While the Pittsburgh Steelers might not necessarily be in freefall as an organization—that’s kind of a hard sell for a team that hasn’t had a losing season in 15 years—it can certainly feel that way at times, and that is especially the case when you have somebody come out of the locker room and speak some truth to the rumors and reports.
That’s pretty much what Bud Dupree did recently, as Jeremy Fowler wrote on Twitter. He told the ESPN reporter that the team has some “family issues” to sort through, but added that the defensive players on the team are largely in the dark about it.
Bud Dupree acknowledged Steelers have ‘family issues‘ in light of A. Brown’s alleged flare-up w/ B. Roethlisberger, but defensive players in the dark. “We have to put it in the open and stop hiding,” he said. “The teams that are still playing right now don’t have those issues.”
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 10, 2019
“We have to put it in the open and stop hiding”, Fowler quoted the four-year veteran as saying. “The teams that are still playing right now don’t have those issues”. Or at the very least, they have done a better job of keeping a lid on them—or perhaps their local papers are just not as good at getting the information.
But I digress.
There’s no way around the fact that the organization has a big Antonio Brown-shaped cloud hanging over its head this offseason, and they are not sure what to do about it. If it rains on them, do they have an umbrella big enough to weather the storm? Do they have to move out from under the cloud altogether, and give up the chance of sunshine?
In his end of season press conference, Head Coach Mike Tomlin did suggest that the locker room would have a role to play in that decision. He was asked by a reporter if he would consult some of the veteran members of the team for their insight into how Brown and how he has been handled impacts the chemistry of the team and if the problems that have arisen can be solved while he remains a member of the team.
It would be interesting to know just who knows what in the locker room in terms of the extent of what is going on. It would stand to reason that the offensive players, who would spend more time with Brown, might be more familiar with how Brown may have been handled by coaches.
There have been so many reports about so many different facets of this story, many of which contradict each other, that it’s impossible to know what to think. Was a football thrown, and who threw it? Does Brown want to be traded, and does it matter whether or not he does?