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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Steelers know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em

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

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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 former players retiring, Ben Roethlisberger’s conditioning lauded and Dwayne Haskins drama... It seems like the musical selection that best fits this week’s Fact or Fiction could be Kenny Rogers The Gambler.

Here’s a sample...

Every gambler knows

That the secret to surviving

Is knowing what to throw away

Knowing what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser

And in his final words I found an ace that I can keep

You got to know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away

And know when to run

You never count your money

When you’re sitting at the table

There’ll be time enough for counting

When the dealing’s done

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

Are we on point? Only time will tell.


Ben Roethlisberger should play more games in the 2021 preseason

Fact

Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger is a Steelers legend. He is statistically the greatest quarterback in franchise history and it can be argued that he is physically as well. But Ben has only played in one preseason game since 2015 and not even full contests at that. I am not a big fan of a quarterback only playing two quarters in the exhibition season in only one game. That has been the plan for Ben for a while now. It doesn’t work though. Ben takes a long time to get acclimated and needs time to get acclimated to live game action. This is why Tom Brady plays more than a game in the preseason. I get the risk. I understand that an injury to your franchise quarterback can be devastating in a game that doesn’t matter. But if said quarterback is rusty in the first few games, a team could suffer.


When it comes to a player’s shelf life, Steelers management knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em

Fact

The retirement of former Steelers Roosevelt Nix and Anthony Chickillo made me think about how adept the Steelers are at evaluating when to cut ties with a player. One season after the black and gold said goodbye to Rosie and Chick, each player made the decision to hang up their cleats. Now, this is not to say that certain veteran players haven’t done well after leaving Pittsburgh. Rod Woodson is definitely a prime example of that. But a majority of players that have not been resigned by the Steelers don’t stay in the league much longer. I remember Louis Lipps one year with the Saints in 1992 as an example from way back. But recently, players like Marcus Gilbert, Jarvis Jones, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates, Rashard Mendenhall, Lawrence Timmons and so many more failed to stay in the league after vacating the Steel City.


The Dwayne Haskins incident in Vegas could jeopardize his hopes to stick and stay with the Steelers

Fiction

Have all of the facts yet been released on what precipitated the domestic dispute between Dwayne Haskins and his girlfriend two weeks ago at a Las Vegas Hotel? No, they have not. More of the story can and most likely will come out, but what is known now is that Kalabrya Gondrezick-Haskins (the couple married last weekend) is facing assault charges for punching the former Washington Football Team player and current Steeler. At this time, the knowledge that we have is that Haskins was the victim of a domestic assault. If this is the story, then the quarterback should be commended for not returning fire instead of being shamed. If there happens to be more to the story and Dwayne is at fault, then I will retract that commendation. But nonetheless, Dwayne Haskins’ level of play in the preseason will be the deciding factor whether he makes the 53-man roster.


Rookie Kendrick Green will be a training camp holdout

Fiction

So it is indeed disconcerting that the rookie center hasn’t signed his deal as of yet. It’s kind of odd too, considering that the Illinois rookie doesn’t have much room to maneuver as a slotted pick in the third round. The whole thing seems like agent play and shenanigans, But if Green is behind it, he may be difficult to deal with. Nonetheless, the new No. 53 in Pittsburgh won’t hold out. It would be fruitless.


T.J. Watt has hit his ceiling as a pass rusher

Fact

T.J. Watt has been fantastic since being selected as a Pittsburgh Steeler in the first round of the 2017 draft. No. 90 increased his sack total each year starting out with seven in his rookie campaign, then 13, 14.5 and 15 in 2020. At 49.5 in four seasons, the All-Pro Edge Rusher is only 32 sacks away from James Harrison’s team record. But some suggest that Watt reached the peak of pass rushing already and is ready to plateau briefly before heading back down the mountain. I doubt that greatly. There’s a lot of fire left raging in the belly of Trent Jordan Watt. Not winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award despite leading the league in sacks, hurries and quarterback hits, will drive Watt. So the party is still just getting started.


Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics every single week and listen for more on the player below.