The impact of Ben Roethlisberger entertaining boys and girls young and old off the field has created a ripple effect. This effect is like a tsunami heading directly to the Steelers playing field this training camp.
The effect has the fans falling out with both laughter and shock.
"I don't mind the circus atmosphere" Mike Tomlin said
So many stories to cover with this clown show that I can't tell where to start.
Well, why don't you just grab some popcorn and we will start with the President of this clown show?
Act I: Getting In On The Same Page...
Back in January, the Steelers team president Mr. Art Rooney said the Steelers were going to run it more consistently this season...
"I think Mike and I certainly agreed coming off the season that we need to run the ball more consistently to get to where we want to get to," Rooney said. "So that's part of the thinking in the offseason: We need to figure out how to get better running the football."
Then the Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians had this to say about that…
"We need to run the ball better," Arians said, "not necessarily more."
Last season in week five against the Lions, Arians' admitted he "got a little greedy" in the second half, when he got away from the running game. Steelers still won that game however.
"It is the quality of the runs more than the quantity that I am worried about," Arians said.
Why we even had Troy Palamalu claim “But, with the smothering defense, you can't have a pass-happy offense..."
All I heard this offseason from Steelers fans was how the team was going to run it more this season, rather than more consistently. This is why I went out of my way to express why the passing offense was king in this league.
Well I guess this is a good time for the fans and players alike to get on the same page, rather than assume the Steelers are going to run it more this season.
Act II To fire or not to fire Arians out of the Steelers cannon?
The controversy over whether or not Bruce Arians would be fired after the disappointing 2009 season came to a head and reportedly Ben Roethlisberger saved Arians Job.
Roethlisberger must of actually admitted that Arians was right when he said that half the sacks Ben took last season where his fault.
Or did he admit that all the under-thrown passes to speedster Mike Wallace were his fault as well?
Or perhaps Ben admitted that because he is so slow in regards to knowing when to release the ball a lot of times during the game's, that that is what has created a lot of the ill-fated situations the Steelers faced last season?
Roethlisberger is evidently slow both on and off the field but I guess for the time being we will just have to rest assured that Arians is not going anywhere.
Act III Breaking out the rescue wagon for the poor lost clowns
In a rescue effort to help salvage the careers of former Steelers, who emerged as clowns outside of Pennsylvania, Tomlin wound up adding much needed depth this offseason as well.
This is fantastic because Tomlin does not have to face the growing pains that comes with having to train new players the system.
Antwaan Randle El was brought back from the Washington Redskins.
Bryant McFadden returns to the Steelers after a disappointing stint with the Arizona Cardinals.
Now that the Detroit Lions granted the release request of Linebacker Larry Foote to return to the Steelers; the Steelers No.1 defense of the 2008 Super Bowl run is once again intact.
Byron Leftwich however was not as lucky. The Steelers actually had to fork up a draft pick to get him back. Not a bad smokescreen by the Tampa bay Buccaneers.
Act IV Steelers introduce a new clown into the act
Jeff Sperbeck, the agent for Pittsburgh Steelers QB Dennis Dixon, has got in on the circus act, by sticking his clowny nose where it doesn't belong.
"I don't understand why after Byron's been gone a year, they would bring him back and start him ahead of Dennis," Sperbeck said. "To me, it should have been Dennis' job as the No. 1. He was No. 2 last year. Byron was not even in the picture."
Thing is Sperbeck is jumping the gun here, Byron has not been named the starting QB in Roethlisbergers stead while he is on suspension.
“But you would like to have that (starting) quarterback named so you can get in and see him on a daily basis,” Ward said. “That’s why we pay coach all of the money, to make that decision.”
“We're kind of making it up as we go along,” Tomlin said.
"...there will not be equal reps and equal opportunities to prove what you’re capable of. It’s just not feasible.”
Maybe the reason Sperbeck doesn't understand is because he can't add two and two together.
Could Tomlin actually be saying there is nothing more to prove? I know Byron Leftwich is the better quarterback, and that is why he traded a draft pick to have him on his team despite the fact he already had two quarterbacks capable of playing for me?
I mean where does the agent of a fifth round draft pick get off trying to tell the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers how it is? Its as if you can almost hear the circus music playing in the back ground.
"Dennis was not a typical fifth-rounder. That was an aberration because of his injury," Sperbeck said. "The Steelers knew what they had early on. They knew they got great value in him. But now, since he was really more of a first- (or) second-round talent, those guys fall in the category of after a season or two they are considered ready to be starters."
As if the disturbing behavior of Ben Roethlisberger this offseason was not enough, now we have one of the players agents playing the role of a clown while attempting to cast a wedge in an attempt to shatter Tomlin's galvanized locker room.
Act V How many clowns does it take to screw in a light bulb
Why Sperbeck even has Charlie Batch in on the act, to the point where Batch is actually calling Dixon the future. So many clowns and so little time left before training camp starts in just five days.
"Dennis Dixon is a great talent and I think he showed that last year against Baltimore. So I think at some point they're going to try to get him ready because he is the future," Batch said.
"I would say yes. Everybody would like to take the first-team reps," Dixon said this week. "Once you get your shot, you want to show that you can get it done. I'm pretty sure there will be a point in time when that happens. It hasn't right now."
Hey Dennis, come back down to earth! You have had your shot. Stop being such a poor sport. The coach knows what he has in you and Charlie Batch.
60.6 quarterback rating in your only career start does not exude confidence, that is why Tomlin traded a draft pick to bring Byron back.
"That's such an important part of a young guy's development," Sperbeck said. "When you bestow the confidence in him that he is the guy, now the team knows that and they are prepared to follow him. Without the team giving that to him, it's more difficult for any quarterback to lead when your own status is uncertain. You lead differently as a starter than you do as a backup."
Something about Dixons clutch performance throwing that interception in overtime during the Baltimore Ravens game last season has me confident too. (Sarcasm)
Hey Sperdeck, nothing is given to you in this league, you have to earn it. Thanks for the laugh, just what the fans needed this offseason.
Sperdeck-the-clown was the perfect addition to the Steelers-circus-act, an act which is indeed assuring us of the greatest show on earth.
Thanks for the laugh Sperdeck, we needed that.