All parents go through that stage where the kids have grown into teenagers who start to be out later and later. We give them a little rope and hope that we’ve done enough to make sure they don’t take a mile. This is where the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the NFL is now and they go through it every single year.
With mandatory mini-camps in the rear-view mirror, the players now have the freedom they haven’t necessarily had over the last several months. When late July rolls around, their bodies, minds and souls will belong to their coaches on a pretty consistent basis.
As the old saying goes, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” and the summer months have often given that phrase some real teeth.
In 2012, there were 13 NFL players arrested in July alone. That was bordered by arrests in June and August as well. In 2013, the amount of arrests in July were down to just four but again, late June and August saw multiple players in cuffs.
With the NFL in full crackdown mode, 2014 still saw over a dozen arrests during the summer months and saw a jump from four to seven in July. Two from that season of course were Le’Veon Bell and LaGarrette Blount who were caught doing their best ‘Cheech and Chong’ impersonation.
Things actually got better in 2015. Although there were six arrests in July, the numbers were down in both June and August. Is this a sign of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s crackdown? Perhaps… To this point in 2016 there have been 11 arrests which is almost two per month. Believe it or not, (don’t hold your breath here) there haven’t been any arrests so far in June.
All NFL owners, coaches and front office personnel know these weeks prior to training camp are often filled with perils and pitfalls. With the 24-hour news cycle being what it is, they know that any transgression by their players will likely be public before they even know about it.
Coaches like Mike Tomlin have already given their message to their players and especially the young ones who have new riches and new freedoms. All they can do now is hope the messages were received because the punishment here is far worse than Mom and Dad taking away the car keys.
Stats courtesy usatoday.com