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STEELERS RUNNING BACK JAMES CONNER, in his first career start, scored two rushing touchdowns against the Browns, Sept. 9, at FirstEnergy Stadium. But his fumble in the fourth quarter sparked the Browns’ comeback in an eventual 21-21 tie. (Photo by Courier photographer Thomas Sabol)

Le’Veon Bell had this to say on Twitter after the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns battled to a season-opening 21-21 tie at FirstEnergy Stadium: “No shade, just never witnessed a tie before.”

Wow! What an astute observation by Bell. I am sure those very “team-like” words came straight to him after the game concluded. Jordan Culver, one of Bell’s fellow “Tweesters,” asked and answered his own question, saying: “Is this shade? I think this is shade.”

By the way, Bell’s heir apparent, James Conner, had 31 rushes for 135 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Conner also had 5 receptions for 57 yards. I don’t know, yinzers, could the Steeler Nation soon be asking the question, Le’Veon who? Le’Veon Bell should navigate himself back to the Pittsburgh Steelers sidelines, post haste.

Now as I have stated previously, I will not enter into the fray. It is not any of my business, nor should it be in regards to how much any athlete should be compensated for their services. It is entirely up to the performer to set his or her value and it’s up to the owner to honor or dishonor that value, period. In my opinion, Le’Veon Bell may be making an irreversible mistake in overvaluing his services. Maybe he is or maybe he isn’t worth all that he is demanding, but if I were due to make in excess of $850,000 per game, you would have to give me a lethal injection to keep me from making all of that cheese.

Let’s hit rewind for a moment. The Steelers competed against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2017 divisional playoffs. “Big” Ben Roethlisberger threw for a zillion yards but had one pick and fumbled once. The two turnovers resulted in 14 points for the Jaguars. Roethlisberger’s miscues happened to be very significant because the Steelers lost, 45-42. However, after the loss all of the chatter was about how the Steelers defense was so atrocious and how Mike Tomlin was such an incompetent coach and how Steelers former offensive coordinator Todd Haley called such a bad game.

Baloney. If the Steelers defense was so bad giving up 45 points, coupled with Ben Roethlisberger’s two turnovers, was the Jaguars defense bordering on pristine after giving up 42 points to the Black and Gold? No, it just confirms that the “prevent defense” oftentimes doesn’t prevent much at all.

Todd Haley was not the offensive coordinator for the Steelers in this past weekend’s 21-21 fiasco, oops, I meant the game against the Browns. However, Roethlisberger tossed three picks. Had “Big” Ben converted just one of those possessions into three points the Steelers would have been 1-0 instead of 0-0-1, you dig? A tie game almost always indicates that on that day at least, your team was not better than your opponent. How can a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers, shepherded by a supposedly Hall of Fame-bound quarterback, score only 21 points against a “fledgling” Cleveland Browns defense?

The majority of the TV and radio networks talking heads are now backtracking on a few of the accolades that have been heaped upon the shoulders of one Ben Roethlisberger during the 2018 preseason. The Pittsburgh talking heads seem to remain possible disciples of Roethlisberger but it seems that folks in other markets are less giddy about the prospects of “Big” Ben winning another Lombardi trophy. Football is sometimes like real estate. What usually wins for your opponent is when your team commits turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

 

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