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Why Steelers “drama” is nothing more than media-created white noise

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they’re doing so with a singular focus.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were called the league leader in “drama” by Dan Patrick on his sports talk radio show on Friday. I enjoy Dan Patrick’s show and, although his point was valid—the Steelers have had lots of issues this season which didn’t actually involve football—the crux of his argument also was flawed.

Patrick talked about how other teams have handled distractions and off-field issues, but cited the Steelers as taking the cake. He brought up all of the issues from the past 3-4 years. Le’Veon Bell’s suspensions, Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live incident, Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement talk, Bell’s preseason holdout, and on, and on, and on...

The one thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was the most recent “drama” of Bell talking about his contract status just days before the Jaguars come to Heinz Field in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs.

Were Bell’s comments ill-timed? Absolutely. But was it a distraction? Not a chance. Mike Tomlin said the most recent issue was “not drama to us” when he met with reporters after Friday’s practice, and I couldn’t agree more.

The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with it.

The Steelers’ issues this season, from Bell to Martavis Bryant, were likely nothing to even talk about behind closed doors. The media, and sites like this, drive the drama train, not the players and coaches.

When all is said and done, it comes down to the question, “Do the off-field distractions impact the on-field performance of the team?” At 13-3, coming off a first-round bye, and with a year full of “drama” already? I think that answers the question by showing that the “drama” is nothing more than public perception, sculpted by the media, which doesn’t impact the team at all.

Time to move on to some football, and some of the other great content outside the walls of BTSC:

After creating a stir by suggesting to ESPN that he would either sit out the 2018 season or retire if the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him again, All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell declined comment Friday.

This season, the Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell, paying him $12.12 million. They could do it again this off-season, which would prevent Bell from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

When asked why the Steelers seem to thrive on drama and distraction, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin responded, “Because it’s not drama to us. It’s created by you guys.”

With the Steelers preparing to face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in an AFC divisional round playoff game, the Tribune-Review is taking a look back this week at some of the most memorable plays, teams and games.

Today: Three singular achievements in a divisional game (in reverse chronological order).

More than a few Steelers fans raised their eyebrows when the team last spring invested a sixth-round pick ... in a long snapper?

Let’s just say their consternation wasn’t placated when that long snapper, Colin Holba, was waived at the end of training camp.

But now that the Steelers are prepping for their postseason opener, Holba indeed will be snapping at Heinz Field on Sunday during their divisional playoff game.

He’ll just be doing it for the other team.