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Is there a silver lining to the Ta’amu incident?

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Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review

For a second, let’s not look at the bigger picture.

Forget whether or not Alameda Ta’amu gets suspended, released, thrown in jail or whatever for his escapades early Sunday morning.

Due process will eventually sort that out.

But, purely regarding football, Ta’amu’s arrest might have been the best thing for the Steelers and a locker room that is in dire need of leaders.

I saw leaders in that locker room leading Monday.

There was no Hines Ward to field the brunt of the media’s onslaught. There was no James Farrior or Aaron Smith. All have been gone for months now.

For the first time, guys like Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark, Casey Hampton and Larry Foote had no choice but to be leaders and face an uncomfortable situation head on like, well, leaders are expected to do.

And to their credit, they stepped up and didn’t run from what they darn-well knew was coming – a bunch of uncomfortable questions during an uncomfortable time.

Trust me when I say football players are strange people, at times. Something like this could easily be what we all will look back on in three months and point to why the Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl.

This could galvanize the team. I’ve seen stranger things happen.

To a man in that locker room, they all stood up for their teammate without losing sight of the big picture that what the 22-year-old did was stupid, dumb, uncalled for and very irresponsible.

Typically a head coach would tell players to not talk about a situation as touchy as Ta’amu’s.

Give Mike Tomlin credit, he did no such thing.

Just maybe Tomlin wanted to see what leaders would emerge from all this.

Who really knows?

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Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly covers the Pittburgh Steelers for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 250 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer, and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

 
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