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Facing a Make-or-Break Season, a Steelers Need a Hard Look in a Mirror

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

LATROBE, Pennsylvania — Ben Roethlisberger left use early and entered a concussion custom on Tuesday. But that’s not a unequivocally large deal. Roethlisberger was not scheduled to play in Thursday night’s preseason diversion opposite a Packers, anyway. The early exit after a severe collision with a belligerent appears to have been precautionary, and Big Ben is eminent for his ability to humour what looks to be a debilitating damage one impulse usually to return to action a few moments later.

Le’Veon Bell, of course, stays AWOL, and there aren’t even whispers about murmurs about rumors about agreement talks or his contingent return. This is also not a unequivocally large deal, given a Steelers don’t do agreement extensions for holdouts; therefore, Bell doesn’t do offseason activities, and we’ve all seen this dance slight before.

Antonio Brown has been an intensely singular member in use given pang a quad damage roughly dual weeks ago. This, too, is not a unequivocally large deal; conduct manager Mike Tomlin pronounced that Brown did not re-aggravate a damage and responded to concerns about his singular reps with: “It’s August.”

Brown also ripped longtime Steelers kick author Ed Bouchette for stating that Brown “limped off a field” after particular drills progressing this week; Brown did in fact travel off a margin after particular drills, though limping is in a eye of a beholder. This is an infinitesimally tiny deal: To counterfeit P.T. Barnum, players can twitter whatever they wish about us, as prolonged as they spell a names right.

That’s 3 not-very-big deals, three-and-a-quarter if we are disturbed about Brown’s headspace or a ability of pointless fans to sneak unnoticed onto a Steelers use field during warm-ups.

But those 3 not-very-big deals engage a usually 3 Steelers who unequivocally matter, during slightest from a Super Bowl review standpoint.

Antonio Brown has left during a slower gait in training stay this year as he tries to redeem from a comparatively teenager leg strain.Keith Srakocic/Associated Press/Associated Press

How many not-very-big deals smoke-stack adult to make one unequivocally large deal?

When we visited a Steelers final week, Bell was nowhere to be seen (of course), Brown spent group drills doing one-on-one work on a apart use field, and Roethlisberger participated in as many reps as we would design an determined 36-year-old starter to take.

The Steelers didn’t demeanour sharp, though we can’t review many into any training stay practice, generally when many of a drills engage Joshua Dobbs handing off to Fitzgerald Toussaint or throwing to Quadree Henderson.

But a Steelers have left by a lot of practices though Brown and Bell this summer, and they will now skip Roethlisberger for a spell. They’re even resting backup quarterback Landry Jones on Thursday night, in sheer contrariety to a Packers, who are fervent to let Aaron Rodgers shake a dirt off. The dual long-lived powerhouses are holding radically opposite approaches in their mid-August preparations.

The Steelers are entrance off a 13-win deteriorate and 4 true playoff appearances. Most register spots are set, and a tip veterans have small to prove. That’s a biggest reason for Steelers fans to take a evidence from Rodgers and R-E-L-A-X by a Aug injury-and-holdout doldrums.

It’s also a biggest reason for Pittsburgh fans to worry.

The Steelers have operated during suboptimal ability for years. They competence remove an early diversion given Bell isn’t utterly during full throttle. They might remove a midseason diversion to Roethlisberger’s annual injury. They strech a playoffs and run into possibly a Patriots during their common rise potency or some Jaguars/Ravens group that’s leaner and hungrier.

Then a Steelers lapse to training stay a subsequent year and do things usually about a same approach they did a prior year. It’s a complement that yields success that a Browns, Bills or Jets can usually wish for. But a Steelers never utterly tighten belligerent on a Patriots. And a complement doesn’t seem to move out a best, or get a many out of, a NFL‘s best triplets.

Now in his sixth deteriorate with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, Mike Tomlin presides over a training stay that is informed though maybe not versed to get past their tip AFC competition.Keith Srakocic/Associated Press/Associated Press

And maybe that’s since this is a time for a group to take a prolonged demeanour during how their truth fits together and how they are creation use of those 3 many profitable assets.

The Steelers should cruise how Roethlisberger’s offseason is structured. Other veterans have their training stay regimens calibrated down to a rep, though Big Ben mostly looks like a 1970s quarterback in an undershirt chucking footballs into rabble barrels. Freak accidents happen, though Roethlisberger is in a bizarre netherspace where he infrequently gets a full bubble-wrap diagnosis though also winds adult in drills heated adequate to force him to strike a deck.

Sure, Roethlisberger will be fine, substantially even great. But are a Steelers doing all to make certain he is good enough?

As for Brown, a Steelers are vouchsafing him be himself. That’s swell: When healthy, he’s one of a hardest practicing players in a NFL. But if a maestro stars are authorised to do their possess thing, maybe Bell deserves a long-term understanding so he can make his possess splashy helicopter entrances.

Or maybe a Steelers are hardcore disciplinarians forging a no-nonsense culture, and there is no place for Bell’s holdout. In that case, maybe there should also be no place for helicopters and Twitter beefs, to contend zero of entrance within a nation mile of Roethlisberger in a full-team drill.

No matter what they decide, a Steelers are in need of some self-reflection, generally with what they could accomplish this season.

Look over a triplets, and a Steelers might have their deepest register in years. JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington lead a weapon-laden skill-position corps. With a additions of maestro Morgan Burnett and rookie Terrell Edmunds, a Steelers delegate hasn’t looked this good given Troy Polamalu retired.

The risk for a Steelers isn’t Roethlisberger’s damage or age, Brown’s damage or quirkiness or Bell’s conditioning/enthusiasm when he returns. The risk is that Tomlin and his 3 stars have gotten used to doing their possess things and a whole conditions has gotten a small stale, though a problem won’t unequivocally roost until a Patriots are once again usually a dwarfed bit improved than a Steelers in mid-December (and/or mid-January).

The risk is that a Steelers will exhaust their final possibility to win a Super Bowl with Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown given of preseason sloppiness and stubbornness.

That’s a really, unequivocally large deal.


Mike Tanier covers a NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeTanier. 

Article source: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2791125-facing-a-make-or-break-season-the-steelers-need-a-hard-look-in-the-mirror