By Jeremy Hritz
Outside of the Steelers signing nearly all of their draft picks over the last week, there hasn’t been much great news surrounding the team.
First, second year starting right tackle, Mike Adams, was stabbed early Saturday morning in Pittsburgh’s South Side when three knuckleheads decided it was a good idea to try and steal his truck. Adams went Clint Eastwood on them and now, 33 staples later, is out of duty until training camp. While it could be worse, the Steelers would much rather have a healthy Adams getting reps in OTAs and in the upcoming mandatory mini-camp.
Then, on Wednesday, it was reported that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had undergone arthroscopic surgery to help to alleviate some knee discomfort that he was experiencing. According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger had “minor surgery on the [right] knee to snip some loose or frayed cartilage.” The early report is that the procedure went well and that Roethlisberger will be ready to go for training camp. However, any time a scalpel is making an incision in your starting quarterback’s knee, it isn’t the ideal situation. On top of that, flashing back to last season, James Harrison had a similar surgery during training camp that resulted in him missing the first three games of the season. Hopefully, by making the repair early, Roethlisberger truly is ready to go on time.
All of this on top of two embarrassing losses by the Penguins to the Bruins and what you have is a city in need of some good news.
While both the Adams and Roethlisberger situations are unfortunate and causes for concern, there is reason to be grateful as far as this offseason goes.
Firstly, the Steelers do not have the negativity and discontent of the Mike Wallace contract dispute hanging over their heads. Last year, instead of the conversation being focused on the upcoming season, much of it was dominated by the question of whether or not Wallace would report to camp or if he would sign a new contract with the team. This year, the discourse is centered on competition and how the receiving corps will shake out come the season opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Additionally, there haven’t been any foolish, shake-your-head-in-disgust comments from players that have garnered unfavorable media attention over the past few seasons, such as Rashard Mendenhall’s commentary on 9-11 and James Harrison’s urination-laced rant on Roger Goodell and his criticism of his own quarterback.
Lastly, the Steelers can be thankful that they haven’t had any players get wasted, smash up their car, and then attempt to fist fight some police officers, nor slap their significant other in the face in the heat of an argument.
While Adams situation could have been a matter of life or death, he has emerged on the right side of health. And Big Ben, being Big Ben, will shake off his quick fix like a frantic pass rusher and be ready to go in August.
No need to panic. Things could be much worse than they are in Pittsburgh at this moment.