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: When all is said and done, will Artie Burns’ arrest matter at all?
You had no doubt read by now that Steelers second-year starting cornerback Artie Burns was arrested late Thursday in Florida after being pulled over due to having an expired tag on his vehicle. It was found that Burns’ license was suspended and had upwards of $1000 in unpaid tickets.
In the grand scheme of things, that’s really not so bad. You never want to hear about one of your players getting arrested, and yes, driving without an active license is an irresponsible decision here, but the big thing to me is that he was not said to be doing anything that was unsafe. He was not pulled over for speeding or for reckless driving. That would be a far more concerning issue.
Thus far, the Steelers have declined to officially comment on the situation, and it is not altogether clear that they will decide to do so. Again, this situation is somewhat different from, say, Joey Porter’s arrest, in which a physical altercation was involved. This is all about unpaid tickets and similar issues.
Will he get a talking to when he gets back to Pennsylvania about making sure that he has everything in order from now on? Probably. If not from Mike Tomlin, then from somebody else. Perhaps Terry Cousin, their Player Engagement Coordinator.
Sure, he’ll probably be asked on multiple occasions about his arrest and whether or not he feels like he needs to take greater responsibility for his actions, and those questions will probably extend to some of his teammates as well. Some will probably slap the ‘d’ word on it—the one that ends in istraction.
But ultimately, once the season starts, will it matter at all? It’s not like he’s going to be spending a month in jail or that he has revealed a major character concern. I have my opinion on this one, and quite frankly I think it’s a non-issue when it comes to football, but what do you think?