Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) and the Steelers offense huddles before running a play against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Morning Huddle 2/7/2014

Steelers season goes all year long so whether we’re looking ahead to the start of free agency, predicting the possible draft choices, or looking around for mentions of your Black & Gold we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.

Steelers by position: OLB

Bob Labriola of the Steelers Digest is continuing his series of breaking down the Steelers by position, pre free-agency. This edition is for the outside linebackers. The three unrestricted free agents will be Stevenson Sylvester, Jamaal Westerman, and Jason Worilds. It’s funny how Worilds went from being the worry of the linebacking corps how he’d never be able to take over for James Harrison and then by the end of the season LeBeau is the idiot for never letting him play before. Funny how some players outperform during the final years of their contract. Anywho, all eyes are going to be on LaMarr Woodley this offseason anyway. What would be in the best interest of the Steelers, to keep him and hope that he remains healthy and returns to his early-career form or release him and take the cap hit that it would create?

Ryan Clark snitches on ESPN

Apparently Ryan Clark has never heard the term “Snitches get stitches” because he decided to out his teammates (not by name) on ESPN’s ‘First Take’ on Thursday by admitting that he knows some of his teammates use marijuana recreationally.

“I know guys on my team who smoke. And it’s not a situation where you think, ‘Oh these guys are trying to be cool.’ These are guys who want to do it recreationally. A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.’ Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.” – Ryan Clark

Ok, where to begin. First off, I don’t want to start a debate on marijuana and how it’s less harmful than alcohol and pain meds and why it should be legalized and all that. That’s not the issue here and Ryan Clark is being very irresponsible for not realizing what the issue is. The issue is that, right now, right or wrong, marijuana is not only illegal in the state of Pennsylvania and 47 other states in this country but also on the banned substance list for the NFL. The way to change those two facts isn’t by admitting that you know a bunch of people are doing it anyway. It’s too late to expect Ryan Clark to be responsible for the players interests even if he is a former players union representative. He’s trying to further cement his future career as an ESPN personality. He’ll make a great one, too. He’s not afraid to speak his mind or comment on debatable topics.

The debate over the use of marijuana and decriminalizing it is a good debate and it’s one worth having if you can present the correct facts and evidence to the proper channels. The fact of the matter is that the NFL is bound by the state laws and at this point has no business allowing players to use it while it remains an illegal drug across most of the country. If you want to lobby your state congress or governor over the benefits of decriminalizing marijuana, go for it. Maybe that would be a better way to get the NFL to possibly recognize the benefits players might have for using marijuana than just going with the “the guys are gonna do it anyway” defense. But hey, if Ryan Clark wants to reduce himself to the lowly level of being a regular contributor to ESPN’s “First Take” than he really doesn’t have any NFL players interests in mind anyway, especially not his own “former” teammates. I say former because Clark is an unrestricted free agent and not likely to be re-signed with the team. I think his comments on ESPN on Thursday only further cemented that idea. Not only is it way too easy for him, thinking he’s on his way out already, to completely sell out his entire locker room without any consequences. Do you think Clark took the time to let any of the Steelers know he would be sharing this information? Do you think he gives a crap that now he’s only guaranteed that anytime a Steelers player or coach has a microphone put in front of them they will be questioned about their possible drug use? I’d hope the Steelers brass don’t even answer when his agent calls at the start of free agency.

What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? What do you think about the OLB position situation pre free-agency? What are your thoughts on Ryan Clark’s First Take appearance?

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Tags: Jason Worilds Lamarr Woodley NFL Players Union Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark

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