Over the off-season, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown made news when he told ESPN that last year’s team featured a fractured locker room. Hines Ward, who wasn’t even with the team, echoed that opinion. I have no doubt last year’s team wasn’t overflowing with happy shiny people. Losing does that to you.
Well, Ryan Clark and safety partner Troy Polamalu are here to tell you this year’s Steelers are different. This year’s training camp should’ve been held in Woodstock, New York rather than Latrobe, Pennsylvania because it has been nothing but one great big lovefest.
At least that’s the story they’re putting out to the Steelers unofficial PR department aka the local media.
I’m not exactly clear on who the troublemakers were on last year’s squad. Mike Wallace is an obvious target and I have no doubt he was a whiny, self-absorbed idiot. Who else was there? The team had several vets on one year deals although I doubt they were the problem. Max Starks may have been taken for granted but he’s always viewed as a good guy and a good locker room influence. Casey Hampton knew his time was nearing an end, even teaching the nuances of his position to Steve McClendon and Alameda Ta’amu during training camp. I doubt he wanted anything other than to go out on top.
James Harrison? Say what you will about James, he’s always been about winning. Plus he was under contract through this season, nobody knew for sure he would be asked to take a pay cut/be released until well into the off-season. Not to mention it wasn’t like the linebackers set the Worilds on fire (see what I did there?) in his absence.
In his original comments, Clark mentioned it was young guys who were concerned with their stats and refused to listen to the veterans that caused the biggest riff. Other than Wallace and perhaps Rashard Mendenhall (another guy I’m sure was a self-interested putz), who else could’ve started trouble? Chris Rainey? Again, I can believe Rainey was an idiot but if your locker room is thrown into upheaval because a third down scatback, that’s a pretty weak locker room. Or the veterans don’t command very much respect.
Anyway, this whole training came lovefest crap is such a silly distraction. Teams that get along are almost always teams that are successful. Last year’s team was definitely hard to root for since it was rife with arrogant jerks and self-serving idiots so it’s nice to hear this year’s edition may be a little easier to tolerate. None of that will make the least bit of difference if the team ends up going 6-10.
Winning is the best cure for any team’s ills. Not roster moves.