From the notebook of a sportswriter who's just going by what he's seen and heard to tell you what I know about ...
There's been so much back and forth written about the injured Steelers tight end that no one, I'm sure, knows what to believe. But I will tell you all that I know.
I was talking to one of the players who knows him well. We were talking about Green's bad ankle. "There are other things," the player said. I did not write this. I thought he was talking about ankle complications. But the next day when the NFL's media had this story about headaches and concussions dropped in its lap, I then knew what "other things" meant.
The writers from the Post-Gazette followed up and received word from a source with the team that I believe, and so should you, that concussions are involved in some way. Whatever else has been said by Green or other parties who are trying to compete with the Post-Gazette are fine, but I pay them no mind. I'm going with what I know.
Also, the ankle has not been good. Green ran very poorly on it the last few days of spring. And a week and a half ago, he couldn't jump with much explosiveness. Early last week, I watched him go through a dispirited running workout with an assistant trainer. It was dispirited both in running pace and in the fact that he hung his head for seemingly the entire time.
Now he says he's getting better. Great. I hope he starts opening day and excels. But I have my doubts because I can't forget what I've seen and heard in this matter.
Every time this poor guy tries to clear something up he seems to make things worse. The other day he tried to apologize for his 3-game suspension by video on social media. He deleted it soon thereafter, probably because he said he hasn't smoked marijuana since December of 2014.
The mathematically inclined sportswriters put that together with what Bell had said previously and reported that, hey, he's lying again.
Will this admission cost Bell another game or two?
Geez, let's hope not, because all we should care about is that in slipping up, while making this latest admission, he also no doubt told the truth in that he hasn't smoked in 20 months. THAT's what's important. If he can't wake up on time, or can't hobble over on crutches to get his test in, those are entirely different problems.
No, I believe Bell has quit toking, and I believe him for the same reason I believed him in June when he denied he hadn't smoked again or hadn't missed a test. He may have lied about missing the test, but I'm going to stick with the important part, that he has quit smoking weed. I believed him then because I've detected a change in him.
Yeah, I know, you're thinking, "What do you know about that subject?" But I sense a crispness (as opposed to a crispiness) in Bell that I hadn't before, and I remember thinking how dopey he was when I interviewed him at his NFL Combine out of college.
No, this guy is sharp. Martavis Bryant? I don't know if that guy can ever become sharp, but I hadn't detected any change in him, at least like I did in Bell.
By the way, if you saw Bell zip and rip his way through that video, you would agree. No one who's smoked weed in the last 20 months could ever talk that fast.
DeAngelo always seems like the classic out-of-towner looking for a fight with the media.
True, he's laughing all the time, and can be cordial, but I suspect he just does not like us. In that way, he's similar to Ryan Clark when he first came to town and he's like Mewelde Moore when he first came to town. Mike Mitchell has tussled with the media the last two years, too. These are just the latest examples off the top of my head, but they were combative off the git-go and determined to show their new teammates/friends that they don't like the media and "I got your back Deebo" or whomever is in the middle of a controversy and therefore a media mob.
My guess is these guys were surrounded by jerky media in other towns, media who were determined to find a story if they had to make one up, media that would put words into their mouths.
For the most part, we're not that smart here. Clark came around. And so did Moore. Both are bright and have a ton of insight to deliver. Clark has gone on to do well in national media. Moore is probably doing well in whatever he's involved, because he really is a sharp guy. But he could've done so much better here by developing his brand through the media.
Williams, geez, I don't look forward to trying to deal with this guy the first three weeks of the season as he replaces Bell. He just doesn't like us. Doesn't trust us. Probably doesn't need us, but that's his call and is fine by me.
In the summer of his rookie season, Tuitt was a topic of a Mike Tomlin summer meeting with investors. I was told that Tomlin had talked about Tuitt being an absolute stud. And I wrote it.
The next day, Tomlin walked over to the sideline at training camp and ripped into me. The source was no one he would ever expect, and I never gave him up, but Tomlin was angry.
Of course, he caught me by surprise coming over with a big smile and a "Hey, Wex!" But then he told me off.
I asked him why he cared so much. "Because now I have to be on Tuitt's back for the next month!" he said.
And I understood.
Well, however Tomlin has had to rectify the admission that he actually liked a rookie, it certainly has worked out. This guy is a monster. The tip of the iceberg was showing last Thursday in the second preseason game. In a short amount of time he led the first team in tackles and could've had more with a few breaks.
We all know that Cam Heyward's an outstanding player, but Tuitt looked like an absolute beast.
No one was around his locker after the game, and when I walked over he had the look of "Well, it's about time one of you guys got over here."
He knew he played great and was kind of impatient to talk about it. And that island accent of his mixes with his good manners to form a very unique, albeit shy, personality.
He's quick to smile, but of course that alone won't make him a star. His talent will. And he has both the talent and charisma to become a bona fide NFL star this season.
It's a lethal mix. And I hope Tomlin doesn't mind me saying so.