By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN
Steelers 16 – Bengals 13
Despite the win in Cincinnati, the Steelers still end up missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
First, we start the year with running back Le’Veon Bell holding out for a long-term deal instead of a franchise tag. While most felt that it was going to come together at some point, it didn’t.
But no one benefited from Bell’s absence more than RB James Conner. Conner finished the season with almost 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards passing and had 13 touchdowns. He stepped into the RB role and made it his own. Could Bell be changing the way that holdouts go? Is there anything wrong with betting on yourself? Should you think of your team?
Then, there was also drama with wide receiver Antonio Brown, which as of the time of this writing, is still ongoing. Apparently last week, he got into an exchange with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and threw a ball at his feet. Reportedly, Brown was missing practices which seems to be why he didn’t play in the game against the Bengals. According to reports as of this morning, he’s requested a trade.
However, in a tweet from Ian Rapport, he states that it sounds like Brown was going on a rant in frustration, but hasn’t formally requested a trade.
My understanding of the situation surrounding #Steelers WR Antonio Brown: As he exited the field in frustration on Wednesday, he yelled, “I’m done!” Then wondered why they don’t trade him. More venting in anger than anything. He has not made any actual trade request, officially.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 1, 2019
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is also stating that there really isn’t anything wrong, and feels that this situation is getting blown out of proportion. Of course, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and hopefully, it’ll get settled. Can you bring him back? He’s a very talented receiver, and the Steelers are giving him a lot of money, so a trade will be tricky for the Steelers. Either way, this will be one interesting situation to keep an eye on in the offseason.
Now, for the good stuff!
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The 2nd year receiver shone brightly this year. He leads the team with 111 catches. He caught for over 1400 yards and 7 touchdowns. If they do end up getting rid of Brown, Smith-Schuster will for sure be ready to step into the WR1 role. Linebacker TJ Watt was another Steeler who had a great season. He finished the year with 13 sacks.
There’s plenty of good going on with the Steelers. While this wasn’t their year, if they can get everyone back on the same page, the talent is there.
This team can easily go back to the team that fans have come to know and expect!
Talk Steelers with Sonja on Twitter @Mom23RN