The talking is almost done. You know the talking I am speaking of. The talking heads spouting off about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ looming demise due to the loss of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. The lack of leadership of Ben Roethlisberger, and how Mike Tomlin has lost control of his locker room, and, by proxy, his team.
With the Steelers set to report to training camp this Thursday, the talking will continue, but it will be focused on 2019. Not this past offseason, not the last time Le’Veon Bell turned down a contract or any other sideways story which has been blown out of proportion this offseason.
For once, the talk will be about the future, and not the past, and when Joe Haden sat down the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen on the Rich Eisen Show Monday, he had a very clear message about the upcoming season.
“We’re still the Steelers.” Haden said when asked about the upcoming season and how although everyone seems to be downing the Steelers the team is still capable of making noise in the AFC.
Check out the segment below, courtesy of AT&T AUDIENCE Network:
When asked about if he believes no one believes in the Steelers, Haden’s response was on point:
“Um, I think we’re not at an all-time high. There’s not a lot of people who do believe in us, but, you know, I love Ben [Roethlisberger], he is a great quarterback still. Coming from Cleveland and going through so many quarterbacks, he and Coach Tomlin were two of the main reasons I came to Pittsburgh. Just the stability, and knowing how good of a coach he is, and knowing how good of a quarterback Ben is.”
On whether Mike Tomlin has used the ‘No one believes in us’ approach to motivate the team thus far:
“No. He hasn’t really used it, he just believes in his guys and thinks everything we have, we have all of the pieces. Coach T is just a great coach and a great motivator, and I don’t think he has to use any of that stuff. Outside, everyone is doing it for him.”
But are the players talking about it?
“Definitely. We’re just excited to prove people wrong. I said we are underdogs, but I think Ben definitely doesn’t feel that way. He feels we still have everyone we need. The defense is capable, we’re going to step up and make it happen.”
I think it is safe to say Haden speaks for almost the entire organization when he talks about wanting to prove people wrong. Wanting to come into camp, the preseason and ultimately the regular season and show 2018 wasn’t the new norm, but an aberration.
Let’s hope Haden is right, and the Steelers are able to get off to a great start, beginning with the team reporting to training camp this Thursday at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.
To see the full interview, check the video below. The Rich Eisen Show airs daily at 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET on AT&T AUDIENCE Network which can be found on DIRECTV Ch. 239: