The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL and have a legitimate shot of winning a Super Bowl. For a team this good, though, there sure is a lot of drama.
Big Ben questioning his abilities and mulling retirement. Mike Mitchell guaranteeing a win over New England – even though Pittsburgh hasn’t even beaten Jacksonville yet. Le’Veon Bell threatening to hold out next year if he doesn’t get the contract he wants.
What is going on in Pittsburgh?
“(Those) unleashed emotions make you wonder if this team is really focused on what’s really important: trying to get to seven Vince Lombardi’s,” former Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart said on The DA Show. “But it’s the same old thing. I’m a Steeler through and through, but one thing I know for sure (about) great organizations throughout the National Football League, the ones that are winning on a consistent basis – and that’s the team in New England – you don’t hear too much noise coming out of there, and if you do, it’s suppressed immediately. It doesn’t take long to shut it down. But in Pittsburgh, it’s a constant thing.”
Stewart understands where some of these emotions are coming from, but he doesn’t think they should be aired for public consumption.
“You understand (Bell’s feelings) because he wanted to get a long-term deal. He didn’t want to be stuck with the franchise tag,” Stewart said. “But then it resurfaces going into one of the bigger games, I would say, of this organization’s season this year. . . . This is not the time to have (those kind of) conversations. But the best thing I think Le’Veon Bell did, he squashed it by going on his Twitter feed, basically saying that he’s not concerned about nothing besides trying to get to seven Vince Lombardi’s. But that should have been the initial (message). It’s more about winning, not a contract.”
Stewart doesn’t know the cause of Pittsburgh’s propensity for drama. It could be Mike Tomlin, it could be Ben Roethlisberger, or it could be something else entirely.
“Ben is the leader on this football team, and sometimes you follow the trend of the leader, the one that’s the outspoken one,” Stewart said. “I think the majority of guys will follow that lead and that’s what it seems like. . . . It’s totally different than what it used to be. Back in the day, it was, ‘Loose lips sink ships.’ Now it’s everyone has loose lips other than the New England Patriots.
“But maybe this is just the lay of the land now,” Stewart continued. “But to answer your question, I can’t tell you what it is. Maybe it’s the emotion of the city and the sense of how passionate they are and they just want to win, but sometimes you just can’t let some things out of the locker room. Sometimes you just have to keep close to the vest and hopefully deal with it during the offseason.”