Social Media, Poor Play Not Concerning Steelers

Pittsburgh turning focus to Monday Night in Tampa

Josh Rowntree
September 17, 2018 - 3:55 pm
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward (97) on the sidelines against the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at Heinz Field.

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Heyward tipped his waitress at the Cheesecake Factory “adequately,” despite a considerable level of awkwardness.

Heyward took his family, all decked out in his #97 jersey, to the restaurant following the Steelers’ 42-37 loss to Kansas City Sunday at Heinz Field.

“Man, I went to Cheesecake Factory and the waitress was a Kansas City fan,” Heyward joked Monday. “How about that? She just kept going on, like ‘I’m glad that Kansas City won.’ And I’m like ‘are you kidding me?’ My wife’s laughing at me, in my face.”

While the waitress may not have been able to identify one of Pittsburgh’s captains sitting at her table, most in the area could. They can also clearly see the horrendous start to the season the team has had. And, as fans tend to do, there’s been a fair amount of overreaction.

“It’s definitely time to be on edge, because we haven’t won a game yet,” Artie Burns said. “But we know what we’ve got to do. We know how we messed up. It’s not like we can’t to fix the problem.”

But the problems appear to be extending out from beyond the field already. Star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was seen Sunday getting into a heated exchange with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and wide receiver coach Darryl Drake, before leaving the stadium without addressing the media, has become the center of multiple social media-based controversies this year.

After the release of a somewhat scathing story on Brown’s personal life by Jesse Washington of The Undefeated, Brown sent Washington a tweet that insinuated that he would assault him. Brown apologized for the tweet two days before going on a rant, calling himself “an exceptionalism” who is “beyond the rules.”

On Monday, Brown responded to a tweet from a former Steelers public relations employee who had suggested that Brown has benefited. Brown tweeted “Trade me let’s find out.”

 

"I don't care,” guard David DeCastro said. “I don't know what AB says. I don't talk to him about that. I just come out here and work with him."

Linebacker Bud Dupree was tweeted by a fan after Sunday’s game, asking Dupree where he was during the loss (a knock on Dupree’s performance). Dupree allegedly fired back a private message, sarcastically suggesting that, instead of being at the game, he was spending the time with the fan’s significant other.

“Everyone thinks their opinion matters,” DeCastro added of social media. “Then they get in fights with people. I don’t understand it, I really don’t. Maybe I’m just a weirdo.

“It almost feels little bit like the entertainment has become bigger than the game, if that makes sense. It’s kind of sad to me. I always thought the game was really important, I love the game.”

From the outside, it may appear that the Steelers, often the center of off-the-field controversy, aren’t focused. But many in the locker room do not feel that is the case. 

“I haven’t been here long, but I do know about the Steeler tradition,” receiver Ryan Switzer said. “I grew up watching the Steelers and, obviously, they’re such a proud organization. It feels pretty normal here. The guys, I wouldn’t say, are panicking.”

“I’ve got faith in my guys,” Burns added. “We’ve just got to get better. We played sloppy. We’ve just got to bounce back this Monday.”

The reality, however, is that the Steelers are 0-1-1, with a 14-point blown lead in a tie with Cleveland before allowing Pat Mahomes to torch them for six touchdowns in his third career start. So it’s no surprise the fanbase is concerned.

“I love the fans and all, but I just don’t really care what they think,” DeCastro said. “Maybe I’ve just adapted to that as I’ve gotten older, but the only people that really matter are the ones in here. 

“It’s just two games, but you’ve got to turn it on quick. There’s not many games in this football season. There’s reason to panic, but we’ve got to change it.”

Up next is a trip to Tampa for Monday Night Football. The Bucs are 2-0 and have the League’s leading passer, at the moment, in Ryan Fitzpatrick. The team is set on putting two lackluster performances in the rearview mirror.

“Screw the past, It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past,” Heyward said. “We’re all grown men, we all get paid handsomely to play this sport. At the end of the day we’ve just got to execute and do our jobs.

“All we ask is for the outcome to be a W. I don’t care how we do it. I don’t care how perfect it looks, how ugly it looks. Get the damn W and move on.”

Hear all of what David DeCastor had to say below.