By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers had a glorified walkthrough for a regular Wednesday practice leading up to Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Rams at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field, James Harrison appeared to have an edge. No, the Steelers veteran outside linebacker wasn’t hitting every player that came in his area, but Harrison practiced with a purpose. And his two-minute talk with the media afterward was short and sweet as well. Yes, Harrison definitely is ready to come back after his one-game suspension for an illegal hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, and while he watched parts of the game Monday night it wasn’t the first time he watched the Steelers on television. And it was no more difficult than the four games Harrison missed earlier this season due to a fractured orbital bone. But don’t expect him to be angry.
Through eight games and coming off of a dominating win against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago on national tv, the Steelers were 6-2 and back in the mix as one of the elite teams in the NFL. Two weeks later that’s no longer the case. After two straight losses at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals and the lowly Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champs have fallen to 6-4 on the season. They are still in position to earn a playoff berth as 66% of teams who started 6-4 have made the playoffs since 1980, but the Steelers week 12 matchup against the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens will be the key point in the season as to whether the Steelers have it in them to right the ship and get back to being among the NFL’s best teams. A loss doesn’t kill the Steelers chances of earning aRead More »
Spend a couple days in the Steelers locker room and it is easy to tell which players have rabbit ears when it comes to media feedback. Take Ben Roethlisberger this week for instance. The Steeler QB usually acts as if he never reads a paper, hears a talk show, or sees a TV sportscast. He loves to act as if he is above such action. After all, he IS Ben Roethlisberger. Why does he need to see or hear what people say about him? And frequently, when Roethlisberger is asked about something that was said or written in the media, he acts as if he has no idea what you are talking about. Yet Ben also frequently throws media speculation, prediction, and hype back in the faces of reporters during his weekly media confrontations with scribes and mich jockeys at the UPMC Southside complex. Funny how you can do thatRead More »
By Mike Bires Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports LATROBE _ Isaac Redman is fast becoming “Mr. Touchdown.” In Thursday’s 20-10 preseason win over the Arizona Cardinals, he scored both of the Steelers’ TDs. Then during a seven-play goal-line scrimmage Sunday, he got the ball on all seven plays and scored on five of them.
By Mike Bires For the past 12 days, the Steelers have been hard at work trying to build the foundation for another championship team. The process continues Thursday with the first of four pre-season games. Here’s a position-by-position look at how the Steelers shape up at this stage of training camp: QUARTERBACK Barring the signing of Michael Vick (very unlikely), everything is set. Ben Roethlisberger has clearly established himself as an elite QB with two Super Bowl titles in his first five pro seasons. As far as the battle for the back-up job, it’s still Charlie Batch. That may change pending the performances in the pre-season games. But Dixon has done nothing at camp to threaten Batch’s hold on No. 2. As far as Vick, who’s shopping for a team after his 23-month prison term for his role in an illegal dog-fighting operation, his name has been linked to theRead More »
By Dale Grdnic Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports LATROBE, Pa. — While there was no goal-line drill, the estimated record crowd of 15,000 to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers Friday night at Latrobe High School’s Memorial Stadium were still thrilled with every pass in the 11-on-11 drills and the hard-hitting backs on backers competition. Steelers coach Mile Tomlin, however, was a little more critical.
By Mike Bires James Harrison didn’t want to talk to the media Wednesday. He’s apparently tired of explaining why he’s not accompanying his teammates to the White House on Thursday. The star linebacker probably also wanted to avoid questions about his uneasiness when flying in an air plane. That angle was brought up in some media reports Tuesday when trying to figure out why Harrison was so adamant about skipping the ceremony with U.S. president Barack Obama. But some of Harrison’s teammates just laughed when asked if Harrison really is afraid of flying. “Yeah, when we fly, he closes his eyes,” tackle Max Starks said tongue-in cheek. “Really, no, he’s not afraid of flying. He’s just fooling you guys (in the media).” Actually, Harrison never said he’s afraid of flying. But someone from the Steelers’ organization told a handful of reporters Tuesday that Harrison is terrified when he has toRead More »
Quarterbacks 7 Ben Roethlisberger 3/3/2008: Signed an eight-year, $102 million contract. The deal contained $33.2 million guaranteed, including a $25.2 million signing bonus. Also included is a clause forbidding Roethlisberger from participating in hazardous activities. 2009: $4.75 million + $3 million roster bonus due in March | 2010: $8.05 million | 2011: $11.6 million| 2012: $11.6 million | 2013: $11.6 million |2014: $11.6 million | 2015: $12.1 million, 2016: Free Agent 2 Dennis Dixon 7/7/2008: Signed a three-year, $1.28 million contract. The deal included a $130,000 signing bonus. | 2009: $385,000 | 2010: $470,000 | 2011: Restricted Free Agent | Free Agents 4 Byron Leftwich 16 Charlie Batch