10

Feb 2019


Black and Gold Links: The Steelers attempting to regain control of their locker room

Behind the Steel Curtain

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers are not just faced with drama on nearly a day-to-day basis, but also the fact they have to try and recover from the damage and get their locker room back.

Let’s get to the news:

Steelers’ leaders make sense of ‘circus’ surrounding team

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

The sanctity of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room has been under attack after a two-year avalanche of storylines that prompted two players to deem their domain a Kardashian-inspired reality show.

Keeping Up With The Steelers has broadcast just about everything: national anthem disputes, Gatorade cooler attacks, yearlong holdouts, bold predictions, Week 17 walkouts and a love-hate relationship between the game’s best pass-catching duo.

When team president Art Rooney II met with local reporters last month, one of his first questions, and rightfully so, was about the perception that his team is a “circus.” Rooney didn’t agree, calling the notion “nonsense” as far as he’s concerned.

The Steelers’ locker room is filled with mostly exemplary, hard-working players. But the team could have avoided some of these issues, too.

From ownership to team captains, Steelers leaders have tried to reconcile those two realities.

Defensive end and captain Cameron Heyward admitted that the Steelers dealt with a lot internally, and some outside factors that were uncontrollable, such as Le’Veon Bell’s holdout. Some situations were handled better than others, he said.

”I think we took a lot of good steps. It’s about younger guys becoming better professionals and being comfortable in what they are asked to do,” Heyward said. “The light didn’t click for me right away. ... Just gotta grow, put the petty stuff behind us. It’s not always going to be dandelions and daisies.

”But getting over our problems, being communicative and understanding we have to work through our problems -- that’s what growth takes. You can’t continue to do the same thing and expect the same results. That goes for the whole organization. I’m not saying one person.”

Finishing games was the biggest issue in the eyes of Heyward. The Steelers’ final four losses were by a combined 16 points. Despite the league’s sixth-ranked total defense, a unit that tied for the league lead with 52 sacks, the slow bleed at the end of games was concerning.

The Steelers gave up a late scoring drive in all four of those November and December losses. Only more turnovers will “shut the door” on teams, Heyward said.

(To read more, click the link in the headline...)

NFL Teams Entering Make-or-Break Offseasons in 2019

By: Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

  1. The Pittsburgh Steelers may be closing in on the end of an era. Ben Roethlisberger turns 37 in March and is entering the final year of his contract. Running back Le’Veon Bell is set to become a free agent (again), and wideout Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh.
  2. Brown is also being investigated for allegedly assaulting a woman in a domestic dispute. And now one longtime Steelers columnist believes it’s time for the Steelers to oblige the receiver.
  3. ”It no longer should be how much the Steelers can get for him in a trade, but how soon they can dump this man,” Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote on Tuesday.
  4. On top of everything else, it’s hard to imagine that Steelers ownership is thrilled with head coach Mike Tomlin after he mismanaged much of the 2018 season and ultimately missed the playoffs.
  5. If the Steelers cannot set the stage for a postseason return in 2019, big changes could be on the way.

Report: Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant Could Apply for NFL Reinstatement in May

By: Rob Goldberg, Bleacher Report

New England Patriots receiver Josh Gordon and Oakland Raiders receiver Martavis Bryant are both currently facing indefinite suspensions from the NFL, but they could apply for reinstatement and return by next season’s training camp, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The NFLPA could lay the ground work for reinstatement in May, assuming the duo follows their treatment plan.

Gordon has been receiving treatment in Gainesville, Florida, at an inpatient center following his latest suspension for substance abuse. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, he had multiple violations of the drug policy, which included failed tests for “more than marijuana.”

The 27-year-old had already missed more than two seasons due to multiple suspensions in the past, but he was finally reinstated in 2017 for the final five games of the year.

He appeared in one game for the Cleveland Browns in 2018 before being traded to New England, where he totaled 720 receiving yards in 11 appearances. Unfortunately, his season ended early after his violated terms of reinstatement.

Bryant was suspended indefinitely in December after a knee injury already ended his year after just eight games. He had also missed significant time in the past due to substance abuse violations, including his missed 2016 season due to suspension.

The challenge for both receivers will be to find a way to stay clean. If they can do that, they have a chance to lift their suspensions and play next season.

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