You might think it was a pointless exercise for Steelers leaders last week to ban young players from playing ping pong and pool in the locker room. Like maybe there were other things they could have done -- things like "blocking," "not fumbling," and "not sucking" -- to put the team in position to win on Sunday. Well, that's really easy for you to say in retrospect, isn't it? You're not helping. When morale is low, when the men need something to believe in, that's when telling Shamarko Thomas he can't enjoy a friendly billiards match can mean so much. We believe General Ben, Commandant Key et al. didn't go far enough. Here are five leadership actions the '08ers need to take right now to halt a slide that could see them become...the 0-8ers.
5. No food for anyone with less than 4 years in the league.
We're not just saying no food in the locker room. We're saying no food.
4. Mandatory HGH injections for offensive line.
Despite lining up between the defense and the quarterback, these guys cannot position themselves between the defense and the quarterback. Ben needs to sit them down and tell them stories about the Band of Brothers of '08. Then he needs to personally inject them in their biceps and triceps.
3. Call out Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
Tell them they're mocking the wrong Rooney.
2. Take turns spooning Todd Haley.
This may seem counterintuitive. But the bad press and sideline spats don't seem to be making the offensive coordinator any more effective. Lay down, pull him close, stroke his hair. Bring down his walls and open up his playbook. You might just learn something about tenderness.
1. Organize party bus outing featuring Sweet Pea.
Look what Sweet Pea did for Bryant Mckinnie and the Baltimore Ravens. Sure, Jacoby Jones got a bottle cracked over his head, but maybe Jacoby Jones shouldn't get between an offensive lineman and his Sweet Pea. And that is precisely the lesson the 08ers need to teach the Steelers' young offensive linemen. Ben is their Sweet Pea. They need to be the drunk and pharmaceutically enhanced Bryant McKinnie, raging up and down the aisle of the party bus that is the 2013 season. You don't touch their Sweet Pea. You don't so much as look at their Sweet Pea.