5 Smoldering On the Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 6
by Hombre de Acero
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ improbable victory over Pittsburgh West, aka the Arizona Cardinals, further galvanized Mike Tomlin’s “Next Man Up” philosophy. But before we can turn our attention to the Black and Gold’s upcoming encounter at Arrowhead Stadium, Steelers Nation must first struggle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers….
1. When it looked like he would start against the Chargers, the speculators questioned if Martavis Bryant’s insertion into the offense might boost Mike Vick’s fortunes the way Eric Green once boosted Bubby Brister’s. Bryant did provide a big time boost, but Landry Jones was the beneficiary.
While our overall data set is small, what light does Antonio Browns frustration without Ben Roethlisberger vs. Bryant’s stunning success with the backups shed on the age-old question of how much a receiver can make a quarterback look good vs. a quarterback making a receiver look good?
2. Speaking of Landry Jones…. When Jones saw his first preseason action in 2013, our own Ivan Cole emailed me and wondered aloud if it Charlie Batch wouldn’t be back by opening day. The Steelers kept Jones on the roster, despite increasingly vocal protests from the fan base, as the tweet below indicates:
If we can agree that less than two quarters of NFL action is hardly a representative sample, what does Jones’ performance on Sunday tell you about the player development in the NFL?
3. At his weekly press conference Mike Tomlin indicated, given the relative health statuses of Ben Roethlsiberger, Michael Vick, and Landry Jones, Jones was the likely starter vs. Kansas City. However…. should Roethisberger be unable to go and should Vick be back at full health, who do you start?
4. In 2012 an undrafted rookie free agent caught the eyes of the coaches sufficiently that he earned snaps in Dick LeBeau’s defense. We didn’t see much of him on defense during 2013 and 2014, but this last week Robert Golden got his first start at safety. How do you assess his performance?
5. This week’s 5 Smoldering’s must, by necessity, close on a sobering note. Last week an autopsy confirmed that that former Steelers linebacker Adrian Robinson was suffering from CTE when he committed suicide last May.
Steelers Nation is of course no stranger to CTE, which afflicted Mike Webster, Terry Long, and Justin Strzelczyk. Yet unlike those three, Robinson was only 25 and had appeared in all of 22 games. In that light, what does Adrian Robinson’s CTE diagnosis tell you?
There you go folks. Have at it!