What is going on in Pittsburgh?
If you follow the NFL, you know that the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the running for a Super Bowl almost every season. Dating back to the 1970’s and the famous “Steel Curtain” defense, the Steelers always been one of the more successful franchises in sports.
This current wave of Steeler teams led by the “Killer B’s” in Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell has been arguably their most talented group ever on offense, yet they have not been able to capture the Lombardi Trophy. That window is closing, making these next couple years crucial for Pittsburgh. However, what is keeping them from achieving that goal has nothing to do with talent, as they have some of the most accomplished individuals the league has to offer. It is the dysfunction from within the organization that is finding its way to hinder the team’s performance on the field.
The dysfunction starts with polarizing running back Le’Veon Bell.
It seems as though every year there is some sort of a dispute between Bell and the front office over contract negotiations, and the tension has hit an all-time high. This is not the first time a big name player is holding out for more money, but it is the reception Bell is getting from his teammates that makes this particular instance even more of a locker room cancer. Rather than keeping their mouth shut when talking to the media about the issue, multiple players have voiced their opinions..
Both Bell and the rest of the organization are to blame here, as it is clear his teammates are letting his actions affect their play on the field. This team has been in the headlines multiple times over the years for off field distractions (cough cough AB’s facebook live video) but now it is to the point where it is showing more and more on the field.
While one can understand why the members of the team are dismayed with Bell, voicing their opinions on the matter should be the last thing on their mind. Last week’s tie against The Cleveland Browns showed me how much I may have overrated Pittsburgh when I predicted them to be a 12-4 team in my AFC Preview two weeks ago. Maybe it will serve as a wake up call, but if Bell's holding out is going give the Steelers this many problems, they may want to consider trading him. Some players are simply not worth the headache, and Bell could be one of those players. The time to win is now if you’re the Steelers, so why let an off-field issue get in the way?