We Do Not Care

John Kuntz

Jordan DeFigio, @fidgenewton

Four simple words uttered by Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin have overshadowed and overpowered frustration and annoyance expressed by players – we do not care.

Is it ideal the team was forced to take an impromptu Week 4 bye? No. Is it fair that they were indirectly (but in a much more sense, directly) punished for ANOTHER TEAM’S inability to follow the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol? No. And it sure as hell isn’t fun to watch the league scramble to clean up the mess being left in the wake of the Tennessee Titans carelessness. But we’re living through a pandemic. A once-in-a-century situation. And the only thing each team has control over is their own actions.

Tomlin knows this. The standard is the standard. And the Steelers’ standard is to keep moving forward.

Even if it means losing their Week 8 bye and playing 13 consecutive games. After all, those were games that would have been played regardless. The schedule just looks a little different now.

Of course, players have every right to be candid and honest when asked their own opinion of the circumstances. Especially now that more members of the Titans organization have tested positive for COVID-19, now putting their Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills in jeopardy.

“I don’t think they’ll consider forfeiting our game,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said yesterday after whispers of the Titans forfeiting this week’s game started circulating. “And of course, we got the short end of the stick,” he added. For a guy who was just starting to find his groove after missing most of the 2019 season, a premature bye could prove to be costly.

But it all comes back to those four words, that one mantra – we do not care.

If this group is one of championship caliber, they will have to find a way to win.

Regardless of their schedule.

Regardless of their circumstances.

After all, that’s what all Super Bowl winning teams do; they overcome adversity and fight to hoist the coveted Lombardi Trophy. The adversity may look a little different this year, but when has winning it all ever come easy?

As the Steelers prepare to host the Philadelphia Eagles this week (the first game of 2020 at Heinz Field to be played with fans, no less), we will see what this team is really made of. We will see how much they have to prove and how much they want to prove it. We will see if this group has shadows of what it takes to be the ones standing tall on a cold Sunday in February amidst a sea of confetti and celebration.

If they really care to win it all, they have to take the field this week and show that despite all of the chaos and changes – they do not care.


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