By Jeremy Hritz
Add NFL.com columnist and Sirius XM Radio host Adam Schein to the list of members of the national media who are not buying the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012. Schein joined Sports Illustrated writer Chris Burke, when he stated what he believes is a myth about this year’s Steelers: “Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh, and will be a top-tier contender.” He also asserted what he believes is the truth: “The Steelers have issues and look like a third place team.”
Schein offers little more than a superficial analysis in his article titled “Preseason Myths… Busted!”
The first pillar of his argument questions the ability of Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley to get along, providing a hypothetical of Roethlisberger holding on to the ball too long and the cameras capturing a moment of volatility between player and coach. Schein then goes on to call both Haley and Roethlisberger “combustible.” While Haley’s sideline antics are well documented, Schein would be hard-pressed to find a moment from Roethlisberger’s career where he lost his mind on the sidelines. Schein’s label is not only undocumented, but also unfair.
Schein is in need of an update when it comes to the relationship between the 30-year old quarterback and new coordinator, as over the last couple of days, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Alan Robinson of the Tribune Review, and even Roethlisberger himself have pointed out that the relationship has been nothing but positive. While there may be obstacles that Roethlisberger and Haley will face as the season progresses, that is to be expected, but to believe that that will impact the win/loss column is illogical, as there are several other factors that will influence the success of the team.
Schein also beats the Wallace drum and argues that his absence will impede his understanding to a new offensive system, though he agrees that the Steelers are justified in not overspending on the receiver.
He takes another shot by listing off other perceived weaknesses of the team, including the running back position, “Do you trust Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer?” and the offensive line, “can you bank on two rookie offensive lineman?,” and he even interprets the departures of Hines Ward and James Farrior, players that earned the team the “old” label in 2011, as signs of coming black and gold decline.
Most ridiculous of all of Schein’s statements is the following: “The Baltimore Ravens are the team to beat in the AFC North. Baltimore has a more imposing defense (even with the injury to Terrell Suggs) and a better running attack than its arch rivals in Pittsburgh.” Let me clarify just in case you missed it, Baltimore has a better defense than Pittsburgh without Terrell Suggs. Apparently Schein believes in addition by subtraction, but only when discussing teams other than the Steelers.
Schein does excellent work on Sirius XM Radio, but his article is an ill-informed, outdated take on the 2012 Steelers, as he simply recycles arguments that emerged back in February and March of this year. He also fails to point out any of the challenges that have befallen the Ravens, and even believes that one of them is not an issue at all (Suggs), which more than indicates a bias.
While the team doesn’t pay much attention at all to the media, it sure would be nice to bring Schein’s statement about the Baltimore Ravens defense to the Steelers attention.
Something tells me they would take exception to his declaration.