I get it. Fans are excited. The rookies of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been in action the last couple of days in their first-ever mini-camp and fans are giddy. But can we please take a breath here?
Some of the tweets and articles that have already been written are full of hyperbole and frankly, a lack of common sense as well. These young men have been learning the Steelers’ system while wearing shorts, jerseys and their helmets for two days! This is hardly enough work to cast some of the judgments I’ve seen.
After a beat writer mentioned T.J. Watt’s explosiveness in a tweet a response came that said, “Finally! The edge rusher we’ve needed!”
Another tweet mentioned an athletic interception by fifth round pick Brian Allen. The responses?
“Allen will be starting this season.”
“Allen and Cam Sutton stole the show today.”
Then of course there was the ‘teenage-style’ reaction to interceptions Watt. You may as well have thought Harry Styles or Elvis himself had walked into a concert hall. Did I miss something? Is Watt’s gold jacket already hanging in his locker?
I guarantee you Watt would be the first guy to tell the fans to pump the brakes. They are running around and learning how the Steelers do things in their pajamas for crying out loud. Trust me when I tell you the coaching staff isn’t exactly sitting in the coaches’ office getting their fingers sized for Super Bowl rings.
Could these rookies make an impact? Of course they could but when fans start throwing out all kinds of hype based on a day or two of mini-camp that doesn’t do the players or anyone else any good. It creates unnecessary and unfair expectations.
The fact of the matter is that Brian Allen is incredibly raw. Talented, but raw and he’ll need time to develop. He may struggle to even make the roster. T.J. Watt already faces the high expectations that come with being a top pick so before we anoint him the next Greg Lloyd or Kevin Greene let’s all just relax.
Yes, I’m excited to see these guys too. But I’m also realistic. Once we’ve seen them in full pads and for extended periods of time then I’ll make some judgments about what the future holds. Until then slow down, people. It’s May for crying out loud.
Photo courtesy: steelers.com