Kovacevic: James, JuJu pivotal in truest sense


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The Nation as a whole went wild at the Ben Roethlisberger viral video a week ago, the one where he was winging the ball to James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster and a couple others. And not without cause.

Funny thing, though: Ben still won't be their most pivotal player in 2020.

I always apply that term, pivotal, in its most literal sense. If something's pivotal, it can pivot or swing or fluctuate in one direction or the other. Also, per Merriam-Webster's primary definition, it's "of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else."

That's not Ben. Not when twinned with the literal sense. Because Ben's going to be fine. His talent, drive and intangibles are richly established. His surgically repaired elbow comes with an equally rich prognosis, as do all such procedures. The elbow's not a complex body part, as any orthopedic surgeon will attest. Any premature fear on either front is unfounded.

So no, barring something unforeseen and fluky, Ben's not pivotal. He's a known commodity, as is his status.

But James and JuJu?

They're as pivotal as pivotal gets. Both of them. In every sense.

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