The offseason refrain heard in Pittsburgh includes repeated overtures regarding an improved locker room experience and how the Steelers are gelling now that certain ex-teammates are gone.
Coach Mike Tomlin, however, knows we won't truly know the state of a team until it's deep in the fire.
"You can't judge chemistry or culture until you're faced with adversity," Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "At this time of the year all 32 teams are undefeated and unscored upon. There was some good teaching and learning. The journey itself is the indicator of that, some of the adversity the journey provides. Obviously, when you're in a training camp-like setting, and it's highly competitive and physically and mentally challenging, that will be the first real adversity this team sees."
Perhaps the Steelers locker room is a more peaceful place at the moment, but things could go sideways if losses mount. Tomlin knows this. Trading Brown and watching Bell walk always came with risk. It might make the locker room better, but talent drains on the field can take their toll on any serene situation. Time will tell whether the changes were worth it for Pittsburgh.