First off, congratulations to Steelers’ Wideout Antonio Brown who has reportedly signed a contract extension with the team. Brown becomes one of the rare players in Steelers’ history to be extended with more than a year left on his current deal. At 5 years, $42 million, I’d say Brown is in line to be a Steeler for life which is just fine by me. I remember watching this kid torch my Western Michigan Broncos during his days with our top rival Central Michigan. I’m glad I can root for Brown now. What a role model he has become… Hard work does indeed pay off.
And then there is the flip-side to the Brown extension and that of course is Mike Wallace. I truly believed that Wallace would be in camp by today and this thing would get hashed out but now I see the complete opposite. Let me be perfectly clear here; I believe Brown is a better receiver with Wallace on the field but there is something much bigger at play here and that is the “Steeler Way.” We’ll never know how Antonio Brown might have handled a similar situation next year now that he is extended, but most believe it would have been a lot smoother than Wallace and his agent Bus Cook have handled this. Do not be surprised one bit if Wallace never sees the field in black n’ gold again. He could have have signed the tender and come to camp while they renegotiated but he didn’t and the Steelers don’t play that game.
Final thought on Wallace… The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette made the same point in his blog that I’ve been making all along with Wallace. He completely disappeared in the second half of last season and his attitude went south as well. Again, another sign that Wallace is not buying into the “Steeler Way.”
As a person, I like Peyton Manning. Funny guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, but as a player I want to see him driven into the ground relentlessly especially in Week One against the Steelers. With that said, it was good to see him throwing passes again and looking like the Manning of old. He’s good for the NFL so long as he loses that opener.
From Todd Blackledge to Matt Millen to our own Franco Harris, the chorus of former Penn State Alums not grasping the gravity of the situation is frankly, disgusting. However, if you’ve been part of a special program, maybe a high school football or basketball team with a long-time head coach then you can understand to a degree what these men are going through. Joe Paterno is not the man they knew. He is not the man they were nurtured by and lectured to and laughed with and won and lost with and that is extremely difficult to handle. I make no excuses for them and others because they need to step back and look at the big picture, but I understand, not agree, but I understand their feelings.
The Second Half
Have you seen this massive photo of Saints suspended Head Coach Sean Payton that looks over the Saints’ practice field?
I’m not sure how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is going to feel about this. Been trying to think of a precedent and I really can’t (other than Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’). According to Goodell, this is a man that authorized and fostered a ‘bounty’ program to inflict injury on opponents. My gut feeling is that this will quietly be taken down over the next week. Have to give the Saints’ credit though. Pretty creative.
The Miami Dolphins were seemingly back on the track to respectability in terms of how they run their front office, but now their number one draft pick is still not in camp so has anything changed? Ryan Tannehill continues to not work with his future teammates and not work with the Dolphins playbook. Perhaps things have not changed much in Miami.
The Two-Minute Drill
- The idea of the New York Jets putting Tim Tebow on the kick return team is ludicrous and hilarious. Can you imagine how big of a target this guy would have on his chest by special teamer’s league-wide?
- Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski says his ankle is ‘feeling good.’ I think we were pretty much aware of that the night of the Super Bowl as ‘Gronk’ danced effortlessly at a post-game party following his team’s loss. Shirtless I might add…
- Wish I could take credit for this but I can’t. With a Steelers’ minority owner interested in purchasing the Browns, a Twitter post read, “Don’t the Steelers already own the Browns?” Rimshot…
- Huge kudos to the Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith who is donating $100,000 to victims of the Aurora, Colorado shootings. Very classy move.
- Steelers DE Brett Keisel arrived at training camp this week on his Kubota front-end loading tractor. I was hoping on horseback but this was still pretty damn good.
- I love training camp. What a great time of year. Steelers Football 24/7. I guess we pretty much do that anyway but you know what I mean.