The Steelers are having a busy offseason acquiring new players and planning for the draft. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown is about to compete on Dancing with the Stars and DeAngelo Williams is back from a recent trip to Egypt.
Should fans worry about the Steelers extracurricular activities? 247Sports, and former BTSC contributor, Bryan DeArdo and Dani Bostick weigh in.
Bryan DeArdo: Offseason fun carries risks.
Seeing how it's still six months until the start of the season, I'm not worried about it just yet. But In four months, when the team is beginning training camp, the team will hopefully settling back into a groove and is preparing for the 2016 season.
The team worked hard--through injuries, suspensions, and more injuries--to make a game of it in the second round of the playoffs against the eventual Super Bowl champions. And, seeing how short NFL careers are, players should take every opportunity to make the most of their platform and star status to build their brand while setting themselves up for future success in their second careers. Le'Veon Bell seems to have found his second passion in music, and has promoted his other craft on several media outlets.
On the other side of the coin, there's just something about championship teams that put winning over everything. On Monday, Archie Manning said his son Peyton was already back on the grind this time a year ago, as the legendary quarterback was deep into his off-season workouts eight weeks after the last game of the 2014 season.
While Antonio Brown is clearly in tip top shape (as his Snapchat posts visibly illustrate), hopefully all the other Steelers--both the media savvy and more private players alike--are also putting next season's success as the primary focus with the official new year of the NFL season on the horizon.
The main thing about extra curricular activities in the off-season is whether or not it impacts the upcoming season. Injuries, obviously, whether it's playing basketball (Terrell Suggs) or riding a motorcycle (Ben Roethlisberger a decade ago) is obviously the main thing we as fans worry about. But it seems like the team's focus has been on making music and "Dancing with the stars" on TV, which is fine, as long as the team has it all out of their system before the start of training camp.
Dani Bostick: The Steelers offseason fun is nothing to worry about
There have been plenty of offseason events that have had an impact on the regular season. Injuries, arrests, bad judgment, and too many cupcakes (I'm talking to you, Eddie Lacy) can affect not only players, but also entire teams.
This offseason, we know that Antonio Brown will be competing on Dancing with the Stars, while other players could choose to focus on extracurriculars ranging from partying to working out. While injuries and legal troubles can be devastating for teams and fans, limiting players' offseason activities is no guarantee that they will stay healthy and be productive members of the team.
Injuries can happen anywhere. Sure, riding a motorcycle without a helmet is a higher-risk activity than walking dogs in a neighborhood. Football, however, has an injury rate of nearly 100%, so even if players bubble-wrap themselves and attempt to avoid freak injuries, preseason activities and regular season play can sideline players in an instant. We have seen this time and time again. From Kelvin Beachum to Le'Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers suffered devastating losses due to on-field play during the 2015 season.
NFL athletes are adults and should be trusted to keep themselves safe and in shape during the offseason. If they can't, there are natural consequences. Starting the season out of shape or suffering a dumb injury can ultimately hurt a player's earning potential and chances at an elusive Super Bowl ring.
Instead of limiting players' offseason activities, teams should make sure that their strength and conditioning program is effective and handle personnel decisions intelligently. Adding depth to key positions and acquiring proven-- and promising-- talent makes the prospect of an injured or suspended player a lot less devastating.
Teams also need to acquire players they can trust. Running back DeAngelo Williams spent most of the offseason working with a nutritionist to optimize his 2015 performance. His investment paid off. James Harrison is 37, but works harder than most players in the league. His diligence helps keep him healthy and performing well on the field.
If a player is engaging in risky off-season behavior, risking injury and suspension, then that ultimately falls on the front office. Considering a player's injury history and character before offering a contract is part of the vetting process. The Steelers, unlike other teams in the NFL, generally avoid drafting high-risk players.
We fans should trust the front office to attract solid talent and trust our Steelers to take care of themselves in the offseason. Fun and success aren't incompatible.