Inside Pittsburgh Sports NFL Rumor Mill
Defensive end Brett Keisel went through a full practice on Wednesday¬†and there is a strong chance that Keisel will return to the starting lineup on Sunday.
The 11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers are being mentioned as the favorites to come out of the AFC and this week they are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. On sale in newsstands this week
Pittsburgh Steelers starting safety Ryan Clark did not practice today and¬†has been¬†seen on crutches. A number of veteran players were limited today. Full Practice update later in the evening…….
Bryant McFadden and William Gay rotated with the first team today in practice. As I wrote on Wednesday, Gay is getting a strong look to start this week. Still appears that he could based on the rotation in practice. Willie Parker seems to be improving. His cuts are much more stronger than last week. Troy Polamalu has been receiving treatment all week on a sore calf. Remains a bit limited. No matter what he will play. Limas Sweed made some nice grabs in practice. It appears the coaching staff is slowing gaining some trust with him. I still think in the long run he is going to be a special player. As for the Cowboys Marion Barber (toe, questionable) missed practice for the third straight day Friday and will be a game-time decision.
Marian Barber downgraded to doubtful
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips told reporters today that RB Marion Barber was held out of practice for the third straight day due to his dislocated toe. Phillips said Barber is looking “more doubtful” to play Sunday against the Steelers. Source: NFL.com
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware who leads the NFL with 15 sacks did not practice yesterday and is not expected to practice on Thursday. The same for running back Marian Barber. Barber and Ware’s status for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh will not be known until Friday.
Bill Cowher to Detroit? Read more for the latest from TIOPS NFL Rumor Mill
Potential suitors: CLE, DET, SD, WAS?, BUF?
While the Cleveland Browns are believed to the early front runners in the Bill Cowher sweepstakes, rumors have been swirling that the San Diego Chargers and Detroit Lions are going to make strong pitches to lure Cowher to their cities.¬†Sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports the Lions are prepared to offer Cowher up to $10 million per season plus full control of personnel decisions. Two sleeper teams could be the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills. Both teams could make surprising coaching changes if their teams continue to fall in the standings. Redskins owner Daniel Synder offered the job to Cowher last season.
Sources indicate Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden is seeking a contract in excess of the five-year¬†- $22.5 million contract¬†that Ike Taylor signed in 2006. The contract included a $6.4 million signing bonus and while the Steelers have privately indicated that they will make an attempt to re-sign McFadden, it is likely that McFadden will test free agency. McFadden who has barely been a starter in this league is one of those players that could receive a big contract based on his potential.
The New England Patriots operate unlike any other organization and it is not without question that they will strongly consider keeping Matt Cassel as their quarterback of the future. Tom Brady who suffered a season ending knee injury in week 1 will be 32 years old at the start of the next season. It also not clear that Brady will be 100% at the start of the season.¬†Cassel a pending free agent could cash in with a Tony Romo type of deal according to sources. The Patriots will also have the option of franchising Cassel
There has still been no word from Steelers on how long defensive end Brett Keisel will be sidelined with a knee injury but a source tells me there is speculation that it’s believed Keisel will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a sprain knee and could return before the playoffs. Keisel is not putting up staggering numbers but in my opinion Keisel has played his best football of his career this season.
11/17/08 Steelers back in the market for a punter?
Expect the Steelers to explore the free agent market for another punter following Thursday night’s game. Paul Ernster is not working out and while it remains to be seen whether the Steelers will make a move by Tuesday, there is speculation that¬†they will bring in potential targets for workouts after the Cincinnati game.
Pregame.com, a site that provides information to sports bettors, estimated that $100 million was wagered worldwide on the game. Approximately 66 percent of that money was on the Steelers, according to the site.‚ÄúIf the touchdown was properly upheld, Steelers bettors would have won about $32 million instead of losing big,‚Äù Pregame.com President R.J. Bell said. ‚ÄúThis admittedly incorrect call resulted in a $64 million swing in favor of the bookies.‚Äù. San Diego Tribune
A strong finish this season could lead to a big pay day for Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel. Among the potential landing spots for Cassel could be the Minnesota Vikings. Pioneer Press
The Cleveland Browns could be active in the free agent market and may have their eye on the Baltimore Ravens to help bolster their linebacking corps. The Browns are believed to be very interested in Ravens linebackers Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott and they could pursue Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh — Cleveland News-Herald
Former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick has been linked to the Detroit Lions but in a conference call with reporters, Billick wasn’t tipping his hat. Billick told reporters, “I have a day job that I’m focusing on,” he said. “Out of respect for the situation, for me to comment on an interest or lack of interest in any job that currently has a coach is inappropriate. Those things will take care of itself after the season. Right now, I’m staying focused on my day job.” On a side note former Detroit Lions wide reciever Roy Williams predicts the Lions to go 0-16. Source: Detroit free press
Profootballtalk.com reports that Steelers left tackle Marvel Smith needs more surgery on his back and will be lost for the season. This should not come as any surprise because it has been widely speculated throughout the media that Marvel’s back injury was far more serious than Mike Tomlin was indicating. For now indications are Marvel Smith is currently seeking a second opinion before making a final decision on surgery.
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall who was courted by the Steelers among others has signed with the Washington Redskins. He has agreed to a 1year deal. Jay Glazer from Fox Sports is reporting, Hall signed with the Redskins because of the possibility of signing a long-term deal with them. Pittsburgh was only interested in Hall as a rental. From earlier. The Baltimore Ravens are a late team to join the Hall sweepstakes. The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants are strongly courting Hall. The Saints are believed to be on the outside in the Hall sweepstakes
There could be quite a few job openings following the season. Among them could be in Houston. Expectations were high for the Texans coming into the 08 campaign but currently with a 3-5 record, how they perform during the second half will likely depend on whether ownership brings back Gary Kubiak —Houston Chronicle
Interested: NE, PIT, WAS, NYG, DAL, NO
Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reports the Steelers are among a group of teams interested in DeAngelo Hall. While New England is being considered the favorite, Hall is looking to join a Super Bowl contender and will consider a short term deal with the idea of cashing in during the off-season.