Wednesday Morning QB (Week 2)

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the best teams in the league over the last few years with a devastating offence.

They are one team that has truly embraced the focus on offence and can be the perfect example of the change in the league.

There has been a change on the Steelers that has truly reflected the evolution of the game as they went from a hard-nosed defensive powerhouse to a high-flying offence.

The Steelers are the team that was the home to the Steel Curtain defence and defined themselves by that defence for decades.

Only recently has the concentration in Pittsburgh turned from that defence to the offence, something that had been slowly building.

With Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers always had a world-class quarterback but it wasn’t until Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell emerged as two of the biggest gamebreakers in the league that the Steelers became an offence powerhouse.

They were the catalyst for this team as the defence wasn’t the dominant force they used to be but with an offence as potent as they had it was necessary to have the dominant defence.

They went from a good team to a great team and a potential Super Bowl winner in the last few years.

It has been a great run for the Steelers as they have adjusted along with the NFL as a whole and are the leaders in a new era of football.

There is a problem though as the Steelers are struggling to keep their best players on the field.

It hasn’t been due to injuries like so many other teams as the issues for the Steelers have been so much worse.

Injuries are never great but they are not avoidable as the season will move on and big names will get hurt.

The problem for the Steelers is that the players they are struggling to keep on the field are simply not happy with the organization.

The biggest name has been Le’Veon Bell who has now spent the last two training camps sitting out.

The reason being that the Steelers have used the franchise tag on him for the last two seasons rather than giving him a new contract.

The franchise tag was meant to keep the biggest names in smaller markets but it is now used to avoid the negotiation process and keep a player for a year under a smaller salary.

For the Steelers that franchise tag has been used on Bell for two years ensuring that he remains in Pittsburgh without having to give him one of the biggest running back contracts in the league.

He has not been happy about that move telling the Steelers that if they were to use the tag on him he would sit out.

In 2017 he sat out through the entire offseason but came back before the season began, this year it has been a bit different.

Bell has yet to step onto a football field this year doing what he said he would after the Steelers tagged him for a second year.football-sidebar

He remains on the sidelines taking away one of the best running backs in the league and even though James Connor has performed well he is not Bell.

This week another star began to show his feelings towards the organization and the fans during and after Week 2.

During the game he got into an altercation with the offensive coordinator and after responding to a tweet about his value by saying “Trade Me.”

When the Steelers returned to practice on Monday, Brown was nowhere to be seen as he failed to report to practice.

According to the official story he has been dealing with a personal issue which is why he missed practice.

Still, it seems somewhat suspicious that the personal issue came out at this exact time but it could very well be true.

If it isn’t, Brown may be getting fed up with the organization and after tweeting out support for Bell he may be more on the running back’s side than the team.

If Brown and Bell do continue to see the organization as something that is more against them than with them this could be a bit of a tragic story.

The Steelers could go down as one of the most talented teams to never win a title and without Bell and Brown, that title is going to be hard to come by.

If they decide that they are fed up they could both leave and soon closing the window quicker than expected for an extremely talented team.

 

Fifth Quarter

A True Weapon for Brady

The New England Patriots have always been a team that prefers to take lesser known players and get the best out of them. They have rarely ever signed a major star preferring to draft and develop or sign a player who seems to come alive in the Belichick system. This week that might have changed although the pattern continues in another sense. This week the Patriots traded with the Cleveland Browns to get Josh Gordon. Gordon is widely considered one of the best receivers in the game but, and this is where the pattern comes in, he has constantly had issues with substance abuse and the Browns were not will to deal with it any longer. After an injury at a photo shoot, and possibly more the Browns wanted to get rid of their star and the Patriots took him giving Tom Brady his first major target in his prime.

A Bad Week for Kickers

Kickers receive very little love from the fans and the general NFL world as they are almost the forgotten player. They don’t get hit and don’t play for most of the game yet they are also some of the most important players on the field when they are needed. This week teams realized that as there were a number of key games that came down to one kick. The Browns could have broken their winless streak if it wasn’t for a missed extra point while Minnesota and Green Bay tied after multiple missed field goals in overtime. In total there were 19 missed kicks in Week 2 and a few kickers lost their jobs due to their issues. It was a bad day for the position but also a day that highlighted just how important a kicker can be as a part of the team.

Solidifying a Spot

It was going to be a disaster in Tampa Bay this year as they were going to head into the season without their starting quarterback. Jameis Winston had received a three-game suspension from the NFL for his actions involving an Uber driver in 2016. It was far from the first time that he was implicated in off-field issues and the second time it involved a transgression of a sexual nature, although first in the NFL. The Bucs were at a crossroads as his talent was undeniable but did they really want to go ahead with a quarterback who seems to cause controversy wherever he goes. Talent usually wins out so they were preparing for life without him until he could come back. But the ultimate backup is having his say with Ryan Fitzpatrick going off in two weeks as the starter giving the Bucs something to think about in Week 4 when Winston is ready to return.

  HOF Boycott

The Pro Football Hall of Fame received a lot of attention this year when one player decided to avoid the pomp and circumstance of the induction. Terrell Owens decided to host his own induction at his alma mater while the Hall of Fame avoided talking about him altogether. They may have some more issues to deal with soon as the Hall of Fame seems to be becoming a place to make an impact. This week former NFL players and current hall of famers began talking about a boycott. The boycott would come with the issues that many retired players continue to deal with and the lack of support from the NFL. Retired players want to see more pension and more access to health care and until they get it the Hall of Fame weekend could turn into an occasion without the biggest names in football.

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