By Michael K. Reynolds
Let’s face it. This Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Jacksonville Jaguars isn’t very appealing.
You have a disappointing Steelers squad facing a pathetic 0-4 Jaguars team. There is no glory for the Black and Gold in beating the Floridians and nothing but anguish awaiting another loss.
It’s a no win situation.
UNLESS…the Steelers win the game…and win over their fans as well. Here’s how:
Make Winning The Ultimate Fun
Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell responded to the criticism of their taunting penalties against Tampa by saying they will continue to do their pre-rehearsed celebrations because it makes the game “fun”. Coach Mike Tomlin said he wouldn’t stop the dances because taking away fun is not who he is.
Hey…here’s an idea. How about we get back to the notion that WINNING is the ultimate fun? It brings cheer to the locker room and bragging rights to the fans. Maybe we take this Sunday off of all showboating and focus entirely on getting this ship in the right direction? I know it’s boring to hand the ball to the referee and then hustle back to thank the offensive linemen who opened up the running lane for you. But imagine how…fun…it would be if it was all about the team winning?
Be Offensive For the Entire Game
This is a potentially explosive offense the Steelers have to offer the NFL. So after getting the lead, how about continuing to pour it on the Jaguars even if they are begging for the water boarding to cease? The days of “taking the air out of the football” left when a world class defense joined the Ghosts of Steelers Past a few years ago. Our defense just isn’t strong enough for us to put the offense on ice. Don’t hold back on a single offensive drive. Each one is precious. This is on play calling. This is about letting players like Dri Archer and Darrius Heyward-Bey get in to stretch the field. This is on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continuing to make the big plays even when we’re ahead.
Take Risks On Defense
Press at the edges. Throw in your youth. Dial up the blitzes. Challenge your safeties to earn their big salaries. Big time ball hawks? Playmakers? Let’s find out by getting the ball deep in the air. If we’re going to die a slow death anyway, let’s get it over with so our offense can entertain us once again.
And Then Do It Again
The two words best describing the Steelers over the past few seasons are mediocrity and inconsistency. Why not make this game the one that resets the Standard for the remainder of the season? Less of chugging along and more of takin’ it to them. Let’s not only get a win, but create the new template for being a winning team from here on out.
There is talent. It’s not overflowing…but it’s enough to make a run. It’s the attitude that needs adjusting. And seeing it change before our eyes would make this game against the Jaguars…interesting. And fun.