In case you had a burning desire to care about Dan Orlovsky—or recall who in the world he is—the former Detroit Lion fifth-round quarterback who attempted 512 passes in the NFL over the course of a decade has enjoyed sticking his nose in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ business this offseason as a member of the media.
The first time he came onto our radar was when he went after Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert when he referred to all the players on the team’s roster outside of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as “kids” by way of comparison, to emphasize the fact that he has won a Super Bowl, and thus knows what it takes to do so.
Yesterday, after former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown took to Twitter to seemingly throw shade at his former teammate, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Orlovsky resurfaced to echo Brown’s comments and call Smith-Schuster’s sincerity, and thus integrity, into question.
The third-year wide receiver posted a Tweet in recent days in which he endorsed Roethlisberger, saying that it was an honor to work with a Hall of Fame quarterback as a 20-year-old coming out of college, and that he was looking forward to continuing to do so with his leader.
Brown later in the day sub-Tweeted the comment to say that players who haven’t gotten paid yet are not to be believed, because they are liable to do or say anything that it takes in order to get paid. The irony is, however, that Brown just got paid in spite of the fact that he acted in a very bizarre manner in recent months.
“AB’s right”, Orlovsky said. “Players more often than not need to conform, fall in line, because at the end of the day you have to keep the end-game in your mind. That’s to go get paid and make your money. So AB’s point is right”.
In Orlovsky’s defense, his remarks were not necessarily intended as criticism, but rather as an observation as a former player himself. “If you’re Smith-Schuster, who else are you going to tie yourself to?”, he asked. “AB, who’s become a spectacle in many ways? Or your quarterback, who’s gonna feed you the ball?”.
He also commended Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin for the way that he handled himself regarding the events of the offseason and the accountability he took for the team’s 2018 regular, comparing him favorably to comments from New York Giants owner John Mara.
The only problem with all of these comments and insinuations is that, while it is true that it is in a player’s best interests to say whatever he feels will help him get paid in the long run, that doesn’t make it mutually exclusive to the idea that his comments are sincere.
There’s no reason to think Smith-Schuster doesn’t actually mean what he says about Roethlisberger. We don’t know that he does, but we don’t know that he doesn’t, either. And as long as it remains contained, the distinction is academic.