Quite often fans look the occupation of ‘pro football player’ and they wonder what that must be like. For most, the only way to try and understand what the job of being an NFL player is is to compare your job to theirs. Do yourself a favor and stop doing that. There is no job like playing professional football but that doesn’t stop people from yelling and screaming when players don’t attend OTAs.
First of all, players aren’t required to be at OTAs right now. The only mandatory portion of the offseason program for the Steelers is when the mini-camp is held to close out Phase Three June 13-16. Even in that case, many players may see their time on the field limited. Some may not practice at all. That’s just how it works.
Steelers’ Beat Writer Mark Kaboly of the Trib tweeted this yesterday about the day’s OTA absences.
By my count, no 7, 26, 27, 48, 92 at OTA 5. Oh, the humanity.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) June 1, 2016
If you can’t sense the sarcasm then you need a lesson in it. For the record, that means that Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Senquez Golson, Bud Dupree and James Harrison did not participate in the fifth OTA on Wednesday.
The only one with any known issue of concern is Golson who apparently had an MRI earlier this week on an injury that isn’t called “serious.” For Big Ben and Deebo, the day off was more than likely attributed to the fact that at their age and their level of experience (in Ben’s case he’s a new dad again too), there’s no need to push them. In Bell’s case, it has to do with his rehabbing knee and with Dupree it’s anyone’s guess but it doesn’t sound serious.
Normally I wouldn’t bother writing about something like this but when I see and hear comments about how “these guys need to have their butts on the field” and “what are they paying these guys for if they aren’t at practice?” then I feel compelled.
Like I said, being a professional football player is unique. It is unlike any other job in the world and just because you played football in high school doesn’t mean you have total understanding of what playing in the NFL is like. When guys start missing significant practice time in camp then you can start complaining.
Photo courtesy steelers.com