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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Stephen Stills edition

BTSC takes five burning questions regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers and labels them as fact or fiction.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers re-signing Tyson Alualu, officially parting ways with Sean Davis again, the NFL officially adding a 17th game to the schedule and Karl Joseph’s free agent visit to Steeltown. It seems like the musical selection that best fits this week’s Fact or Fiction could be the classic No. 14 hit from 1971, “Love The One You’re With” by Stephen Stills.

Here’s a sample of that great single...

If you’re down and confused

And you don’t remember who you’re talking to

Concentration slip away

Because your baby is so far away

Well, there’s a rose in a fisted glove

And the eagle flies with the dove

And if you can’t be with the one you love, honey

Love the one you’re with

You can ponder the significance or wonder whether they are really related here. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to listen to some great classic rock. But anyhow, there is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.

Are we on point? Only time will tell.


B.J. Finney is going to be the Week One starter, but not necessarily Week 18’s

Fact

When Maurkice Pouncey retired back in February, an All-Pro sized hole at center emerged for the Steelers. In March, the Steelers brought back B.J. Finney to fill that chasm... but for how long? Media, fans and experts project the Steelers to select Pouncey’s ultimate replacement in the early rounds of the draft. That could be Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey or Alabama’s Landon Dickerson. Other notable draft names at the position include Ohio State’s Josh Myers. Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz and Georgia’s Trey Hill. But maybe only one or two of these guys are Week One ready like Pouncey was in 2010. As far as free agents go, the best are off the board and it seems that the Steelers are content with starting out with No. 67. The prospect of Finney starting is not ideal to everyone, but it might have to be until one of these players are ready to go and it could be by midseason.


Karl Joseph is most likely not signing with the Steelers

Fact

It used to be that players that visited an NFL team’s facilities would leave with a contract in hand or move on. Sometimes a team puts stipulations on a free agent visitor like the Steelers did a few seasons ago with Donta’ Highwater... sign now or the deal is off the table. That was a special circumstance though. Hightower was trying to send a message to the Patriots in their contract negotiations and the Steelers realized that they were being used. It worked out well for the linebacker. As for Joseph, who visited the Steelers’ facilities on Wednesday, a lot of time has passed by. Mike Tomlin reportedly really liked the West Virginia University safety back in 2016 during the draft process, but it isn’t known why he hasn’t signed. Did the Steelers not offer enough money or did they not like what they saw in the Cleveland Brown up close? Maybe it just could be 2021 rearing a confusing head? Nonetheless, with this much time having lapsed, it seems like the union between Joseph and the Steelers is not going to occur.


If Mike Tomlin or Kevin Colbert doesn’t attend a prospect’s Pro Day, said player won’t be selected by the Steelers

Fiction

So many members of the media and fans get so up in arms over this. Now I get that the last time that the Steelers drafted a player in the first round that the management duo of Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin did not see live was Evander “Ziggy” Hood in 2009. Hood, a serviceable but not a blockbuster pick, may be the reason that people grip over this. But here’s the deal. Tomlin and Colbert can’t be everywhere and there are other methods and ways that they can scout these players. A choice also has to be made regarding what college to attend with many of these workouts occurring on the same day. They also delegate responsibility to their assistants and trust the judgement of those coaches. There are more significant picks than merely a first rounder. If a great player falls in their lap that they know about that they haven’t seen live, they still know enough about said player to select if they want.


The lack of a new contract signifies that Mike Tomlin is on the hot seat

Fiction

Everybody wants to put Coach T on the hot seat which I don’t quite understand. A lot of people are ignoring the fact that the Steelers don’t just fire coaches easily. They haven’t let a guy go since 1968 when they released Bill Austin after a 2-11-1 season in 1968. Again, Tomlin never has had a losing season and many can argue that last season’s collapse was due to the misfortune of injury more than anything else. Has he had the success that we all crave? He hasn’t. But the 21st all-time winningest Head Coach in NFL history has brought a Super Bowl championship and another appearance to the Steel City. There were many times when the Steelers were ready to escort hometown hero Bill Cowher out of town before he finally won a ring in his 14th season. The contract situation with Tomlin seems to be on the backburner until after the draft. I would think that Tomlin prefers it that way.


The addition of a 17th game to the NFL schedule does little to help the game of football

Fact

Am I thrilled to have an extra, real game to watch in 2021. Yes, but I’d rather that not be the case. The NFL’s decision to add a 17th game waters down the game. Again, with seven teams per conference making the playoffs, the NFL gets more games and more revenue. But with it, bad things will come too. Without adding an extra bye week, more players are going to be susceptible to injury. Plus the better teams will win those late games and there will be struggling teams make the postseason. We will see the end of the .500 record though, but 9-7 is still better than 9-8.


Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game and listen for more on the player below.