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What will Steelers fans do without a full month of OTAs?

So, the NFLPA is asking to eliminate the NFL’s never-ending offseason programs–including OTAs, rookie minicamp and regular vet-required minicamp.

I think.

I’m not exactly sure what the players’ union is looking for, but it seems tired of the league forcing its players to report to work when they don’t have to report to work.

As a tradeoff for not coming to work when they’re not getting paid, the players would like to begin training camp a bit earlier than normal–say early July. I’m assuming the earlier portion of training camp will be a lot like rookie minicamp, OTAs and regular minicamp, which, much like jelly, jam and marmalade, are pretty much all the same.

If you can blend all of those things in the form of a ramp-up period before the pads start popping at training camp beginning in early August (which doesn’t happen as often as it used to, thanks to movie days and stuff like that), that would free up May and pretty much all of June for these guys.

It would also free up most of May and pretty much all of June for the NFL and its fans. In other words, what are we going to do for NFL content?

If there isn’t a Week 1 of OTAs, there can be no discussion about a player not being there.

Also, how would a player show his disdain for his contract situation if he can’t skip out on these voluntary workouts? How would a fan display his or her outrage? Maybe a player can do stuff on social media to show his disgust with his organization which, in turn, would allow the fans to show their disgust for the player. For example, if the new offseason schedule was a reality in 2024, Cam Heyward could unfollow the Steelers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And if he really wanted to get his point across, he could retweet a video of that game-winning touchdown in overtime of the wildcard clash against the Broncos following the 2011 season. 

Imagine how freaked out the fans would be with this kind of social media activity. The eyeball emojis would be popping. The furious emojis would be plentiful. What about the mileage the media could get out of this kind of content? “Cam should know better. He’s a leader in that locker room. What do you think out there? Was it appropriate for Cam Heyward to like one of John Harbaugh’s tweets? Give us a call at 412-928-…..”

Hey, what if Heyward went on Antonio Brown’s podcast on Flag Day and aired his grievances with the Steelers before going on Twitter and proclaiming that AB was the best receiver in franchise history–including Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Hines Ward?

A player’s social media activity could be one way to drum up outrage and engagement, but what about a month-long debate over which receiver the Steelers should trade for and/or sign? Maybe the media and fans could speculate on potential receiver acquisitions on odd days of the month and cornerback acquisitions on even days of the month. Actually, I believe they already do that. OK, maybe they can focus on receivers from Mother’s Day until Memorial Day and corners from Memorial Day to Father’s Day.

Wait a minute, I got it!

How about slow-playing the NFL’s annual schedule release?

Think about it, the league could begin in mid-May and do so in alphabetical order. The NFL would start with the Arizona Cardinals on, say, May 15 and end with the Washington Commanders’ schedule release on June 17. The Steelers, whose home city begins with a “P,” would be one of the last teams to have their schedule released. On one hand, that would be torturous, but on the other hand, the day of Pittsburgh’s schedule reveal would be like your draft day morning (which is like your Christmas morning).

Oh well, there’s much brainstorming left to do before the inevitable happens and we lose our OTA/rookie-camp/minicamp content in May and June.

I do believe we will adjust and figure out a solution. I mean, what’s the alternative? Watching hockey, basketball or baseball?



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