2018 Offseason Questions: Why Are Steelers Going All Out For Pro Bowl?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: Why are the Steelers going all out for the Pro Bowl this year?

If all had done according to plan, nobody from Pittsburgh would be heading to Orlando right now. While the weather is admittedly more comfortable, they would much rather be going to Minneapolis to play in the Super Bowl, but instead they seem to be latching on to a consolation prize of sorts.

Ordinarily, Steelers players do not make a big show of it to go to the Pro Bowl. With relative frequency, they end up having some injury or another that prevents them from participating that clearly would not hinder them if they actually had a meaningful game to play.

Some have been exceptions, of course. David DeCastro, for example, over the past two seasons has repeatedly expressed how much of an honor it has been to be selected. Ryan Shazier felt compelled to represent his team last year as well. He was voted in as a starter this year, but, of course, life circumstances have dictated that he will be the only one not on the field.

Not only have all healthy Steelers players—a whopping nine of them—all agreed to go, the Steelers’ coaching staff was even selected and accepted to coach the game, along with the Saints’ staff. It’s almost as though there is an effort to justify the season that they had in spite of the fact that they came three victories short of their ultimate goal.

Even players with major things on the line, like Le’Veon Bell, and others with repeated injuries, like Maurkice Pouncey, who knows more about the Pro Bowl than anybody on the roster, are going, though in the case of the latter, he is from Florida.

Had the season not gone as it did, fostering an us versus them mentality, where the team, while winning games, was constantly bombarded by criticism, I just can’t help but wonder if they would be having this sort of turnout for an exhibition game. Is anybody else thinking along the same lines? Not that I’m necessarily complaining. I just don’t want any injuries.

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