Happy Friday! I’m happy it is the end of the week, how about you? Let’s get right into the Steeler news over the last 24 hours or so…
The OTAs are over and Mike Tomlin briefly spoke to reporters. The video is posted on Steelers.com along with a short transcript. The reporters seemed to be trying to make something out of Roethlisberger’s knee surgery and how the rest of the team behaved without him. I realize that No 7 is a polarizing figure. Between his off-the-field shenanigans and his “honesty” with the media when he is displeased, Roethlisberger keeps some reporters employed. But, seriously, is Roethlisberger’s absence going to suddenly devolve the other quarterbacks into 3-year olds? Tomlin’s response that it is “Football in shorts” and “It’s June” are really the only way to look at it. Perhaps if Roethlisberger were going to miss all the OTAs this might be a story, but he missed two days. Quit trying to stir up drama.
One interesting note about the last OTA is that it was held at Heinz Field, which Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pointed out.
Alan Robinson went one step further and started his other article by saying:
Bruce Gradkowski became the first Steelers quarterback this season to lead the team onto the field at Heinz Field.”
OK, I guess I get it, it’s a good teaser, but sheesh. The article contains some biographic info on Gradkowski, who grew up in the local area, as well as some quotes from Randy Fichtner, the quarterbacks coach. I know that the Steelers needed to bring in some new talent to back-up Ben, but I have missed seeing Charlie Batch out there this year. I think the Steelers do need to pay attention to preparing the backups, perhaps more than they have in the past. I’ve probably said it a thousand times, but hoping something doesn’t happen to Ben Roethlisberger during the season is no way to prepare the team for a championship.
Speaking of Ben and his injuries, I saw a somewhat humorous tweet, courtesy of the “Laces Out” blog from NFL on FOX of a picture that showed just where all his injuries have been:
— NFL on FOX (@NFLONFOX) June 6, 2013
Mark Karboly, a Tribune-Review Steelers reporter, was quick to point out that Roethlisberger “but still has missed only 11 games due to injuries in 9 seasons”
That graphic shows Roethlisberger has a high pain threshold. I don’t think he gets his due compared to some of the other “pretty-boy” QB’s out there. I can’t really argue that he also doesn’t seem to compare to the Manning brothers when you look at their approach to the game either and how they prepare. I also think Eli, who is in the same draft class as Roethlisberger, has remained upright quite a bit more.
Ed Bouchette, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, adds his spin to some of the articles already out there about Brett Keisel working with the younger players. I didn’t see much new in the article or any surprising comments. Keisel is expected to make the team and I think he is a good pick to lead the transition from the aging defense to a younger set who lack experience.
What would a day be without a mention of Tim Tebow? Well, I think it would be a good day. I’m tired of the publicity he gets and the machine that he and his family embrace – Tebowmania. However, I guess I’m going to add to it, much to my dismay. Joe Starkey, of the Tribune Review, thought it would be interesting to ask the Steeler players what they thought about Tebow and his lack of an NFL job right now. Look, I know this is a deeply polarizing subject and there are ardent believers and ardent non-believers. I’ll say this. I can’t argue that he has won some games – in particular, one that still stings to this Steelers fan. However, I don’t care for him as a player. He brings the circus to town and is unapologetic about it, as if it is all out of his control. You are either a team player or you aren’t and the circus makes it tough to be in a background role. The Steelers need to get back on their feet and minimize the distractions. Regardless of whatever talent Tebow brings to the mix, the circus is too much of a distraction. I’ve been wrong plenty of times, but I hope I don’t talk about this again.
One other thing, ICYMI, it looks like Kelvin Beachum will need to continue to concentrate on learning the Center position. Doug Legursky has signed with the Buffalo Bills, so the Steelers back-up center is off the free agent market for now.
So, that’s it for today. Let me know what I missed. got wrong, or what you disagree with!