The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Would you care to see the overtime periods during the preseason and regular season reduced to 10 minutes?
Among the many proposals that the league considered back in March during their annual meetings was whether or not to make an adjustment to the way in which overtime functions—other than in the postseason.
The Competition Committee offered a proposal to reduce the potential length of the overtime period from the regulation 15 minutes down to 10 minutes. The impetus for this suggestion, other than the boredom of 15 minutes of preseason football with fifth-string players, I suppose, was player safety.
A number of coaches have said that they believe that by the final five minutes of a regulation overtime game, players are often just trying not to get hurt, instead riding out the rest of the game. It just so happens that when people get overly careful, they tend to get hurt.
It was just two seasons ago when the Steelers saw two offensive linemen injured on the penultimate play of the final preseason game in overtime. It officially went into the game back listed as “(:18) 46-W.Johnson up the middle to CAR 1 for 1 yard (77D-R.Cox). Injured player PIT #64 and PIT #67.”
If the number 67 sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s the number of B.J. Finney. Because of his injury, he was initially waived injured, but was later in the season signed back to the practice squad. The other injured lineman wasn’t so lucky.
I can certainly understand the argument for reducing or even eliminating overtime for preseason games. it is, after all, purely an exhibition with no meaning beyond player evaluation. I’m not so sure, however, that I would want to see it changed for a meaningful game. At least not in the manner proposed, which sources believe will pass when it is revisited later in the offseason.