There is always something to discuss when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Throughout the season, there are past performances and upcoming games are great conversation pieces. When the season is over and talk of play on the field diminishes, items such as moves in free agency and what direction to go in the NFL draft are great topics. As the offseason rolls on, there are talks of position battles, roster moves, and other various things leading up to another season.
Between websites and podcasts such as Behind The Steel Curtain, social media, and various TV and radio shows across a plethora of sports networks, sometimes the ideas presented when it comes to the Steelers can be a little bit out there. Sometimes there are ideas that seem to be good ideas but never come to fruition. If you were ever in need of trying to refine the suggestions into reality, I do so by asking one question…
Does that sound like something the Steelers would do?
In simply asking this question, and giving it an honest answer, one can find themselves coming in on the correct side of the discussion quite often. While it might not be the most popular opinion, it can often keep one grounded in reality and not yield unrealistic expectations.
I’ll give an example from The Steelers Preview podcast last week when one of our beloved live chat members brought up a subject which has been discussed to great lengths here and BTSC. It was once again the suggestion of trading Diontae Johnson ahead of the 2022 season, which is the last one where he is under contract with the Steelers. My response, paraphrasing to the best of my memory, was as follows..
“The Steelers already lost three of the five wide receivers they had on their roster to begin 2021. If they were to trade Diontae Johnson, that would leave them with only one receiver returning for 2022 who played any significant snaps for the team the previous year. Does that sound like something Steelers would do?”
The response was something to the nature of, “Darn you, Dave. How dare you refute my point with sound logic?”
That’s one of the benefits of being a fan of such a stable franchise. The Steelers emerged in the 70s under Dan Rooney and have continued with most of their philosophies to this day. Yes, the NFL has changed with the emergence of free agency and things of that nature, but the Steelers holding true to the principles is what makes them relevant year after year. Because of this, it does make it much easier to identify if making a certain move or paying a certain player is something Steelers would do.
While there are exceptions to looking at things this way, it will help in determining the most likely path an overwhelming majority of the time. The occasional move, such as trading away a first-round draft pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick or giving T.J. Watt three seasons of guaranteed money will pop-up occasionally, but if the Steelers didn’t change it up every once in a while, what fun would that be?
When there were a lot of different scenarios being discussed about the Steelers quarterback situation heading into the 2022 season, this question came in very handy. With at least three different big names tossed around by Steelers fans and how they should pursue them as a quarterback, I asked the question a lot. Not only would it take an enormous salary for the Steelers to pay someone, which is not something they are keen on doing with that player has yet to wear the black and gold, it also would have taken a lot of draft capital, mainly multiple first round picks, in order acquire any of these players. Does that sound like something that Steelers would do?
Remember this question as different subjects come up leading up to training camp throughout the preseason. While this question does do well standing on its own, giving a small explanation and finishing off with the question could be very effective.
Let’s try one last example of something that I’ve heard which may come up again throughout the preseason…
“The Steelers should just admit that they got it wrong and release Devin Bush.”
An easy response looks like this…
Devon Bush is in the final year of his rookie contract where he is sets to earn over $3 million in guaranteed salary with almost another 3 million in dead money. He will count $6 million against the salary cap this year whether he’s on the team or not. So the Steelers should flat-up release a former first-round draft pick still on their rookie deal where there is no salary cap savings and, even if he gets replaced as a starter, could provide quality depth? Does that sound like something Steelers would do?
It’s a magical little phrase that can get Steelers fans thinking in a much more realistic way. It’s difficult to find a member of Steelers’ Nation who doesn’t understand the tradition and consistency in which this franchise operates. Sometime the slightest reminder in the form of a question is all that needs done in order to put things into perspective.