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: Would you like the Steelers to avoid playing Vontaze Burfict for a game?
Now that we know that Cincinnati Bengals inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict will indeed be suspended for the first four games of the 2018 regular season—the third season in a row in which he begins the year suspended—the question now becomes which opponents he will miss.
Depending upon how you look at it, the Steelers have either been fortunate and then unfortunate, or vice versa, with respect to his two previous penalties. They played the Bengals in 2016 while Burfict was suspended in the second game of the year, but saw him for both games in 2017.
There are many who religiously subscribe to the belief that it is always best to face your opponents when they are at their best, and the Bengals are not at their best when Burfict is not on the field. He is a Pro Bowl-level talent when he is not being a bonehead.
On the other hand, he injures a Steelers player in almost every game he plays. The last time he played the Steelers he got injured, of course. I in no way endorse or support his injury, for the record, even though I dislike him as a person.
It might be another week or two before we know when the Steelers will play each upcoming opponent, and one of the top storylines when the schedule is released will be whether or not they have to play Burfict.
It’s up to the individual to decide whether or not they view it as a good thing to miss playing him. I tend to lean toward it being a good thing. He’s quite literally a player safety issue whenever he’s on the field and I’d rather just avoid the experience altogether.