dupree was all game.
For Pittsburgh, the drama is nothing new, only replaced by new faces in the middle of the soap opera. The difference this season is the record, which stands at 0-1-1 with a trip to the undefeated Tampa Bay Buccaneers looming on Monday night.
At some juncture, the Steelers have to find some guidance — and perhaps a firm stance — from head coach Mike Tomlin. For all of his accolades, Tomlin has seemingly let this program come undone over the years, a fact that was masked by winning consistently in the AFC North.
The problem now is there wins are drying up, and so is the patience within a city tired of seeing Bell out having a blast during losses. This is the same Bell who skipped a walkthrough the day before the Steelers were thrashed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in last season’s playoffs.
If Tomlin and Co. are going to salvage this sinking ship, they won’t do it without challenges. The Steelers play one of the toughest remaining schedules in the league, including the NFC South and AFC West, along with four perennially physical games against the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.
In professional sports, talent usually wins it. It finds a way to rise above, but in the case of Pittsburgh, it’s being tamped down by the avalanche of nonsense being allowed to run through the veins of a team on the verge of a meltdown.