Tag Archives: Reminder
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) Are Just a Reminder that We’re Still Two Months Away from Training Camp
Tomorrow, the Steelers begin their OTA's, and for die-hard fans, it's at least a little taste of football, so to speak. We'll get to see our boys in action again, albeit only in shorts, and we'll get another glimpse of the new rookie crop...........well, except for DeCastro and Adams.
Speaking of that, Mike Wallace also won't be there because of his contract dispute, and his absence will probably dominate much of the talk. Coach Mike Tomlin will more than likely have to spend the majority of his time with the media deflecting questions about his speedy receiver.
I don't think that will be the only news. I'm sure there will be some "OTA Wonders" that really look good in their helmets and shorts, and we'll marvel at their sheer athleticism.
Although, I'm pretty sure we won't be allowed to marvel because I don't think OTA's are open to the general public.
In years past, before OTA's, there was mini camp (there might still be mini camp, and if there is, I'm sure I won't be able to tell the difference), and the thing that I remember most about Steelers mini camp was that it wasn't training camp.
Mini camps, OTA's, whatever you want to call them, are like the two or three days before your big vacation. You're really excited about it, but you're still bummed because you have another few days of work. Plus, you still have tons of things to take care of like packing, making sure the dogs get to the kennel on time, confirming your flight, and if you're going out of the country, finding your passport.
You still have to get all of that stuff out of the way before you can even dream about being on the plane.
Training Camp, when the boys head to Latrobe in late July, now that's more like it. For a football fan like me, that''s the equivalent to being on the plane to your tropical destination. It's still not quite September, but you're heading in the right direction.
OTA's are more for the players than they are for the fans. It's like the read-through before the actual rehearsal. I don't know about you, but I'd love to see some of my favorite actors and actresses rehearse before their big scenes; I find that pretty intriguing. But I have no desire to see them sitting around a table and reading their lines for the first time, months before the movie will even begin production.
I do realize that, at least for the offense, these OTA's will be a little more urgent than in years past because of Todd Haley's new terminology. But again, it's for the players; it's their script readings. As a fan, I don't know how much enjoyment I'd get from it even if I could see it live.
When it comes to OTA's, I'm more concerned about what a player doesn't do than what he does do. I don't want to hear about the great moves that (insert young rookie phenom here) displayed in OTA's. I just want to know that his ACL is still intact after those great moves and that he'll be attending training camp.
To sum it all up, these are the dog days of the offseason for a huge football fan like me. And OTA's are just a reminder that we still have two months to go before training camp, which means we're still a good four months away from the start of the regular season.
Oh man, now I'm even more depressed, Is there a way I can go into hibernation until September?. I hope that flight serves free drinks.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
Charlie Wilmoth of SB Nation Pittsburgh compiled an interesting piece (via ESPN's Adam Schefter) regarding some reactions of the suspensions in wake of the bounty scandal in New Orleans.
As probably suspected, those reactions were colorful, aggressive and not in support of the verdict handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
OLB James Harrison, the Steeler fined and suspended the most often by Goodell, was at no loss for words concerning the suspensions, as we've come to expect.
Wonder why the Team got the least penalties in Bounty Gate? Think about who elects & rewardedthe commish... it's the owners of the teams!
— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) May 2, 2012
It's hard to argue with that point. LB Jonathan Vilma will miss a full year, Packers DL Anthony Hargrove was suspended eight games, Saints DE Will Smith was suspended four games and Browns LB Scott Fujita will miss three games. The Saints were docked two second-round draft picks and fined $ 500,000.
Upon achieving the roster bonus he no doubt would have achieved, Vilma would have been paid $ 2.2 million this year.
OLB LaMarr Woodley chimed in as well:
Vilma suspended a whole yr FOR PLAYING FOOTBALL????cmon man!!!!!
— LaMarr Woodley (@LaMarrWoodley) May 2, 2012
If the suspensions are indeed extreme, which many have said they are, have been and presumably, will be in the future, at least partial blame lays with the Players Union, and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.
Under his watch, the players signed off on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which gives Goodell the authority to do essentially whatever he pleases. They knowingly allowed him to make himself judge, jury and executioner, and that's not an exaggeration.
The players who weren't on the Pittsburgh Steelers at least. The Steelers voted 'no' on the CBA, according to the Tribune-Review (via National Football Post).
Why did the Steelers go against the grain? Many players are not thrilled with the way discipline issues will be handled. Some are a little apprehensive about new testing for HGH.
"There was a level of uncertainty because a lot of guys didn't know what they were signing up for," linebacker Lawrence Timmons said. "We had a short time limit to sign everything, so I feel we were rushed."
It's humorous to listen to Smith talk about appealing the decision, and fighting it possibly even into the courts.
According to a Fox News article from Wednesday:
DeMaurice Smith said the union "has still not received any detailed or specific evidence from the league of these specific players' involvement in an alleged pay-to-injure program. We have made it clear that punishment without evidence is not fair. We have spoken with our players and their representatives and we will vigorously protect and pursue all options on their behalf."
What options, De? You have no options. The league has no rule stating they have to inform you of why they're being suspended. It doesn't need evidence.
The players allowed this sham of due process is exist, and they have no legal leverage on which to fight what appears to be an extreme penalty for doing something their coaches clearly endorsed and supported.
True, Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year, but a reasonably-minded person could conclude rather easily Vilma, Fujita (the team's former player rep and member of the union's executive committee), Smith and Hargrove were doing nothing more than reacting to the culture Payton and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams are accused of creating within the Saints locker room.
Too bad the argument will never be made, His Honor has already voted, and the appeal goes straight to him.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain