Sanders Visiting Pats; Time to Admit Steelers’ Have Issues

Emmanuel SandersIt’s been reported by numerous outlets today that Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is in Boston today visiting with the New England Patriots. Earlier this week, the Steelers tendered Sanders a lower than expected offer. Should Sanders sign with the Pats or any other team for that matter it would bring the Steelers a third-round compensatory draft pick.

Of all the moves and potential moves the Steelers have made and are possibly considering, losing Sanders was not one of them. Whether Sanders leaves or not really doesn’t matter now because just the mere fact he is looking elsewhere is more than enough to tell me there is no joy in Mudville right now.

Since Todd Haley became the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, the wide receivers coach, Scottie Montgomery has left for a much lesser job at his Alma mater Duke. Offensive line coach Scott Kugler left to take the Head Coaching position at his Alma mater, UTEP. And the team finished 8-8 to boot.

While no one expected Mike Wallace to stay in Pittsburgh one way or the other, he couldn’t have bolted town faster and now you have Emmanuel Sanders exploring opportunities outside of the Steel City as well.

At what point will the ‘experts’ finally admit there are problems with this organization? Just because the Rooney Family still owns the team doesn’t mean that everything will forever remain ‘hunky-dory.’

On the other side of the ball, you have players calling out teammates anonymously and then other teammates rushing to the first camera with a shining red light to discuss the situation. As Ben Roethlisberger said, “Anytime you finish 8-8 there is going to be frustration.” I couldn’t agree more, but as I said right after Roethlisberger made his comments, I don’t agree with him that there are no fractures in the locker room. Yes, there is frustration, but it’s clear more than ever that it goes well beyond that.

Keenan Lewis left yesterday for the New Orleans Saints and who could blame him? It’s where he’s from and far be it from me to tell a guy he can’t go home. What shocked me was the contract he settled for which was far below what I believe he could have gotten.

James Harrison wouldn’t take a cut to remain a Steeler. Perhaps there was a reason and it wasn’t just financial?

I’m obviously not in the locker room or the front office on a weekly basis as other sites would have you believe they are, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know all of these moves add up to something far more than just salary cap issues.

Between coaches and players that have already left for seemingly greener pastures, it’s time to take the black ‘n gold glasses off and look at the situation a little closer. I’ll be surprised if the Pats sign him simply because they only have a handful of picks this year compared to previous years and draft picks are like gold. The bigger question is, why is Sanders interested in leaving Pittsburgh?

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.

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10 comments on “Sanders Visiting Pats; Time to Admit Steelers’ Have Issues

  1. Is it so hard to believe that he could leave for the money? If someone offered you more money, would you leave? Scottie left for an OC job AND a 500K raise. If you want to talk about problems, why don’t you talk about players who are underperforming and who only talk to start controversy. Keenan left and went HOME. I wish him the best of luck there. He said the Steelers didn’t offer him a deal. Did he tell the Steelers what the Saints were offering? I doubt it. When it comes to corners, it’s there job to get the ball not just knock it down. I’m good with Allen and Taylor as starters. If you cut Taylor to keep Lewis then you have only 1 year of experience on the field. Not a smart move.

    One last thing… Since you think you have all the answers for this team, go to ARII and apply fot the HC and GM job. Let me know how you make out with that.

    • Thanks for reading driller… Let me address a couple of points you make. 1. Of course it isn’t hard to believe someone would leave for more money. My point was that the Patriots would have to give up a third round comp pick in order to sign him and that would be very odd. I didn’t bemoan Wallace for taking more money nor would I anyone else. 2. If you read any of my previouse stuff, you know I frequently call out players who do not perform. I’ve written pieces on Woodley, Keisel, Hood and even Roethlisberger. 3. I’m not suggesting you cut Taylor this year. The man is 32 years old and is coming off a leg injury at a position where a bad wheel can end a career. I was looking at after next year for that possibility when Lewis would have two years under his belt.

      Lastly, if I had all the answers I would be the Head Coach and GM. Unfortunately I do not and no one does. I also suggest you read some of my previous stuff critical of ARII. The Rooneys are wonderful owners but they are not without faults.

      • I have been saying for months that there is trouble in River City. You don’t have to be an expert in corporate behavior to see that there are problems (all though I am).

        First of all Dan Rooney returned from Ireland – suddenly – after he said he would stay as long as the
        service wanted him. Then there were rumors that Haley couldn’t keep his temper level and the mouth got in the way. Then – the locker room debacle of blame and infighting. Then – Tomlin not seeming to be in charge of anything. esp. telling both Mendehall and Harrison that everything was ok. oops!
        Latest Art II giving a fish speech that almost everyone responded “huh?”. Then of course there is Colbert who gives press releases talking about the players like they are so dispensable that nobody needs to know their names.

        It must be frustration for those who constantly ruminate they “bleed black and gold” blaming the players (they’re listening) and stating the constant theme of support for the decisions being made.
        They might want to notice those they blame are being signed by other teams and very happy to get them.

        The fans are the one being crapped on here. But, yeah I know, some of you Bleed Back and God.
        Good luck to all of you who suffer through the season and watch the game from crummy $150 seats.
        It is going to be bloody.

        PS Sanders is bailing. Lewis did not get invited to stay and he’s pretty happy about that.

        • Thanks for reading Marcus… The reason we have our blog is because we indeed do bleed black n gold, but just as importantly, we aren’t going to tell fans what they want to hear. We’re going to tell them what we think and what we see and that isn’t always going to be ‘rah-rah’ and ‘happy days are here again’ like other blogs will give you. While frustration is an easy way to explain an 8-8 season, we believe where there is smoke there is fire. This organization is as unstable as it has been in many years which is exactly as you point out why Chariman Rooney has retruned. This isn’t an ‘end of days’ situation, but it definitely needs to be repaired.

  2. Being a Steelers fan from New England this is a classic Bill B move. As soon as they put an original tender on Sanders I said someone is going after him. I thought it was the 49ers but then they got Boldin for a 6st. The one thing many of these wr have learned is this is a business and the team will always look at it that way. So you better look at it this way. Go get your money.

    I don’t want to lose Sanders but if we look at the Steelers history they don’t draft many WR early. The last was Holmes and they got their use out of him and then traded him.( He was an idiot but what a catch) Then they Grabbed Wallace a 3rd, SAnders a 3rd,Brown a 5th.
    Wallace wasn’t the best WR but he was a matchup nightmare and his contract demands were going to be very high. That comes with success and there comes a point when you need to keep your youth and let go of the old vets. I’m not upset that they didn’t sign Wallace but Keenan Lewis was suppose to be the future with Cortez Allen, as well as Brown & Sanders.

    I think The Steelers did too many ” Just one more year” with Vets and Dick LeBeau. It’s Time to move forward with Keith Butler & a Youth Movement of players.
    It’s sad that Oakland released Bey & Huff and both of them could come in and replace Wallace & an older vet like Clark or Ike but the Steelers are holding onto to the vets.
    Dumervils contract was just botched and he’s a free agent. The Steelers should already have his agent on a phone trying to sign him. Infact they should bring in Bey,Dumervil & Huff for Saturday and sign them. If that means cutting Ike & Clark plus a few paycuts then do it.

    • Hey Rob, Well said on all accounts man. I honestly don’t think I can disagree with anything. I think sometimes people get too caught up with a corner that creates a couple of turnovers vs a guy that covers and breaks up passes. I really like Allen but I think letting Lewis walk is a mistake. Can’t count on Ike for ever.

  3. We are fans and we have the right to agree and disagree. In the end we bleed black and gold and care about the team. In saying that I agree with all the moves so far. Keenan I wouldn’t have paid him that kind of money either. Now the one that has to step up this year is the Wood. If he doesn’t he should be released next year. I can’t believe I’m saying this but is it possible all wants going on in Steeler Nation and Rat Bird Country that the Browns could fight for 2nd place!!!

    • Thanks for reading John. I understand your frustration but remember even Bill Cowher had three straight non-playoff seasons and we aren’t there yet with Coach Tomlin. I will say though that if things deteriorate again next year then your call may be warranted.

  4. I always felt Allen was going to be a Safety and they were hoping Lewis & Brown would hold down the outside. Now they’re grooming Robert Golden and need a Strong Safety or a combo guy like Vacarro.
    I think like Shawn Williams in rd 3 or Rontez Miles in rd 4-5 are also good options.

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