EDITORIAL: Josh Gordon Needs Treatment Not Criticism

Josh Gordon, all-pro wide receiver. (Courtesy: Seattle Seahawks)

(GSM) — When it comes to embattled NFL wide receiver Josh Gordon, it is another sad chapter in the life of a once mercurial talent.

The life inside the pressure cooker of the NFL is too much for a person who engages in drug use, to overcome. The psychological problems associated with addiction are far too complex, the pressures to perform too great and the lack of real treatment is sorely lacking. Acknowledging the problem is a step, but real treatment geared towards managing the damage done to your brain as a consequence of addiction, is what is needed to save users like Josh. Professional football has far too many triggers, too many risks, too many temptations for any athlete suffering from addiction, including but not limited to opioid use found in many athletes worldwide.

What most people don’t realize, is that drug use changes the function of your brain by burning up synapses that secrete dopamine and enkephalins. The synaptic junction cannot ever achieve the high they once experienced. The brain is telling you to get the drug and will put you through hell if you don’t receive it. You chase a high you cannot achieve no matter how much you take. The user will get high, but the brain tells the individual to get more and more, it is never enough to calm the desire for more drugs.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

“My heart goes out to Josh having to face this again. The fact that he is up against it and all, it poses a great challenge to him. Fortunately he’ll have the great benefit of all of the league’s resources to support him and help him and we’ll wish him the very best in taking care of business. It’s really unfortunate.” – Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll in a press conference 

This week, it was announced that he will be suspended indefinitely by the NFL after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs and substance abuse. For Mr. Gordon’s sake, it is best that he receives the necessary treatment needed to overcome the addiction. Nonetheless, it is best to take a step back from gridiron competition and focus on saving his own life.

Josh Gordon needs treatment, not criticism. 

 

Steelers Hold Off Colts at Home in Close Matchup

Steelers Tight End Vance McDonald flexes after scoring a touchdown in the game against the Indianapolis Colts on November 3, 2019 at Heinz FIeld in Pittsburgh. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The Steelers are currently sitting at .500 with a record of 4-4 so far on the season and are in second place in the AFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens to handed the Patriots their first loss of the season. As for the Steelers, however, they defeated the Indianapolis Colts Sunday 26-24 at Heinz Field.

 
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 43-yard kick which could have turn the tides of the game. A man of a few words after the game, “I just missed it. I have to do better than that. Just pulled it left.”
 
In his post game press conference, Steelers Head coach Mike Tomlin is happy about his team’s victory, however saying there is more work to be done to continue winning. “It is great to get a win versus a winning team. That team had been in a bunch of close games and won a lot of them. It’s good when you can be in a game against a team that is used to winning in close games and pull it out, so we are thankful for that. We have some things to fix, obviously, red zone execution and so forth.” Tomlin said, “But we will address it and address it with the win. It is good to be .500 at the turn like we talked about early in the week given where we have come from. It’s going to still be a while. We will work forever trying to get that September stench off of us, but that is life in this thing, and I appreciate the effort and fight. It is good to be sitting at 4-4.”

 

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, has played lights out since joining the Steelers in week 3 of the 2019 season. Since that time, he has 4 interceptions, one of which he took 96 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Colts. “I was just reading the quarterback. He looked right first, then he looked hard left, shoulders turned and everything, so I just started drifting that way. He let go of the ball and I went and got it.”

Steelers linebackers Budd Dupree and TJ Watt celebrate after recording a sack in the game against the Indianapolis Colts on November 3, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)
Linebacker Budd Dupree was also instrumental in the success of the defensive stand with a forced fumble and 2 sacks. Both he and TJ Watt had big plays for losses. Watt recorded 1 and a half sacks and says he and Dupree are working well together as a linebacker tandem.
 
Next up, the Steelers host the 5-3 Los Angeles Rams who sit at 3rd place in the NFC West behind the unbeaten 49ers and Seahawks, both of whom beat the Steelers this season.

 

BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
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Steelers Travel Cross-Country to Face Chargers

The line of scrimmage between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers on December 2, 2018 at Heinz Field. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the all-time series against the Chargers 23-10 (including the post-season), Pittsburgh has an uphill battle as they struggle against teams when traveling across time zones.

The last 3 meetings against teams on the West Coast (or relatively close) has resulted in losses. In 2018, the Steelers fell on the road to the Oakland Raiders (24-21), Denver Broncos (24-17) and in ’19 walked away winless when facing the San Francisco 49ers (24-20), respectively. 

This week, the Chargers are at home and face their own struggles. Sitting at 2-3 and 3rd place in the AFC West, Los Angeles is coming off of a loss to division rival  Denver Broncos.  

Los Angeles Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers celebrates after his team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 2, 2018 at Heinz Field. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers — who Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin labeled a, Hall of Fame caliber quarterback” — has a completion percentage of 68% on 194 passes and 7 touchdowns, however, is missing his anchor on the offensive line for the season.  Mike Pouncey (twin brother to Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey) was placed on the team’s injured reserve list on Oct 9 after suffering a neck injury against the Broncos. An injury that will have him sidelined for the season, possibly longer.

Rivers, who has faced adversity before, said in a press conference, “We have to be physical, come out and be hungry.”

The Steelers — on the other hand — must rely on their defense to carry the load and stop the Chargers offense who has proven to be efficient in recent history. The addition of safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has assisted Pittsburgh in defensive stops across the middle. In his Steelers debut, he recorded an interception and has made a significant impact in the secondary. Fitzpatrick was acquired from the Miami Dolphins for a 2020 1st round pick and a 6th-rounder in 2021.

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)
Brian Cook is an Emmy-nominated international journalist who has been covering the National Football League since 2005. He can be reached at BCook@GoldenSkyMedia.com.

Steelers QB Rudolph Leaves Game With Concussion

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph walks off the field with assistance by teammates after suffering a concussion in the game against the Baltimore Ravens on October 6, 2019 at Heinz Field. He was treated and released at a local Pittsburgh hospital. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) – A scary moment came in the 3rd quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens where Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph was knocked out following a vicious hit by Earl Thomas. The hit  left him unconscious for several minutes and an obvious stoppage of play. Rudolph was able to walk off of the field, woozy and discombobulated. 

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph walks off the field with assistance by teammates after suffering a concussion in the game against the Baltimore Ravens on October 6, 2019 at Heinz Field. He was treated and released at a local Pittsburgh hospital. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

Head Coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media confirming the aftermath was a concussion.  “I thought he represented himself well. He gave us a chance. You have to tip your hat to him.” Tomlin said. “You are talking about a guy that didn’t make our opening 53 and all those things, we know his story. You also have to acknowledge that he has done some good things at every step along the way through the team development process when given the opportunity and that is why he is in the position that he is in. That is probably why he made the positive showing in spots that he did today.”

Pittsburgh Steelers​ undrafted quarterback Devlin Hodges puts on his helmet moments before going into the game against the Ravens, following a vicious hit which left starter Mason Rudolph unconscious. He went 7-9 for 68 yards on October 6, 2019 at Heinz Field. (Brian Cook​ / Golden Sky Media Company)

The Steelers lost the game 26-23 and travel to the West Coast to face the Chargers on Sunday.

The following video is courtesy of the Pittsburgh SteelersTwitter feed:


BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER  

Tomlin Speaks About Development of Devin Bush, Diontae Johnson

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The Steelers fell to the New England Patriots Sunday 33-3. However, Head Coach Mike Tomlin — in his weekly press conference — was optimistic about his team’s future.

Rookies Devin Bush (ILB, Michigan) and Diontae Johnson (WR, Toledo) both saw the field at Gillette Stadium. Tomlin said, “It was a quality start to contribute to our efforts.”

Bush racked up 11 tackles (7 solo) and Johnson had 3 catches in their NFL debut.