The amount of drama that’s been swirling around the Pittsburgh Steelers organization almost rivals what’s going on in the NBA.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-2-1 on the season, not the typical start we expect from this high-powered offense. However, since Le’Veon Bell decided to holdout over contract disputes the Steelers have had a lackluster offense, and enough drama behind the scenes to fill a reality television show. Even Steelers great Hines Ward has noticed that something has not been right with this team.
“It’s kind of unorthodox, it’s not the Steelers culture, it’s not how we do things in Pittsburgh,” Ward said. “All we focus on is about lining up and kicking tail on the football field. I understand, Le’Veon Bell is one of the best running backs in the game, but I think at the beginning of the season players talking about contracts and stuff — let’s just get back to playing football. Whenever Bell comes back, then we talk about it but until then let’s just focus on football.”
Focusing on football has been hard for a Steelers team that has not been able to sync up on offense despite having arguably the best wide receiver in the league, Antonio Brown. Last Sunday Brown and Ben Roethlisberger looked like they finally figured things out as Brown recorded two touchdowns for 101 receiving yards.
It’s evident that without Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh’s offense isn’t as dynamic, even with James Conner averaging 68 rushing yards per game. Luckily, for the Steelers, their record still puts them in position to win the AFC North, with a crucial game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are atop AFC North with a 4-1 record, but a win on the road for the Steelers could be huge going into their bye week.
Ward, who is partnering with McAlister’s Deli to create the best tailgating experience for football fans, knows personally that the Steelers are more than comfortable playing in Cincinnati, having not lost a game to the Bengals on the road since 2013.
“That’s home away from home,” Ward said. “We sometimes have more Steelers fans than Bengals fans at the stadium. The comfort level of playing in Cincinnati has always been there. That’s why I think it’s a big game for the Bengals mentally. If Cincinnati finds a way to win this game I think they go on to win the AFC North, but if they don’t then it’s up for grabs. It’s anyone’s division.”