Arthur Moats: Steelers lacked focus for the game after anthem conversations

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With the exception of the Rams and 49ers, who played on Thursday night, every team in the league had a spotlight on what they would do during the playing of the national anthem and many of them held meetings in the hours leading up to kickoff to come to a decision about how they’d handle the situation.

The Steelers have drawn more attention than many of those teams for both their players’ decision to remain in the tunnel and the repeated attempts by coach Mike Tomlin, president Art Rooney II and players to explain how they reached it. There may be even more after a couple of those players said that they thought the time spent discussing the anthem affected their focus on Sunday.

“We truly lacked the focus that we needed to,” linebacker Arthur Moats said on 93.7, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Man, we spent a lot of time going from Saturday, Sunday morning to even today discussing the anthem issue and how we were going to handle it and things like that, and I thought that guys just lacked a little bit of focus when it came to playing in the game.”

Moats said the team “lacked a lot of detail,” something quarterback Ben Roethlisberger agreed with when making his own appearance on the radio station later in the day. Coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the players’ comments at his press conference.

“Was it a distraction? I’m sure it was in a lot of ways but we still have a job to do and hopefully we learn from it because if we’re as good as we desire to be there are going to be distractions moving forward,” Tomlin said. “That’s just the nature of this thing. It’s professional football.”

As mentioned at the start, the Steelers weren’t the only team to wrestle with the anthem question last weekend. Fourteen of them, including the Bears, found a way to do enough to win on Sunday.

21 responses to “Arthur Moats: Steelers lacked focus for the game after anthem conversations

  1. “That’s just the nature of this thing. It’s professional football.”

    I have never seen professionals act like some of these players on the job. What we saw Sunday was not professional conduct on the job.

  2. It’s a distraction when you’re a soldier in the jungle and you have someone shooting at you.

    A distraction because tRump made some dumb comments, that’s an excuse. You’re out of shape and were tired by the end of the game, that’s how the Bears ripped off 60+ Rushing yards in Overtime.

  3. You lost because from whistle to whistle, the Bears played better. They deserved to win, no excuses.

  4. Oh, boo-boo. It’s amazing what excuses these overpaid athletes come up with. This is like a tractor trailer driver causing a 10 car pile up and saying “sorry boss, I was preoccupied thinking about the national anthem.”

    You got destroyed. Man up.

  5. It’s a pretty quick meeting…President Trump does not own this team and it’s not team policy to fire players for their personal beliefs & expression. Are any of you a SOB?

    Now let’s get ready to play on Sunday!

  6. Too funny. Maybe if they spent more time on THEIR job instead of thinking about their celebration dance in the end zone and what some outside influence says they’d play better. They’ll have plenty of time to kneel down once the playoffs arrive since they’d rather kneel than play.

  7. You should of been focused on doing your job to the best of your ability instead of having your head in another place, go figure. Most of these over paid man children just don’t get it. If you screw around and make enough fans angry you may find your paycheck disappearing. Is it really worth it? You may find yourself hiding in the bathroom at the Pizza Hut you work at protesting the anthem instead, but players don’t think that far ahead…funny.

  8. They weren’t the only team- other teams that went all in on the protests: Ravens, Browns, Raiders, Seahawks didn’t fare much better. When you take the focus away from doing your job and the other team doesn’t, you’ll have a hard time beating them.

  9. As a diehard Ravens fan I have always looked forward to the two (and sometimes more) Steelers/Ravens clashes each year. But all of this political posturing has made the game secondary, an after thought – even to the players!! Maybe I’ll spend some quality time with my wife 🙂

  10. Why is everyone overlooking the fact that it’s part of the coaches job to ensure his players are focused and ready for Sunday? I can’t help but think that Tomlin brought a lot of this on himself and the team by most likely making it a much bigger issue than it needed to be. As details trickled out after the game about the whole team meeting/decision making process/conversations that were had it became really clear very quickly that this team was NOT focused and ready for Sunday.

    That, my friends, falls directly on the shoulders of the head coach. As someone posted above, if you really wanted this to be a non-issue and stay out of it, you let them carry on business as usual. Address it, quickly, and make a point to your team that you’re going to carry on as a unit and not worry about this crap. He/They did the exact opposite of that.

  11. I would rather admit that I am fat and out of shape rather than admitting I am so mentally weak that I let peoples opinions distract and influence my play. At least fat and out of shape you can do something about.

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