There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season, going all the way back to January, has been a hell of a ride. From Antonio Brown’s blonde mustache making the Steelers the talk of a postseason for which they didn’t even qualify to having their replacement starter yanked just yesterday, Pittsburgh has seemingly been through just about everything.
Even death. They tragically lost wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, who suddenly passed away overnight during training camp. He was a beloved member of the coaching staff, even if he had only been there a short period of time.
Through all the adversity, however, each triumph has felt more rewarding, as well. Watching Bud Dupree blossom in his fifth season has been one of the joys of the 2019 season, for sure, so it’s fitting that he closed the door on their sixth win yesterday with a strip sack, setting a new career high with his seventh quarterback takedown of the year.
Even though he knows he has a huge decision looming in the offseason about his future, Dupree has also more than ever taken ownership of the Steelers this year, understanding that their success is his success, and vice versa. You can hear it when he speaks, as when he ruminated over the insane journey the team has experienced this year after the game.
“We have been through so much with this team, we have been through everything you can think of”, Chris Adamski quoted him as saying. “Adversity has struck us in so many different ways, starting off with our coach dying, then Ben getting hurt, other guys dealing with issues off the field, other players getting hurt, JuJu and those guys getting hurt on the field as well, AB leaving the program”.
Bud Dupree getting philosophical on his undermanned team that’s been through a ton (a coach died! Down to 3rd-string QB! Accusations at one of their QBs!) yet being in a playoff position pic.twitter.com/1E7Eo6So9u
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) November 24, 2019
Considering the pat they have been forced to walk in 2019, it’s pretty remarkable that they are in position to make the playoffs with five games to go. They have a huge rematch against the Cleveland Browns looming next week, the first meeting doing quite a bit to add to that adversity of which Dupree spoke.
“We have just been through so much, and for us to even be in this situation is a blessing for all of us”, he went on “We work hard and we harp on it and we try to let Coach Tomlin know we got his back in as many ways as possible, and we want to keep fighting because this is probably the only team in the league that has been through the situations that we’ve been through, but we are built for getting through it all the time”.
It’s taken a long time for Dupree to earn the admiration of the fanbase, but he’s seemingly finally done that. It would be quite a shame if it happens only just in time to say goodbye. Especially since I really don’t think he wants to.