NFL: Steelers officials fear Ben will be out close to 4 weeks?


FEAR OF SIGNIFICANT INJURY COMING OUT OF STEELERS HEADQUARTERS Based on early diagnosis, the Pittsburgh Steelers know they will be without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday’s showdown with the Baltimore Ravens. What the team expects to learn this afternoon is how much longer after this week. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, an MRI taken last night has revealed that Roethlisberger has a sprained right shoulder that Steelers officials fear could sideline him for close to four weeks.

Steelers – Tuesday: Player reactions to replacement refs; Ben talks use of “old playbook” & more buzz


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Jerricho Cotchery fell asleep during the Monday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and host Seattle Seahawks and woke up just in time to see the home team be awarded a victory due to a questionable call by the referees. The game might have seemed like a dream to Green Bay’s players and fans, but the result certainly was a nightmare. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone as time ran out. Several players, including Seahawks wideout Golden Tate and Packers safety M.D. Jennings, jumped in an attempt to catch the ball. Replays showed that Tate clearly shoved Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. No pass-interference penalty was called. Tate and Jennings both got their hands on the ball, but it appeared that Jennings had more of it. The referees ruled thatRead More »

NFL Playoffs: Eight Steelers – Broncos Early Storylines


NFL Playoffs Wildcard Round Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos, When: Sunday, January 8, 2012 | TV: CBS Steelers – Broncos Early Storylines 1. Experienced Steelers: Pittsburgh the defending AFC Champions have reached the Super Bowl in two of the last three seasons, while Denver is in the playoffs for the first time in six years and backed into the playoffs, losing three straight and being outscored 88-40 during that span. 2. Turnover Tebow: The Tim Tebow magic has been gone of late and the Broncos on defense have regressed in the past couple weeks. Tebow and the Broncos hosts the defending AFC Champions who boast the No. 1 ranked overall defense and No. 1 pass defense in the NFL. Tebow has posted a quarterback rating under 40.0 in his last two games and finished 6 of 22 for 60 yards, averaging 2.73 yards per pass with 1 interception and aRead More »

Steelers – Tuesday: On lack of aggressiveness defensively, where has Timmons explosiveness gone & offensive road woes


Steelers – 49ers Fallout — The Pittsburgh Steelers know they squandered a tremendous opportunity last night and you could see it on Mike Tomlin’s face today during his weekly press conference. Tomlin is taking a lot of heat for poor clock management and how he didn’t step in and take Ben Roethlisberger out of the game in the 4th quarter when things were out of reach. “He’s a competitor and I’m not going to deny those guys those opportunities,” Tomlin said today on Roethlisberger’s gutsy performance. “I think his teammates have an appreciation for that and that’s how we’re built.” Tomlin said today that “he never considered” taking Roethlisberger out of the game. [instory] — Offensively, the Steelers moved the ball against San Francisco but what’s been a common scene on the road is the inability to capitalize and put points on the board. The Steelers had drives of 51Read More »

Wednesday Practice Notebook: Essex preparing to make 1st start at LT since 07 wildcard game


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — In a conference call with the Houston media Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked how the club remains successful even though they’ve had to bring in a couple guys off the street to plug into the offensive line. Roethlisberger laughed at the question and told the Steelers media about it.

Steelers – Wednesday: Weighing in on the Stagnant Running Game


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Running back Rashard Mendenhall is tied for 23rd in the NFL with 148 rushing yards in three games, a 3.0 average per run and just one touchdown, and the Pittsburgh Steelers hold the same ranking in team rushing. Sure, it’s just three games, but this is a marked difference from past years when the Steelers have been rated among the NFL’s best rushing offenses, while Mendenhall has been near the top as well. He had 1,108 rushing yards (4.6 average) and seven touchdowns in 2009 and 1,273 yards (3.9) with 13 scores this past season. Other than the obvious, that the Steelers offensive line has been ravaged by injuries and the play has been sub-par at best, some believe that Mendenhall isn’t running as hard as before. The running back disagreed. “The run game is a lot bigger than one person, the offensive line orRead More »

Steelers – Ravens: What We Learned


Steelers – Ravens Post Game Buzz The Steelers didn’t get the memo that the preseason ended. The Ravens pounded the Steelers in all three phases and until today, the Steelers were never so physically dominated on both sides of the ball ever in the Mike Tomlin era. The shocking part wasn’t that the Steelers lost in Baltimore but just how they took such a beating and showed no emotion defensively. However, more shocking wasn’t the enept play from the defense, but the performance from the offense that was clicking on all cylinders in the preseason, and just had no continuity on Sunday afternoon. To no surprise, there is a panic from Steelers fans and NFL pundits are clamoring on the Steelers age factor. The good news for the Steelers is that they get Seattle at home next week, followed by Kerry Collins and the Indianapolis Colts in week 3 beforeRead More »

Steelers/NFL Tidbits: New NFL Labor Deal said to be 3-4 weeks away


NFL Labor Talks Significant progress has been made between the NFL and players association and all signs are starting to point towards the two sides reaching an agreement before July 15th, which has been the date many presume a new deal would need to be in place for training camps to start on time. With the lawyers taking more of a back seat, a deal is getting closer but still weeks away. One member inside the Steelers organization told me today the feeling around the league is that an “official” deal gets done soon after the July 4th holiday. Some Steeler tidbits….. *Through back channels Ben Roethlisberger is said to be pushing extremely hard for the Steelers to retain close friend Willie Colon. Back in the good graces of the organization, Roethlisberger’s opinion matters on things once again. Fans never want to believe it but there’s a lot of scoutsRead More »

Roethlisberger enters the playoffs as a different quarterback on the field


By Tim Benz It’s Steelers/Ravens: Round 3. So pick your cliché! “Throw out the records…It’s Armageddon…What else do you need to say…It’ll all come down to turnovers…” Well, if we threw out the records, they wouldn’t be in the AFC Championship game. It’d be a pre-season game. If it’s Armageddon, then next week’s likely trip to New England becomes a bit anti-climactic, doesn’t it? And if there is nothing else to say, then this would be a pretty short column So let’s pay attention to the turnover thing. And that’s actually a positive point when it comes to the Steelers, particularly Ben Roethlisberger. The Steeler quarterback has thrown a meager five interceptions in his twelve starts this year. In fact, his lone pick since November 14th came against these Ravens during their Week 13 match up. That’s an astonishing one interception in 231 pass attempts. Keep in mind, he’s sameRead More »

Ravens – Steelers Week: Mike Tomlin Presser Notes


By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — As expected, the Baltimore Ravens dominated the discussion during Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s press conference Monday, as the two AFC North opponents meet Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Heinz Field. “It’s great to be back in the single-elimination tournament,” Tomlin said. “Of course, it’s also great to be part of the remaining eight teams. Our goal, like everyone else’s, is to move on to the field of four. “I feel good about the work that we’ve done to this point preparing for this opportunity. The Ravens, we’re familiar with them, and they’re familiar with us. So, nothing much has changed since the last time that we played them.” Since the NFL merger in 1970, the Steelers have never lost to a divisional opponent in the playoffs. They are 8-0 against those teams, and the Steelers also are 8-1 in their last nine wild-card orRead More »