Colon says Kugler has never said a word to him about playing guard


By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — The Pittsburgh Steelers moved practice back an hour Thursday to accommodate a vote by the players, as the new CBA appears to be ratified. Practice is now set for 4 p.m. at Saint Vincent College. The delay also gives players a chance to vote on the new CBA. With all 32 teams conducting a straw ballot today, the NFL’s new calendar year should begin at 4 p.m. today. Once the new CBA is ratified, all the veteran free agents who approved new contracts can begin practicing. There have been 15 players affected on the Steelers who could not practice until today. All teams also must be in compliance with the NFL’s salary cap by 4 p.m. “I guess you could say training camp officially starts today because we can get all our guys back,” Steelers wideout Hines Ward said. “We were really looking forwardRead 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 »

Sweed expected to join Roethlisberger for workouts


Sweed to join Big Ben Wide Receiver Limas Sweed, the Steelers 2nd round pick in 2008, is fully recovered from a torn Achilles and is expected to join Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for workouts in the “immediate future”, a league source tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports. Various Steelers receivers have joined Roethlisberger for workouts over the past month and Roethlisberger also reached out to the underachieving Sweed who believes that he’s still in the Steelers plans for 2011. Sweed will be given a chance to earn a roster spot but he’s one of those players who needs a training camp to show that he has his head on straight and is ready to turn the corner. With the lockout, there’s no certainity there will be training camps this summer. “His competition is getting stiff, ” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told the Tribune-Review in February during the “Coaches Lunch” at theRead More »

Taylor had no intention to reach deal with Steelers before CBA deadline


Steelers Free Agency Buzz The Pittsburgh Steelers, as expected, did not reach a deal with cornerback Ike Taylor before yesterday’s deadline and once a new CBA is in place, the Steelers No. 1 cornerback will become a free agent. Following a meeting between high powered agent Joel Segal and front office executive Omar Khan at the combine, what’s been relayed to me for over a week now is that Taylor expressed to the Steelers that he has all intentions on testing the free agent market. Those in the media calling Taylor re-signing with Pittsburgh a slam dunk due to Taylor wanting to stay in Pittsburgh, are said to be a “bit too optimistic” on that front. The cornerback position has become a premium in the NFL with over 8 cornerbacks making at least $9 million in 2010 (including all bonuses). So where does Taylors future in Pittsburgh stand? In 2006,Read More »

NFL: Hampton seeking more than $9.5 million in guarantees


Off-season Buzz The Steelers focus will quickly turn towards defensive tackle Casey Hampton in the coming weeks and to some extent right tackle Willie Colon, who the coaching staff regards as the Steelers best offensive lineman. Hampton, 32, is coming off his best season of his career and is in line for one last pay day. The Steelers did not make an offer prior to the 2009 season but have had a change of heart and will make Hampton a priority. The pressure will be on the Steelers lock up Hampton to a long-term deal before free agency begins. “If they let me get to free agency, everybody knows what it’s going to be,” Hampton said in September. “There ain’t nothing to even talk about.” The easy avenue for the Steelers to explore is putting the franchise tag on Hampton but sources indicate Hampton’s representatives have made it known thatRead More »

Tuesday Practice Report: Ike Taylor and William Gay took plenty of reps with the first-team defense


By Inside Pittsburgh Sports PITTSBURGH _The mood these days in the Steelers’ locker room reflects the team’s state of affairs. “Gloomy,” tackle Willie Colon said. A four-game losing streak and a 6-6 record is obviously reason for disappointment. So, too, is the announcement from coach Mike Tomlin that he may shake up the lineup. But according to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, it’s time to move past Sunday’s embarrassing 27-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders and start focusing on getting back on track.

Day After: The Latest Steelers Buzz


*Much of the buzz surrounding the Steelers going into week 6 was who would start at running back. As expected Rashard Mendenhall started and got the bulk of the carries. Moving forward the starting job is Mendenhall’s to lose. Mendenhall gives the Steelers offense another dimension with his pass catching and blocking ability and the coaching staff wants Mendenhall to be their lead runner. His type of running style suits the kind of offense Bruce Arians wants to run. In Mendenhall’s three starts, the Steelers have scored 93 points. Willie Parker though has been a very important part of the Steelers franchise the past 5 seasons. He’s been their starting tailback for two Super Bowl winning teams. He won’t be pushed aside nor should he. If healthy, Parker will still play a key role for the Steelers this season. He will just have to make the most of his opportunities.Read More »

Steelers blank Bills 17-0


Pittsburgh 17 – Buffalo 0 Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports In their most important game of the preseason, the defending Super Bowl champions put on a dominating performance in the first half. Ben Roethlisberger went 15-of-19 for 168 yards and James Farrior had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Buffalo Bills 17-0 Saturday night. Post-Game Observations

NFL: Steelers to begin negotiations with Max Starks next week


Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned the Steelers top priorty will be starting left tackle Max Starks this off-season. Starks, 27, Signed a one-year, $6.895 million contract last off-season and many fans questioned the signing as Starks opened the season on the bench. After starting the Steelers final 13 games (including playoffs) at left tackle, Starks is the Steelers top priority as the team has a late start on their off-season planning after winning Super Bowl XLIII. The Steelers are expected to begin negotiations with Starks representatives next week in the hopes of signing Starks to a long-term deal before free agency begins on February 27th. Expect the Steelers to make an initial offer in the range