The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with disappointment for the second week in a row after the Kansas City Chiefs came into Heinz Field and dismantled the home team. Heading into Week 3, the team must slowly turn its attention away from the embarrassing loss and solely focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week-3, prime-time matchup. Something I did last season and I’m going to start again is the Black-and-Gold Links article.
This is an article where I take stories from quality news sources across the Internet, and add them here for your viewing pleasure. I won’t be posting the entire articles, but I’ll link each story and author so that you can read the full article.
Today we focus on the fact that it’s time for the Steelers’ superstars to be just that —spectacular. Talking about players like Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt and the offensive line. When the team is searching for answers, it should be the stars who lead the way.
Let’s get to the news:
By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Pittsburgh Steelers should thank their lucky stars, to borrow a favorite phrase of the week, that Ben Roethlisberger never worried that Antonio Brown’s “trade me” tweet was a real threat.
A team that’s 0-1-1, to borrow their least favorite phrase, can’t afford to have its superstar quarterback and superstar wide receiver in a spat when its superstar running back is creating a splash.
The Steelers’ soap opera took an unexpected plot twist: Big Ben had AB’s back, twice calling him “the best in the world” and offering public support for his favorite target amid controversy.
“We’re all frustrated because we’re not winning right now,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s not the only guy who gets frustrated during the game. We all get frustrated. When you’re the best in the world you might get a little more frustrated than others but AB is a very passionate football player. We all know that, the fans know that. It’s what makes him special, is his passion for this game and the passion to be great.
“We’re not going to want to take that away from him.”
Roethlisberger’s support came after a former Steelers public relations assistant tweeted that “Ben got AB paid” and “you know darn well he wouldn’t put up those numbers for other teams,” to which Brown replied “Trade me lets find out.” If that was an idle threat, Brown only fanned the flames by missing team meetings on Monday. His absence allowed trade talk to linger until his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was forced to dismiss it.
Good thing Roethlisberger cleared the air by talking directly to Brown.
“If I spoke to him and personally he reiterated those things to me or if I felt they were personally coming from him and not just a reaction to someone else, maybe I’d have a little more worry,” Roethlisberger said, “but, as of now, I don’t feel that, any worry.”
That was the first step in a positive direction for the Steelers, hopefully a sign that their social-media sideshow is about to stop. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced in the afternoon that Brown had been disciplined for missing meetings on Monday, albeit without announcing the actual punishment.
If the Steelers are to save a season that’s off to an ignominious start, it will require Roethlisberger’s leadership. Not only is he a team captain but the 15-year veteran is the Steelers’ lone holdover from their Super Bowl XL champions.
“I think it’s important,” Roethlisberger said. “I just keep trying to lead by example: Do my job, show up to work and playing my butt off.”
But if Brown learned that there are different sets of rules for different players — some might call that exceptionalism — from anyone on the Steelers, it was from Roethlisberger.
The Rooneys stood by Big Ben during the days of his boorish behavior, knowing how difficult it is to find a franchise quarterback. He rewarded their support by becoming the most prolific passer in franchise history. So, it should come as no surprise that they will do the same with Brown, on his way to becoming its most prolific receiver.
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Here’s the statement regarding wide receiver Antonio Brown that was delivered after Pittsburgh Steelers practice on Wednesday.
”There was discipline involved for his missed meeting, for Monday. Some of the other things we talked about extensively. He’ll speak for himself on some of those things. Really, our focus is on preparing to win this game on Monday night,” said Steelers head coach Marvin Lew ...
Oops. My bad. I meant, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
Sorry. The two have become increasingly similar over the years. It’s getting hard to distinguish one from the other.
Think that’s unfair? Well, consider this.
Over the last 10 years, one of those two coaches has piloted a very talented but combustible AFC North team to great regular-season success and numerous division titles. But along the way, arrests, suspension and other negative incidents from within the locker room have dominated headlines as much as football games themselves. And his winning percentage has been offset by playoff upsets and multiple postseason losses at home.
The other coach is Marvin Lewis.
Yes. The Steelers are becoming the Bengals. And around these parts, no greater insult can be levied.
By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN Steelers Beat Writer
JuJu Smith-Schuster is still adjusting to the latest addition to Team JuJu.
”It’s cool, man -- it’s weird because she’s my mom, but she also does business with me,” the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver said.
Managing a budding NFL star with a mushrooming social media profile is a big job, and mom Sammy Schuster wanted to help.
Smith-Schuster is a client of Roc Nation, working closely with agent Kim Miale and manager Jisset Pena. Coming off a rookie year of almost 1,000 yards, seven touchdowns and well-rehearsed touchdown celebrations, Smith-Schuster and his mother discussed expanding his profile and increasing her role.
Things were moving, after all. His social audience had grown with lighthearted side stories about retrieving a stolen bike, cooking at home and getting his driver’s license. This year, Smith-Schuster is fifth in receiving yards through two games (240) and has the eighth-best-selling jersey, according to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Smith-Schuster has deals with Call of Duty, Pizza Hut, Adidas, New Era and more. His YouTube channel has more than 550,000 subscribers.
Smith-Schuster said duties for his mother -- or “Momager,” as Sammy jokingly calls her role -- include handling his money and his schedule. But the two also have a common goal when it comes to his brand: meet business with authenticity.
For example, they felt the Call of Duty deal was important to both of them because of Smith-Schuster’s avid gaming. Smith-Schuster finalized that deal this year.
By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN Steelers Beat Writer
The juxtaposition couldn’t be more clear. While the Pittsburgh Steelers are putting out fires with Antonio Brown’s sideline and social media behavior, Le’Veon Bell is coolin’ on jet skis in South Florida.
The gap between star player and team widens by the week.
Bell’s situation continues to fascinate the longer he stays away, and his wave-running excursion doesn’t exactly exude confidence for a return for Monday Night Football at Tampa Bay.
Unless he surprisingly shows up for a midweek practice, Bell is set to miss another $852,941 check on that $14.5 million franchise tag, which would bring his maximum 2018 earnings to $11.9 million -- if he signs the tag in Week 4.
Bell’s absence in Week 1 left much to unpack. When he missed Week 2, it created more questions. Now that Week 3 is here, Bell clearly has a long-term play that we can examine further.