Right now, it goes without saying that the Pittsburgh Steelers are not where they want to be. As of this moment, the Ravens are 5-4, and they hold the lead in the division, which means that the Steelers’ record is even worse. And, of course, it is, at 4-5. They are riding a four-game slide that they are hoping to stop in Cleveland on Sunday.
But the players know that they are losing people along the way. While I wrote yesterday that so many people have stayed engaged through this rough patch—and the Steelers have no shortage of true diehard fans who watch every snap of the preseason—there is still that segment that is free to turn its back when they struggle.
And the players know it. In this day and age, it’s pretty hard not to. Fans can send messages directly to players on social media about how much they suck and how they should be traded, more like than not in an unrealistic scenario that actually overvalues the worth of the player and defeats the purpose of saying that they suck.
But the point is that the players do get turned on to these things. And it is of course not just the fans, but the media as well. People stop believing not just in the team as a whole, but what the team is capably of doing. And veteran lineman Ramon Foster talked about that at his locker yesterday with reporters.
“At this point”, he said, “it seems like everybody’s against us”. The walls no doubt tend to close in during a four-game losing streak, which is why they are circling the wagons a bit. “Right now, everybody in this locker room has to be about us. Everything that is going right now is about us. And we have to treat it that way”.
A reporter asked Foster if it really does feel as though everybody is turning their backs on the team, and he said that “yeah, it does”.
“With so much hype that we had at the beginning of the season, to the point where we are right now, when you have that type of hype and you don’t live up to it in the middle of the season, you kind of lose a lot of people” he said.
But, he also said, “I’m okay with that”, Which, frankly, is exactly what he should be saying. “We’ll be fine” without the support and the backing, he said. “We’ve got some strong-minded guys, we’ve got some great leaders on this team, and we’ll handle it accordingly”. Foster understands that the answers have to come from within the locker room, so whatever is said outside of it is just noise.