Steelers head to Buffalo after a rough week


The Steelers have a had a difficult week. Heck, it’s been down right lousy. Pardon the language. There’s been a series of distractions. This game against Buffalo is quickly approaching but it’s frankly far down the list of important things to happen to the Steelers this week, and not just because it’s a meaningless game.

Let’s take a deep breath and run down all the awful we’ve endured.

Maurkice Pouncey Injury

So, it’s begun. The Steelers offensive line has been fairly injury prone in recent years, last year being the notable exception. Last year the line gelled and stayed healthy. They improved under the tutelage of Mike Munchak and turned into a very good unit. Pouncey’s injury puts that all in jeopardy.

The injury is significant, he’s undergone surgery and is expected to be out of the lineup for at least half the year. His replacement will be either Cody Wallace, or the recently signed Doug Legursky. Needless to say, neither of them have the talent level of all-pro Pouncey, nor the experience he utilizes to call protections.

Tuitt and Other Injuries

There’s another injury suffered in the same game as Pouncey and also on a extremely thin position group. Stephon Tuitt has gone down for a few weeks with an injury of his own. It’s not as serious as Pouncey’s injury, in terms of the player or the injury, but he’s a young player and this is time he needs to develop.

Then there’s Gradkowski’s injury. He, like Pouncey, will be out for several weeks. He also had a replacement brought in. You may have heard, it’s Michael Vick. More on that below. Oh ya, Mike Mitchell got injured too during the week. Which barely even registered in this week of disasters.

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Michael Vick

After Gradkowski’s injury the Steelers were looking at an offensive line without their best player, a quarterback who has played a full season in less than half his seasons, and a back up quarterback who is Landry Jones. To remedy this obviously potentially bad situation, the Steelers signed Michael Vick.

The move has proven extremely controversial. Vick’s past is well known and although the events that derailed his career occurred 8 years ago. They’re still pretty awful. Vick has done a lot to atone for his actions but a lot of Steelers fans just are not interested tens of thousands according to a recent petition. As a back up he’s injury prone, but good, better than Jones. He comes with a lot of drama however, whether he likes it or not.

Art Rooney II told Bob Pompeani of CBS Pittsburgh, “First we certainly respect the opinions of – that people have expressed on both sides and understand that point of view. We sat down with Mike before we signed him and really tried to evaluate his sincerity and what he’s done since he’s been back in the league with the other teams and came to the conclusion that he’s made a sincere attempt to reform his life and be a good family man, raising three children. So we were satisfied that he’s tried to do the right thing, he’s doing the right thing and so we felt like he is someone that we were comfortable having on the team.”

Fair enough, but there’s still a lot of unneeded drama around the signing.

Martavis Bryant Suspension

Apparently Martavis Bryant failed a drug test. And then he failed three more drug tests. And then he got suspended, for games. One for each failed drug test, which may just be a coincidence. Regardless, this is not good timing. The Steelers are going to take the field for the first two games without Bell, without Pouncey, and without Bryant. For a team that is going to need to rely on it’s offense this is not good.

I don’t know when this all happened, and Bryant is currently appealing the suspension, but he brought this on himself. With everything that’s going on, this was just icing on the cake, a cake made of dirt and garbage and potentially season ruining disasters.

So there we have it. Here we stand, having endured a full week of horrible, both act’s of God (injuries) and self-inflicted (Bryant, Vick drama). The Steelers have the best offense in the league but they also have the toughest schedule. There’s no room for error here and this week has been nothing but error.

We’re not going to get much of this fixed in Buffalo. We will be able to check out how we look without Pouncey, if Cody Wallace is up to it, if Legursky can still do it. We’ll see how Coates develops. We’ll see the other fill-ins. But really, it feels like whatever happens in Buffalo, we’re going to need to put this week behind us, and that starts Saturday.

Next: Steelers: Can the offensive line rebound

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