Pardon my Latin, but where in the hell was Bud Dupree, and why was he not on the field for the Pittsburgh Steelers last evening? There were no indications prior to the game that he was not expected to play…so, why did he not play?
The Steelers are counting on the third-year outside linebacker to have a big season for the defense this year, which is something that has been talked about numerous times from all parties, including virtually every member of the defensive coaching staff, Dupree himself, and all of us here as well—such that the latter means anything.
Following every game, Steelers reporter Bob Labriola writes an article summarizing the game in the form of two categories: what went right, and what went wrong. Seemingly, something went wrong when it comes to Dupree before he ever even got on the field. But on the flipside, something went quite right for his replacement, Anthony Chickillo, though that is a subject for another article.
Frankly, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t even know what is wrong with Dupree at the moment. Revisiting Alex Kozora’s training camp diaries, the first issue crept up on day six of training camp when he was held out of three team sessions for undisclosed reasons. Alex did not report noticing him looking any worse for wear on the sideline at the time.
He missed the next three practices after that before returning for day 10, seemingly a full participant. He was seemingly a full or at least partial participant for the next two days, but then returned to sitting out practices for the 13th session, Alex again conceding that he doesn’t know why. But he returned for the final couple of practices, and yet did not play.
So it is unknown why. Even the beat writers covering the team noted on social media while the starters were being announced that it was Chickillo, not Dupree, whose name was called, indicating that this was a surprise to them.
Obviously, this whole situation lends itself to speculation. Could there possibly be a disciplinary issue involved for the reason behind his not playing? He was, at least, in a jersey at one point, because the Steelers’ official Twitter profile shared an image of him swapping his for Vic Beasley’s after the game.
In one instance during the broadcast I noticed him on the sidelines, dressed, and he was clearly wearing shoulder pads. I did notice those who did not practice at all (Golson, Adams, Mitchell) not dressed, while others who partially participated (Sutton, Jones) also dressed.
Much is expected of Dupree this season, and we have seen very little up to this point. Hopefully that changes on Saturday. Presumably if he were healthy enough to have game pants on last night, then he should be good to go by then.