The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on 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: Are the Steelers finally beyond all the mid-season drama?
It seems that for a number of years now the Steelers have managed to create for themselves an excessive amount of drama, which Mike Tomlin would call “somewhat of a distraction”. While the head coach has done a good job of navigating his team through that turbulence, it would be preferable if they could just avoid it altogether.
From Le’Veon Bell’s touches to staying in the locker room, social media call-outs to vicious assaults on water coolers, and I’m sure there are plenty of other things that I’m forgetting at this point, the Steelers have had to answer a lot of worthless questions about things that are not directly about football. And they do get tired of it.
Oh yeah, let’s not forget that Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t “have it anymore”. I mean, he said it himself, right?
It’s often the case that winning games proves to be the elixir for a number of ailments, and, well, the Steelers have won five games in a row. They are also coming off of their most satisfying and compelling victory of the season, beating a 6-3 Titans team 40-17.
They are 8-2 with the best record in the AFC, on a path toward homefield advantage throughout the playoffs for the first time in 2004, a year in which they didn’t even get to take full advantage of that opportunity because they lost to…well, you know who they lost to.
I would like to think, though, that that drama is finally in the rearview mirror. Antonio Brown had a string of ‘average’ games but then broke out with three scores last night. Martavis Bryant seems to be in line now and is still hustling to recover fumbles.
Everybody seems at least to be on the same page, and just focused on winning games at this point. Can this still be real, or just some crazy dream?