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Steelers Blog

Busy day, but focus is on the Browns

Posted by Teresa Varley on November 20, 2012 – 8:07 pm

Tuesday was a busy day at the team’s practice facility, signing quarterback Brian Hoyer and receiver Plaxico Burress. But the focus still was squarely on this week’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Coach Mike Tomlin knows the Browns’ 2-8 record is not indicative of the talent they have or how they will play this week against the Steelers at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

They’ve been in some highly competitive games,” said Tomlin. “They beat Cincinnati, they were in the Indy game and the game last week went into overtime. Such is life in the National Football League. They’re a competitive bunch. They play for 60 minutes, we respect them and our focus is on our preparation and ultimately our play.

One of the main weapons the Browns have on offense is rookie running back Trent Richardson. When Richardson was drafted, Browns’ Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown was critical of the selection, saying “I’m not overwhelmed with it. The problem is that he’s ordinary. I think he’s ordinary.”

Richardson has been anything but ordinary for the Browns, leading the team in rushing with 670 yards through 10 games and scoring five of the Browns six rushing touchdowns. He also is the team’s leading receiver with 37 catches for 289 yards and a touchdown.

“I was hopeful that the legendary Jim Brown was correct in his initial assessment of Richardson but I am disappointed,” said Tomlin, knowing Richardson is someone the team will have to contend with. “This guy is a talented runner. He has great contact balance. He is strong willed. He is highly productive. He has a downhill run demeanor. He finishes off runs. He has soft hands. He is their leading receiver as well. He is their feature ball carrier.

“He really is just living up to the expectations that come with being as high of a draft pick that he is. He is good for them in all circumstances, first, second and third-down, short yardage, goal line and in the red area. I mentioned what he is doing in the passing game. That’s probably as surprising as anything to me. Obviously, I don’t spend a lot of time evaluating guys that go that high in the draft, based on where we picked in the draft. But I did get a chance to look at him and he is as good as advertised.”

* * *

The Steelers signed Burress after being impressed with his workout at the team’s indoor practice facility.

“He’s in really good physical condition based on the workout I just saw,” said Tomlin. “He’s got very good body control for a big man. He can drop his weight at break points. Obviously, he’s no stranger to football.”

* * *

Charlie Batch will start at quarterback against the Browns after Byron Leftwich was injured against the Ravens on Sunday night. Tomlin said there won’t be major changes in the offense to fit Batch’s style, just some minor things.

“The changes will be subtle and they’ll be made with an emphasis geared toward maximizing his strengths and minimizing his weaknesses,” said Tomlin. “We’ve got a great deal of confidence in Charlie. One thing that I can say about this quarterback situation, as uncomfortable as it may be or may appear to be, it is not something that we’re foreign to unfortunately. We’ve been as far as three and four deep in terms of playing quarterbacks in recent years. Definitely in ’09 and ’10.

“Those guys do an awesome job of rallying and answering the bell. We expect them to. So, we’re excited about him preparing and leading us this week.”

Posted in News, Player | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Busy day, but focus is on the Browns”

  1. By Mikey Newman on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Its a good thing to have Plax back, although he had issues when he was younger,he has matured into a good man and his past experiences will be very good for this team.He has kept up his conditioning and lets face facts, he is a very good reciever.As for the new quarterback from New England, i dont know much about him,but,Coach Belicheck must of seen something in him to keep him around as long as he did. He is one of us now, and we must stand behind him. Go Steelers, we are not done yet!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. By Kevin on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    I’m glad that Charlie Batch is starting against Cleveland. Unfortunately, he should have also been starting last week against Baltimore. Had he been the Steelers would almost certainly now be 7-3 and tied for first place instead of 6-4 and in danger of not making the playoffs. The loss to the Ravens can be laid very squarely at the feet of Mike Tomlin…


  3. By Will on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    I am not sure that releasing Baron Batch was a great idea as our running back situation is not ideal at this time. I have some reservations with the signing of Plaxico, I hope that he has changed his selfish attitude and comes to practice and play without the big ego. I am disappointed that he was signed.

  4. By Nick on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah.. good sign for the Steelers and Plaxico…Look, we may just have to look at the season as good enough to get the 5th or 6th spot in the playoffs…then get hot in January which we are TOTALLY capable of(I prefer us as underdogs anyway). Pittsburgh can beat and challange any of these AFC opponents (A Denver away game scares me still) but they can certainly compete against all the NFC contenders such as the Falcons,Bears,Giants,Packers and 49ers. Last weeks loss hurt, but these Steelers gotta find there heart and move forward which I as a fan have confidence they will do! Go Steelers Baby!!

  5. By Woody Mc on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Agreed the B-more loss lies at the feet of the coaching staff. I don’t mind the Plax signing but I think if we were going to bring a guy in it should have been Hines if for no other reason leadership in the WR corps get Wallace head in the game this year with the drops and the 3 point give away fumble.

  6. By jay on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Hines? what was he gonna give this team? he couldnt get open last year (though i love him, but im glad he retired) Plax was a great signing it give us sure hands in the red zone & with his height teams have to respect it. We lost as a team last week, Tomlin wasnt on the field on that sp teams return, nor did he make wallace fumble, he did what he thought was best for the team. Leftwich practiced all week with the 1st team, maybe batch wasnt as prepared.. As “fans” u support when we are winning but point the finger when we lose. When it comes to my steelers keep your mouth shut if not part of the solution….

  7. By jay on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    I trust coach tomlin & his decisions as i always trust this organzation. we will get it together & be in the playoffs, get ready

  8. By ted on Nov 21, 2012 | Reply

    Can someone explain why we didnt call back QB Jerrod Johnson?
    6’5″ 251 played great for us in the preseason and even better knows the playbook. Have no clue who this hoyt is but i know he doesnt have any chemistry with the team or know the play book. If Charlie goes down we are going to be in serious trouble. For red zone purposes plax was a good option, might have had that touchdown against the Ravens.

  9. By J.N. on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    It’s great to see that Plax is back! :) I would like to know what is going on with Big Ben? Will he be playing anymore games this season? I sure hope so! I am a die hard Steelers fan win or lose but want to see more wins that losses. And last week’s game was awful in terms of all of the incomplete passes! And there were MANY! :( I am getting REALLY frustrated!

  10. By J.N. on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    Oh and P.S. I think it would have been GREAT if they could have brought Hines back too! :)

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