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: Why did Steelers safety Daimion Stafford fail to report…and will he?
We were thrown a couple of curve balls on the opening day of training camp for the Steelers yesterday when players reported to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. While Le’Veon Bell not reporting was hardly a shock, a deal getting done on the day for Alejandro Villanueva was not necessarily projected. The deal that he signed also appears to be lower than was anticipated.
The news that Martavis Bryant has not yet taken the next step in his full reinstatement process was also a bit of news, although we never heard otherwise. We did know that the next step would be required in order for him to be able to practice.
But the biggest oddity of the day was the news that safety Daimion Stafford failed to report on the first day of training camp. And it leads me to believe that there could well be a good reason for him not reporting.
Stafford, a fifth-year veteran, already had to wait quite a while in order to land a contract with a team this offseason. The Steelers only picked him up toward the end of OTAs after he met some weight demands that they had.
He talked at the time about how hungry he was to get going and working with a team after having to sit in the offseason so long without a contract, so it would be hard to imagine that he would not have reported for some banal reason in the vein of not wanting to play for the Steelers.
Adam Podlesh, a punter the Steelers signed a few years ago, did not report to training camp at the time, and we only later learned the reason why. While we did know that his wife was pregnant at the time, he revealed very much after the fact the troubles in pregnancy that his wife was having, which put her life and the life of their child at risk.