5 Smoldering Questions, Season Opening Edition
by Hombre de Acero
1. Since the new CBA went into effect in 2011, It seems like every September is littered with complaints about sloppy, undisciplined play. The next step is to then cite the practice and contact length and duration limitations imposed by the CBA.
Which makes sense, except….
… these very same complainers are the ones who howl the loudest about how the preseason is a wretched institution, end-to-end, that ought to be curtailed if not abolished entirely.
Can these two complaints be reconciled or are they inherently contradictorily?
2. Question number two comes with full disclosure. I grew up as a Pittsburgh expat in the DC area and I instinctively learned to actively root against the Redskins during the height of the first Joe Gibbs era. (And for the record, neither of my parents particularly cares/cared about football or sports loyalties in general.)
So now with my confirmation bias firmly on the table: Given the yesterday’s personality contrast between Art Rooney Sr. and both George Preston Marshall and Jack Kent Cooke and today’s contrast between Dan and Art Rooney II and Daniel Snyder, and given the large number of Pittsburgh expats living in the greater DC Area, is there a latent natural rivalry that the NFL’s divisional and conference structure obscures?
3. It says here that the Steelers decision to trade for Justin Gilbert was a wise move. However, the cynic in me can’t help but observe that the last three players Kevin Colbert acquired via a trade were Felix Jones, Levi Brown and Brandon Boykin….
So, does Justin Gilbert sustain or break the trend?
4. What under-the-radar player’s development are you most anticipating in the coming season?
5. As Bill Cowher’s pre-Ben Roethlisberger Steeler teams so painfully illustrated, the gap separating contenders from pretenders is exponentially smaller than the one standing between contenders and champions. In 2015, the Pittsburgh Steelers reestablished themselves as contenders.
What must happen for the 2016 Steelers to cross that gap?
You know the drill. Don’t forget to show your work, and be sure and use a No. 2 pencil…