If there’s one thing that the Rooney’s do not tolerate above all else, it’s dumb decisions that tarnish the reputation of their team in Pittsburgh. As rookie NT Alameda Ta’amu found out today, there is no substitute for good, sound, judgment and the penalties for a lack thereof are not to be taken lightly.
Many felt, myself included, that Ta’amu’s days in Pittsburgh were numbered following his arrest over the weekend on, among other charges, felony DUI and assault. Personally I’m still not convinced he’s a lock to finish out the season or be on the roster in 2013; if the need for a roster spot arises he’s at the top of the list to turn in his playbook. For now he’s only getting a 2 week suspension, without pay, and a ban from the team facilities in Pittsburgh.
ESPN reported the following on Tuesday:Coach Mike Tomlin says Ta’amu will not be welcome at the team’s facilities during the suspension, which is without pay. The 22-year-old fourth-round draft pick was arrested early Sunday morning by police after an incident on the city’s South Side. Charges include felony fleeing police, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle, as well as misdemeanor accident causing damage, resisting arrest, escape and DUI.
Tomlin called Ta’amu’s actions a “detriment to our efforts” but said the team was not ready to part ways with the former University of Washington standout.
In case you missed, here is a copy of the charges filed against Ta’amu.
The Rooney’s are willing to give a player another chance if they believe his potential to make amends and be a contributor on the team is great enough. They obviously still see something in him but even if that’s the case, he won’t get many more chances, if any. Ta’amu need only look at Santonio Holmes if he needs a reminder that things tolerated on other teams are not done so in Pittsburgh.
The penalty that the rookie will have to suffer through will hurt his checkbook, and reputation around the league but it will have little affect on the Steelers season so far. He has not dressed for any games to date and there’s no reason to feel that he would be a significant part of the John Mitchell’s (defensive line coach) group at all this season unless injuries were to strike.
He was drafted to seemingly become the heir apparent to veteran Casey Hampton, but the emergence of Steve McLendon has put a halt to that thought process for at least this year. Perhaps Ta’amu is still going to be an integral part of the line rotation for the Steelers at some point when Hampton is released or retired but if that’s going to happen he better learn from his mistakes.