Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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 TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Peters Township Native Wins Silver Medal in Speed Skating

After swine flu kept him from competing in Sochi in 2014, short track speed skater John-Henry Krueger finally won a spot on the podium at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

Perspectives: A Better Life

A former Pittsburgh television reporter recounts the lessons taught to him by his grandfather who spent more than four decades as a Pullman Porter.

Pittsburgh MultiStories: Phipps Legacy – The Fulton Building

With its distinctive seven-story archway, the Fulton Building (now the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel) remains a beloved Pittsburgh landmark.

Kick Back and Relax with a Baby Sloth

For $150 you can book an up-close hang out session with Vivien the two-toed sloth.

Jack Kerouac: Manager of the Pittsburgh Plymouths

In a league of his own making, the famous writer cast himself as the skipper of a (fantasy) Pittsburgh ball club.

Bucking the Trend: Gallagher’s Groovy Growing

Megan Gallagher is part of a small cadre of young farmers bucking demographic trends.

Meet the Woman bringing Dignity and Diversity to Twitter

As Twitter's vice president of intersectionality, culture and diversity, Candi Castleberry Singleton, who splits her time between Pittsburgh and San Francisco, works tirelessly to bring inclusion and respect to companies.

Where's the Flu Bug Biting Hardest? There's an App for That

The Doctors Report Illness Tracker has the scoop on germ hotspots all over the region and beyond.

Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Reviews of "Black Panther" and "Early Man," plus local movie news and notes.

First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein takes a look at the new Richard DeShantz restaurant ... and he has the scoop on what's next from the energetic restaurateur.

Meet Pittsburgh's James Beard Award Semifinalists

Pittsburgh has eight nominations in six categories.

Urban Beekeeping Creating Environmental Buzz in Pittsburgh

No backyard? No problem. The country’s first community apiary brings beekeeping to the city.

Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Now is the time to be eating pizza in Pittsburgh. Pizza makers are crafting pies in a variety of styles from New York to Old World. We round up our nine favorite destinations.

Can Anthony Hamlet Fix Pittsburgh Public Schools?

The superintendent, and former NFL player, is using a new school of thought to change legacy problems.

5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

Uncovering the hidden gems of western Pennsylvania’s craft spirit world.