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2018 Offseason Questions: Will Big Ben, AB Attend Last Week Of OTAs?

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: Will Ben Roethlisberger and/or Antonio Brown be back on the field for the last week of OTAs?

Most of the talk about Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger so far this offseason, and during the past couple of weeks, has been surrounding what they’ve done or said off the field rather than on it. Here’s to hoping that changes over the next two weeks.

The Steelers have held six OTA practices so far. Roethlisberger has been to one, Brown two. Maurkice Pouncey told reporters that Roethlisberger scheduled a family vacation during the same time, but suggested that he believed he might be there for the final week of practices.

Brown indicated that he was not going to be catching passes without his quarterback there, so one wonders if it’s going to be a package deal or nothing regarding the two. If Roethlisberger shows, so does Brown. If not, the wide receiver stays home, too.

Not that it particularly makes much of a difference whether or not they are out there on the field, at least in terms of their being able to better themselves. They are both elite players at their positions and a handful of OTA practices is not going to make a difference in how they play in 2018.

We also got a cruel reminder recently about why it makes sense for them to stay away. The Steelers just put two players on injured reserve after suffering season-ending injuries in non-contact situations, most notably Jerald Hawkins, who figured to be the favorite to replace Chris Hubbard as the swing tackle.

Now, I don’t know what Brown went off venting about recently, but perhaps he was receiving some criticism from fans for not being at OTAs. He is ordinarily renowned for his work ethic and taking every opportunity to improve himself, so maybe some misguided followers called him out on this ‘hypocrisy’.

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