After an unnamed teammate blasted LaMarr Woodley in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, saying the linebacker was "awful" and out of shape, a popular motif explaining the fracture was that the Pittsburgh Steelers lost too many veteran leaders from the previous seasons.
One of those leaders -- Hines Ward, who retired after the Steelers decided not bring him back for the 2012 season -- told NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Friday morning that those quotes wouldn't have come out of the locker rooms he was part of.
"When you lose so much leadership in the locker room, that's when things present itself like that," Ward said. "Guys start finger-pointing, calling out other guys. That is not the Steeler way. We've always had a rule: We are a band of brothers. We've always collectively kept everything in house. ... But there was no finger-pointing and calling each other out. That's a total disarray, a locker room in disarray."
Ward's point is well stated. Safety Ryan Clark pointed out last week there were a lot of young players on the 2012 Steelers, which contributed to the lack of leadership and "fracture" in the locker room.
Losing also played a role in the "disarray" Ward mentioned. An 8-8 season was a disappointment for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. With a positive 2013 season on the field, the tone of the locker room is sure to change.
Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.