The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.
Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at the question of whether the Steelers could have saved themselves a lot of drama if the team MVP voting didn’t happen/was announced until the season had concluded?
After all, reports are it was the MVP voting, which went to JuJu Smith-Schuster, which sent Antonio Brown off the proverbial deep end.
Let’s get to the news:
By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk
If Steelers receiver Antonio Brown‘s latest incident traces to the team vote that made receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster the 2018 team MVP (and multiple sources tell PFT it did), here’s a question that others with prominent jobs in the NFL are asking: Why do the Steelers vote for a team MVP before the season has ended?
(The broader question is why vote for a team MVP at all? Not every team does.)
Nothing good comes from naming a team MVP before the season ends. In contrast, nothing bad comes from not naming a team MVP until the season ends.
So why do the Steelers do it? It’s apparently been part of the fabric of the organization for so long that no one ever asked, “Why are we doing this with games left?”
Someone should be asking that now.
The Steelers should be doing more than asking the question. They should resolve the question by simply waiting.
If the outcome of the vote did indeed spark Brown’s walkout, what would have happened if the Steelers had simply waited to take the vote? Maybe an eruption was inevitable. Maybe it wasn’t. Regardless, the added ingredient became the spark, and without the spark maybe the fire never starts.
By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk
It remains to be seen whether the NFL will take any type of discipline against the Steelers for embellishing the injury report regarding the Week 17 status of receiver Antonio Brown. It’s clear, based on coach Mike Tomlin’s comments from Wednesday, that the league could impose sanctions against the Steelers, if it chooses to.
First, and most obviously, Tomlin admitted that, when he didn’t hear from Brown on Saturday, he decided that Brown wouldn’t play on Sunday. At that point, Brown should have been downgraded from questionable to out.
Second, Brown’s no show on Thursday, which Tomlin seemed to confirm based on the manner in which he explained the situation (and which per a league source definitely occurred), shouldn’t have simply been addressed by an explanation tin the injury report hat Brown didn’t practice due to a knee injury. Brown didn’t practice due to a failure to show up for work, and that’s how it should have been disclosed.
It’s also possible that Brown wasn’t injured at all, and that the Steelers hid behind that excuse in order to keep the situation from becoming a disruption and distraction before a must-win game. Sure, Brown may have claimed to have a knee injury, but it appears that the Steelers simply took his word for it in lieu of sparking a showdown.
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin used only vague terms Wednesday in addressing which players would require offseason surgeries.
“We are just kind of scratching the surface in terms of (determining) potential or pending surgeries and an assessment from a medical standpoint,” Tomlin said during his season-ending news conference. “That will be ongoing in subsequent days and weeks. We have got to proceed appropriately and aggressively in those areas because you can’t allow surgeries and recovery and so forth to negatively affect the foundation of the preparation for 2019, when you can avoid it.”
In other injury news, Tomlin said safety Sean Davis did not respond well to his return to practice Friday after missing the previous two days because of a quadriceps injury.
Running back James Conner had an up-and-down week in advance of the finale, Tomlin said, and his status to play Sunday was not finalized until pregame warm-ups. Conner missed the previous three games because of an ankle injury.
Tomlin also clarified it was a groin injury that landed kicker Chris Boswell on injured reserve. The Steelers made that move 48 hours before their final game after Boswell did not respond well enough physically during his regular practice day Thursday. Boswell, Tomlin again said Wednesday, initially felt the groin discomfort during the Dec. 23 game at New Orleans.