Steelers' Latest Soap Opera is Timely If Not Manufactured

All of a sudden the Steelers have that us-against-the-world mentality many a team has sought to manufacture in tough times such as these.




photo by pittsburgh steelers | karl roser

 

“Maybe I don’t have it anymore.”

It was a staggering revelation given the source (Ben Roethlisberger) and the circumstances (the immediate aftermath of the first five-interception game of Roethlisberger’s career).

It was that bad in the wake of Jaguars 30, Steelers 9 at Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger rallied in the space of that very same postgame interview late last Sunday afternoon and pivoted 180 degrees, subsequently insisting “nobody in this room ever has doubt.”

Wednesday –– Roethlisberger’s regularly scheduled weekly media session in the locker room on the South Side –– was more about defiance than doubt.

“I don’t question myself,” Roethlisberger insisted. “The ones that are close to me don’t question me.

“That’s what matters.”

The national media would disagree, and has since late last Sunday afternoon engaged in a significant debate regarding how invested Roethlisberger truly is this season given his public contemplation of retirement last off-season, and his relatively sub-standard performance so far this season.

Roethlisberger dismissed it all as the ramblings of “talking heads” and “supposed experts.”

That doesn’t mean it isn’t out there, hanging in the air like another pass waiting to be intercepted.

In between the Roethlisberger interview sessions late last Sunday afternoon and today, Mike Tomlin took a stab, when asked, at determining where Roethlisberger was coming from and what he had meant in his moment of post-Jacksonville despair.

“Ben is a big-time competitor, an emotional guy,” Tomlin observed. “He’s not afraid to tell you guys the truth in terms of how he’s feeling in particular moments.

“What he says after a five-interception performance, moments after a five-interception performance probably is not reflective of who he is and how he feels.”

Except it was late last Sunday afternoon, if only momentarily.

At 3-2, the Steelers are disappointed but not devastated.

And the contributing factors to Roethlisberger coming up one pick shy of a six-pack against Jacksonville were such that Tomlin was willing to acknowledge Roethlisberger’s worst game as a professional “wasn’t catastrophic.”

But they’ve been sleepwalking this season to a degree, the team collectively and the QB in particular.

The sudden assault on Roethlisberger –– locally and nationally –– heading into a game against undefeated Kansas City in what for visiting teams is one of the NFL’s most uncomfortable venues may yet provide a much-needed rallying point for the QB and the Steelers.

It might turn out to be the perfect wake-up call for a team that needs one, even if it was Roethlisberger who, unknowingly or otherwise, dialed the phone.

He still has it and he knows it; that’s not yet an issue worthy of consideration.

What he’s had since late last Sunday afternoon has been the perfect response to a rare moment of self-pity Roethlisberger, in retrospect, probably wishes he’d never revealed.

Roethlisberger’s teammates and Tomlin have subsequently rallied in support of their QB.

And all of a sudden the Steelers have that us-against-the-world mentality many a team has sought to manufacture in tough times such as these.

It’s not a conspiracy theory as much as it is a happy coincidence.

Nobody ever gave me a chance?

This is Hines Ward on steroids.

“There are a lot of guys that I have a lot of faith, trust and belief in,” Roethlisberger added today regarding his teammates in a media exchange that was subtly conciliatory and combative. “I hope that they have it in me.”

He hopes?

Roethlisberger knows they do. 

Reactions from the Steelers since late last Sunday afternoon have provided public confirmation.

And that’s something a team that’s badly in need of a jump-start can build upon in Kansas City.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

No one would blame the veteran WTAE anchor if she took time off while undergoing intensive breast cancer treatment. Instead, she chose to use humor and grace to educate and inspire others, all while in the public eye.
Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

For many, medical marijuana is a panacea capable of alleviating a wide range of symptoms. As Pennsylvania begins allowing the drug’s medical use, patients are relieved — and business is booming.
Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

More than 20 years into its run, Casbah remains one of Pittsburgh’s most relevant restaurants.
First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

Believe it or not, yogis have been practicing with goats in the Unites States for more than a year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


32 Years Celebrating Pittsburghers of the Year

32 Years Celebrating Pittsburghers of the Year

As we honor the 2017 Pittsburghers of the year, take a look back at the previous honorees and their significant, unforgettable contributions to our city.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

The French-inspired bakery will feature croissants, cookies, bread and more.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments


Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

The Irwin business offers the chance to smash inanimate objections for a little "therapeutic demolition."

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Much as they’d like to, the Steelers won’t be able to exorcise the ghosts of AFC Championship Games Past, even with a win on Sunday.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A review of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," the latest entry in the massive franchise.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

A local wedding photographer has created a business to connect same-sex couples with LGBTQ-friendly vendors.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

The new season of the home improvement show featuring Pittsburgh siblings Leanne and Steve Ford debuts on HGTV in January.

Comments