By Mike Bires Even if the 2009 Steelers don’t make the playoffs, it’s been a special decade for the Black & Gold. It’s the second-best decade of football since the franchise was founded in 1933. Only the “Steel Curtain” dynasty of the 1970s produced a better 10-year stretch. Think about all the outstanding players who’ve played for the Steelers during this decade. Jerome Bettis and Alan Faneca will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu could also make it to Canton someday. We’ve seen the great tradition of linebackers continue with the likes of Jason Gildon, the Steelers’ all-time sack leader, and Joey Porter, James Farrior and James Harrison. This week, nose tackle Casey Hampton was named to the Pro Bowl for a fifth time. We witnessed the end of Bettis’ remarkable run in Pittsburgh and Willie Parker’s amazing success story. ParkerRead More »
The Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders are expressing some interest in Steelers left tackle Marvel Smith. Both teams have demonstrated early interest in the former Pittsburgh Pro Bowler, who missed the final 11 weeks of the regular season and the playoffs this year after injuring a disc. Still just 30, Smith says that the problems, finally, have been alleviated. Source: Sportingnews
Free Agency begins on February 27th The Steelers have been involved in contract talks with James Harrison for about 7 days now. Reports indicate Harrison‚Äôs agent will meet with the Steelers at the combine. Talks with Heath Miller will begin in March once the Steelers priorities in free agency are taking care of. Miller is just as much of a priority for the Steelers as anyone. They have no intention of him entering 09 without a long-term extension. Jason Witten received a $6 year – $28 million contract a few seasons ago. Miller doesn‚Äôt put up the numbers Witten does but is regarded as the most complete tight end in the game. Here‚Äôs some new stuff on Nate Washington, Bryant McFadden and Penn State’s Derek Williams Steelers to meet with Drew Rosenhaus the agent for Bryant McFadden this week.
As expected the representatives for James Harrison and the Pittsburgh Steelers have begun discussions on a long-term extension for the star linebacker There hasn‚Äôt been any leaks yet on the numbers being discussed but it‚Äôs believed Harrison is seeking $20 million in guarantees. An Inside Look at previous deals top Linebackers have signed the past two years. In 2008, New York Jets signed Calvin Pace’s to a six-year, $42 million deal (about $20 million guaranteed). Pace, 27, recorded 80 tackles and 7 sacks in the first year of his 6 year deal. In 2007, the Miami Dolphins signed Joey Porter to a 5-year, $32 million deal ($20 million guaranteed). Porter, 31, recorded 47 tackles and 17.5 sacks in 08. Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, 27, (119 tackles, 4 sacks) seeking $20 million guaranteed) Harrison, 30, had 101 tackles & 16 sacks in the regular season for the Steelers. Pace, PorterRead More »
Few quick notes from Mike Tomlin’s press conference Injury Update: Brett Keisel is out, Marvel Smith is status quo. Tomlin said Bryant McFadden is close to coming back and Tomlin said Willie Parker continues to get better. Marvel Smith will not go on IR yet, as it seems Tomlin holds out hope that he will be able to contribute at sometime this season but it is very unlikely that Smith will play this season. Tomlin said the team needs to perform a bit better in red zone efficiency. Tomlin says the Steelers need touchdowns not field goals especially down the stretch. Penalties remain a problem according to Tomlin and that‚Äôs another area where the Steelers need to grow. Tomlin on Cowboys: Tomlin says the Steelers are a much better team than their record. Tomlin praised the offensive line, especially Max Starks who could be turning the corner.
Injury Report WR Santonio Holmes ‚Äì Concussion, Indications are Santonio will be fine Questionable CB Bryant McFadden practiced last week and will be reevaluated throughout the week. McFadden should be able to play RB Willie Parker ‚Äì Knee inflammation. Will be re-evaluated later in the week Doubtful CB Deshea Townsend ‚Äì Hamstring injury Out LT Marvel Smith ‚Äì Tomlin continues to label Smith as status quo DE Brett Keisel – MCL Sprain. Keisel will be out for multiple weeks Photo courtesy of SteelCityHobbies
Nate Washington entering the final year of his contract has 8 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games. Washington has responded to Mike Tomlin who challenged Washington to become more consistent. Regardless of how Washington plays the rest of the season, he is likely auditioning for a contract elsewhere. The Steelers remain very high on Limas Sweed and want to go into next season with Sweed as their #3. Keeping Washington around hinders Sweed‚Äôs development.