I remember seeing the word ‘assume’ on the chalkboard of my ninth grade English class one random fall day. My teacher walked up to it, looked at us and said, “We don’t assume anything. Do you know why?” There was not a raised hand in the classroom.
As he drew two lines through the word, he said, “we don’t assume anything because when we assume it can often make an ass out of you and me.”On the board behind him the word ‘assume’ looked like this; ass|u|me.
I’ve never forgotten that lesson and I strongly urge all Steelers’ fans to heed its’ significance. Why? Because we are assuming too much from some of the rookies and not enough from others.
Since Le’Veon Bell was drafted in the second round, most Steelers’ fans have put Bell in the starting line-up. He was a massively productive back at Michigan State who rushed for over 1,700 yards behind a very average offensive line. He has good size, decent speed and comes from a pro style system. With all this, it’s easy for us to assume he will in fact be the starter. But what if he isn’t?
In the first round, the Steelers selected Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. His selection was almost a foregone conclusion from the moment James Harrison rejected a paycut and was released. Jones will compete with Jason Worilds at the right OLB spot and to this point, he has been nothing short of professional.
When the Steelers finally made the selection back in April the majority of fans immediately assumed, “LeBeau never plays rookies so he’ll sit most of the year.” What if he doesn’t?
The receiver position many fans wanted was selected finally in the third round. Markus Wheaton of Oregon State was the choice and within days Steeler Nation seemed in love with the potential of this young man. All this despite the fact he has not participated in any football related activity with the Steelers due to the NFL’s rule prohibiting drafted players from participating until their school’s semester ends.
With that in mind, why do we continue to assume he’ll make such a big and immediate impact? What if he doesn’t?
Making assumptions is what we as fans do. We do this to make ourselves feel better. After an 8-8 season, we want something positive to think about so it’s only natural that we take our knowledge of these rookies and assume they’ll be the real deal right? We have to have faith in General Manager Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin don’t we?
We won’t know if our assumpitons ring true or not until the coming season but we wouldn’t be fans if we didn’t want the risk of making an ass of ‘u’ or ‘me.’
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.