“I’m up on the tight wire, one side’s ice and one is fire. It’s a circus game with you and me. I’m up in the spotlight, oh, does it feel right? Oh, altitude seems to get to me. I’m up on the tight wire, flanked by life and the funeral pyre, putting on a show for you to see.” (Excerpt from the song, “Tightrope” by Leon Russell)
This past Saturday, Sept. 2, the Pittsburgh Steelers submitted their 2017 roster and were able to put their “scalpels” away…well, at least for the foreseeable future.
There were a few surprises but overall the Steelers seem to have come out of the 2017 preseason relatively happy and healthy. The tightrope walk of hope that many of the rookies, as well as a veteran or two, were forced to walk in order to morph to possibly becoming a Steelers player to actually wearing the “black and yellow” and competing for the Steel City is now over. Some players wilted under the “spotlight” and ended up on the “funeral pyre” but there were others who ended up on the “icy side” of the tightrope, welcoming and excelling under the heat and pressure of competition.
There was one event that shook up training camp and the upcoming Steelers season as well as the AFC—the Cleveland Browns releasing All-Pro cornerback Joe Haden, and being snatched up by the Steelers. Everyone who follows professional football and hasn’t been in a comatose state has been acutely aware that the Steelers have been armed with a dynamic offense over the past few years, but have also been saddled with a semi-anemic defense, especially their bloodletting defensive secondary.