PITTSBURGH -- No team knows drama quite like the Pittsburgh Steelers, who also know winning cures all.
But Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is more than a chance to get the first victory of the year. A convincing performance can drown out the noise from outside the locker room.
"It has to die," guard Ramon Foster said. "It will die out. We respond accordingly to what we need to do, and that's winning games."
The Steelers are rewriting the manual for how not to start a season. The All-Pro running back (Le'Veon Bell) is in South Florida. The All-Pro receiver (Antonio Brown) got disciplined by the head coach for missing work.
They have an ugly tie in Cleveland and an uglier loss to the Chiefs at home.
Offsetting last year's drama was a 13-win season. Without that luxury, at least for now, the Steelers want to let their play -- and not the storylines -- talk for them.
"You give them nothing, they have nothing," Foster said. "Way too much stuff going on not to learn from this. Nobody is invincible. Nobody is shunned from any bad things happening, whether that's on the field or off the field."
Added Foster: "We're good. It brings us tighter. It's talking points for those who have nothing to talk about that keeps the story going. We'll be better. We'll be absolutely great from it. Give it time."
The Steelers are moving forward with Brown, who told the media Thursday that he's upset by the losing, was excused for missing work and made a "stupid remark" by tweeting to a former Steelers employee suggesting a trade.
"Everyone in this locker room knows what I stand for, knows what I'm about," Brown said. "I'm committed to this program and this organization. I'm fully here. I go to work every day, about my business, and I don't take it for granted. My business is winning here. I come here to win. We ain't winning, you damn right I'm pissed off."
Several Steelers players validated Brown's words, saying they fully support their hardest worker. A bigger concern is a rebuilt defense that allowed 42 points against the Chiefs. The 2-0 Bucs are led by red-hot quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who leads the league with 819 yards.
The distractions coupled with the slow start on the field require supreme confidence to overcome them. That's why linebacker Bud Dupree has a message for skeptics.
"Keep that same energy when we're winning," Dupree said.