Media Day Buzz: Starks goes off on commissioner Goodell

Here are some notes from media day today:
Aaron Smith says his triceps injury has shown marked improvement. He may get another MRI tomorrow and is still holding out hope of playing Sunday in the Super Bowl vs. Green Bay.
Max Starks went off on the commissioner in a one on one discussion with me today. He claims Roger Goodell is not telling the whole truth to Peter King (regardless of the partial retraction from King late last night regarding Goodell’s assessment of NFL players refusing to back Ben Roethlisberger before the commish levied his suspension).
According to Starks, the commish refused to even hear questions from a select group of Steeler vets back in August. He called Goodell’s quotes…

“a ploy” to “weaken the Steelers before the biggest game of the year.” When Goodell visited the camp in Latrobe, Starks claims the NFL overlord refused to talk about the labor situation or Roethlisberger’s pending suspension. His only agenda appeared to be the selling of an 18 game season.
The injured offensive tackle also admits that a lot of the team was aware of the King story yesterday, and that they were all talking about it in anger. Starks used the phrase “pissed off” to describe the reaction of Steeler players and “disrespectful” to describe the commissioner.
Starks emphasized his point by saying he hopes Goodell “will eat humble pie” and hand Roethlisberger the MVP on Sunday. Starks then followed up by saying that the second best option would be if James Harrison won the award, since “he basically paid for it” with the fine money Harrison forfeited. This interview will air in its entirety on 105.9 the X at 8:35 am Wednesday morning.
Terry Bradshaw says he and Ben Roethlisberger met and patched up their differences in the wake of frequent criticisms the Hall of Famer has made towards Big Ben. Bradshaw apologized to Roethlisberger for any hurt feelings. But he refused to apologize for making the statements in the first place since Bradshaw insists that’s part of his job. Bradshaw also says he’s not sure about who would win a match up of this Steeler team and his Steeler teams, but he guaranteed his Steeler teams would’ve beaten the Packers of the 60’s.
Hines Ward claims he wasn’t at a Dallas area strip club Monday night. Such a story ran in the Dallas Morning News Tuesday. It claimed Hines, Ike Taylor and “some linemen” attended “Make It Rain” Monday at a local Gentleman’s establishment. Ward insists that is untrue. He did say he hit the town, but wouldn’t say where. Ward pointed out Coach Mike Tomlin had no curfew Monday night. And Hines insists he was home by 11:45 pm anyway.
– Injured Center Maurkice Pouncey was at Media Day without crutches and in a walking boot.
– Once again today, injured safety Will Allen says he “absolutely has to play” Sunday. But he didn’t sound as optimistic as he did after the Jets game about being able to suit up in Dallas thanks to his knee injury.
– Injured corner Bryant McFadden described himself as “going on half a tank of gas” during the AFC Championship game. He is still fighting to recover from a strained abdominal injury which likely won’t be healed by Super Bowl Sunday.

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Tim Benz

TIOPS Columnist

Tim Benz can be heard on the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network post game show and M-F 10-1 on TribLive Radio

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