Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster caught seven balls for 193 yards yesterday, including a 97-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

Does that mean the Steelers no longer need irksome WR Martavis Bryant?

I’m not sure.

Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t appear to be sure, either.

When Tomlin was asked if he’s confident Bryant can rejoin the active roster and help, Tomlin said, “I’m not.” Why would Tomlin be? Bryant has done nothing since 2015 to even remotely earn Tomlin’s trust.

But Tomlin did the right thing when he slow-played the Bryant situation by deactivating him, and that’s what Tomlin should continue to do.

There’s no good reason to cut Bryant. He wouldn’t fetch much in a deal made by tomorrow’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. Injuries happen.

But, like Tomlin, I have zero confidence in Bryant.

Despite last night’s victory at Detroit, the Steelers remain an immature team.

RB Le’Veon Bell was on Twitter yesterday afternoon – on game day – bitching that Cincinnati rookie RB Joe Mixon is copying him. Then Bell averaged a meager three yards per carry and fumbled away the football. (Mixon averaged 1.6 yards per carry yesterday and also lost a fumble.)

Defenders of pettiness like that displayed by Bell often utilize all caps: OH, HE’S JUST HAVING FUN!

The NFL isn’t fun. It’s work. If it wasn’t work, they wouldn’t call it work. They’d call it “super wonderful crazy fun time.” Or “skippety-do.” But it’s work, and work requires focus and professionalism.

Now Cincinnati LB Vontaze Burfict says Mixon is better than Bell. That's absurd. But who cares?

If Bell hadn’t pointed out Mixon's mimicry, no one would have noticed. Anyway, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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