Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown and former running back Jerome Bettis are both in the running for the Madden NFL 25 box cover.
In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the “Madden” video game, the cover has 32 current players going against 32 legends of the game, with all teams represented.
In the first round Bettis is up against former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin, while Brown goes against New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Voting is now open at Madden NFL 25.
Tags: Antonio Brown, Jerome Bettis, NFL Madden 25
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Steelers’ players have the next four days off for their bye week, giving several who are ailing a chance to get healthy. Among those the team hopes to get back on the field after the bye are linebacker James Harrison, safety Troy Polamalu and running back Rashard Mendenhall.
“It would help,” said linebacker LaMarr Woodley, speaking about Harrison and Polamalu. “Those are our key guys. That makes a big difference for the defense. Having them back will be great for our defense. The bye week is always great. Having a few injuries, Troy and James, gives guys time to heal up and rest and come back and play.”
Harrison was on the field for the first time on Tuesday, but didn’t participate on Wednesday. Polamalu worked on both days.
While both players are expected to make an impact upon their return whenever that might be, their teammates also know they can’t depend solely on them to turn things around defensively.
“We have to get them back out there,” said safety Ryan Clark. “But I don’t think it’s fair to put that much pressure on those guys to say you are why we are not playing well. You can’t say the standard is the standard and say we aren’t playing well because they aren’t there. You can’t do that. The guys who are on the field need to perform.”
Mendenhall has been practicing regularly, even getting more physical contact for the first time last week. With the running game not getting in gear yet, having him back soon would be a welcome addition.
“Rashard is one of the best in the league,” said wide receiver Mike Wallace. “When you get a guy back like that who is very explosive, has really good feet, a lot of vision, it’s going to boost our team.”
The Steelers take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7 at Heinz Field and getting any or all three of the injured players back for that game is something teammates are hoping for.
“You get a player like Rashard back, James and Troy and that will provide us a spark,” said wide receiver Antonio Brown. “They are key factors on our team and provide us an opportunity to win games. It will be great to have them back and this gives them time to recover.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Mike Wallace, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu
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When most of the Steelers’ players looked at the timing of their bye week, coming after just three games, they had some reservations about it being a good time or not. But now that it is here, the timing is just about right.
“At first when I looked at the schedule I thought it was early,” said running back Isaac Redman. “But we are pretty banged up. It will be good to have this week off and get everyone back for the Eagles game.”
It’s a perfect time for players to heal physically, but to also think about things and what they can do to get back in the win column.
“I think we need the time to evaluate ourselves mentally,” said linebacker Larry Foote. “We need to get away and individually we need some soul searching, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Guys need to pick it up, look at themselves in the mirror and see what we can do.”
Foote expects everyone to come back after the bye recharged and ready to turn things around starting Oct. 7 against the Eagles.
“We have had bad games, but not this early in the season, especially the last game when the offense was on fire and we couldn’t get off the field,” said Foote. “I trust these guys will get it right. I know the character of the guys and the coaches that we will get it corrected.”
He isn’t the only one who feels that way. Receiver Antonio Brown knows it’s frustrating going into the bye weekend with a losing record, but knows the team has the heart and talent to change that.
“We will pick it up,” said Brown. “We are going to get better. We will get guys back after the bye week.
“We are 1-2 and that is not where we wanted to start, but we still have a positive outlook and I think we will be fine.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Isaac Redman, Larry Foote
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The Steelers are no stranger to playing games in primetime, and as always players are pumped to be center stage when they travel to Denver for NBC’s Sunday Night Football this week.
“You have to love it,” said Antonio Brown. “All of your peers are watching; all football fans are all watching. It doesn’t get any better than Sunday night. Everyone is watching. It doesn’t get any better than opening the season there.”
And when the bright lights are on, everyone wants to shine.
“You play the game for these big-time games,” said Emmanuel Sanders. “That is what we live for, everyone is watching and they are watching to see the Steelers win.
“I have grown up on big time players doing big time things in big time games. Everybody wants to be that guy that makes the game winning catch on national television.”
The Steelers have had success in primetime under Coach Mike Tomlin, with a 19-7 record, including 10-4 on the road and 8-5 on Sunday Night Football.
“I love football in general, but to start the season off primetime, Sunday night, the whole country watching is what you want,” said Ryan Mundy. “It’s a big game for us and an opportunity to start our season off right as we try to pursue our goals for the 2012 season.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Ryan Mundy
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The Steelers practice facility was buzzing on Tuesday with Mike Wallace back in the fold, ending his holdout that covered the team’s OTAs, minicamp and training camp.
And those happiest to have Wallace back were his fellow wide receivers.
“Everyone is excited around here just to get him back,” said Emmanuel Sanders. “The dimension that Mike brings to the offense is the speed. He takes the top off the coverage for us.
“He is a big time playmaker around here. He has been doing that the past three years. We are excited to get him back. He is the last link for us to take off.”
Antonio Brown was energized to have Wallace back, knowing it helps the offense overall to have the speedy receiver as part of the arsenal.
“It definitely helps everyone’s cause with a guy like Mike, taking the top off defenses,” said Brown. “It opens us up. Mike can do so many things to get us open, draw coverage, help us get open underneath. It allows so many other things and options.
“It’s something special, knowing we have our guy back. We all need him here, working together, moving on in the right direction and chasing the Lombardi. He is going to be a key role in that.”
Another person who is going to benefit by Wallace’s return is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, giving him another weapon on the field.
“To have him here is another piece of the puzzle that completes it for us,” said Roethlisberger. “He is a fast guy that stretches the field for guys and gets other guys open and makes big plays for us.”
Wallace will have some catching up to do, but his teammates are happy to make sure he is right on schedule for opening day in Denver on Sept. 9.
“We are going to do the extra things we need to do to make sure he is ready,” said Brown. “If that is stay out after practice, we will do the necessary things to make sure when we go to Denver we are ready. It’s going to take a little bit of time and studying but that is why he is here. It’s just fun to have him back and see if we can get off to a great start.”
Wallace can’t practice for three days, ruling him out for the preseason finale against Carolina on Thursday night, and giving him only a week to prepare for the Denver game. But teammates are confident he will be ready.
“I feel like he is going to do everything necessary that he has to do,” said Sanders. “The coaches are going to work with him hard to get him caught up.
“It’s a new playbook. There are some similar things he will be able to pick up on. He is not familiar with the concepts, but he will get caught up fast and coach will do an exceptional job getting him caught up. I think he will be ready by Denver. No question about it.”
There was no dissension among the ranks, with the players understanding Wallace’s situation and welcoming him back with open arms.
“We understand. That is the business part,” said Sanders. “We missed his personality in the offensive room. Ever since I have been here he has been in that meeting room. It’s been different, but everyone is glad he is back. The Young Money Crew is back. We are looking forward to that. It’s going to be fun.”
And speaking of fun, right after Wallace arrived at the facility linebacker James Harrison had some fun snagging Wallace for the first exclusive interview, which he posted on his Twitter account, @jharrison9292.
“We are friends before anything else and he wanted to talk to a friend first, so I was there for him,” said Harrison. “We talked a little bit and then he gave me the first exclusive.”
Don’t look for Harrison to change professions and join the media ranks, though.
“I don’t like putting cameras in people’s faces,” said Harrison. “It’s not me. But you have to first hear it from James Harrison.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Emmanuel Sanders, James Harrison, Mike Wallace
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Wide receiver Mike Wallace arrived at the Steelers practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex shortly before lunchtime on Tuesday, and his arrival is something that had his fellow wide receivers smiling.
“It’s something special, knowing we have our guy back,” said Antonio Brown. “We all need him here, working together, moving on in the right direction and chasing the Lombardi. He is going to be a key role in that.”
Wallace, who held out all of training camp, can’t practice immediately but is expected by many to be ready for the Denver game on Sept. 9.
“He is going to have to be ready,” said Brown.
Wallace will be talking after practice on Tuesday, and you can watch what he had to say on today’s edition of Steelers.com Live at 4 p.m.
Tags: Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace
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Much of the talk on Monday was about when wide receiver Mike Wallace will report, with speculation being that he could be with the team as soon as Tuesday.
“It definitely could be tomorrow,” said wide receiver Antonio Brown when directly asked if that is when Wallace will report. “I’m looking forward to seeing him, even though he has to wait three days to practice. Hopefully, we can keep him after practice and run a couple sprints and get him on board and all hands on deck for this journey we’re about to embark on.
“He’s excited. It’s special to be here and he knows that. He appreciates everything and he’s excited to get back. He’s ready to get back to work and ready to embark on a championship. This is where the journey begins.”
Brown said Wallace, who has yet to sign the one-year tender the team offered him, brings another dimension to the offense and his presence will be felt.
“A player like Mike is so explosive and gets so many things done,” said Brown. “You need a guy like that on your team. It’s amazing when you can get him lined up on the other side and you know what he is capable of. It’s a great thing to have him here.”
If Wallace does report on Tuesday he will not play against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night and can’t practice until next week, in time to prepare for the regular season opener against the Denver Broncos.
“I’m excited for my guy to come in, get back on the same page and get working together towards something that’s special,” said Brown. “He brings a lot. He’s another great, big-time player. It’s going to be special to get him in, see where he’s at, and get him on the same page.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace
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On the offense hitting its stride with the no huddle in the last minutes of the first half:
“I just started calling my own plays. We went no huddle and up-tempo and we were throwing the ball. We moved it down the field 98 yards on that last drive.”
On the first touchdown pass to Antonio Brown:
“We had a slow start on offense. We just couldn’t move the ball. I knew that we would be okay and that we would move the ball. We got down there and he made a great play.”
On what he saw from the Bills defense:
“They are a good defense. They obviously have some high profile guys that are good players and they wreak havoc on you. It is not like we screwed because we just screwed up, they are good players that contributed to us screwing up.”
On the offense recovering from a slow start:
“A little adversity. It is all about how you respond to adversity. I think we did a good job rallying back towards the end of the half. Guys stepped up and that is what you need on the team.”
On scoring three touchdowns in the last two games:
“It is about being on the same page. I continue to work on my craft. I continue to get better. I continue to think about what the quarterback is thinking and get in his vision and get an opportunity.”
On his first touchdown tonight:
“It was all Ben. I came out of my break with a little stumble and Ben still put the ball where I could make a great catch. It was a great throw by Ben.”
On his second touchdown tonight:
“He threaded the needle and hit me right in stride. It was a great throw by Byron Leftwich.”
On what he saw from the defense tonight:
We had a slow start for sure, but we finally got in our groove. We knew it was going to be a secondary challenge. We know those boys like to throw the ball. And they have got some good receivers so we just wanted to take on the challenge and finish off strong. We did good for the most part, but we definitely have room for improvement.
On how the defense forced two turnovers tonight:
We feel like when we are on the same page, all eleven guys, we are hard to stop. Like I said earlier too, it took us a while to get started but once we finally settled in we were doing what we needed to do.
Tags: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Ike Taylor
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Bringing you the latest pictures from camp.
Tags: Antonio Brown, Brett Keisel, Chris Hoke, Curtis Brown, David DeCastro
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During a break in a recent practice, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and wide receiver Antonio Brown went over to one of the practice fields that wasn’t in use, and spent about 10 minutes together, talking, working on routes.
“We were just going through the mindset of what he is thinking,” said Brown. “He is a great offensive coordinator and we were going over some things that can make me better, things I can add to my arsenal to make me better.”
Brown said that although they didn’t spend a lot of time working one-on-one, the time they did have was valuable.
“It definitely helps,” said Brown. “If you are on the same page thinking what your offensive coordinator is thinking, he understands what you are doing it’s perfect. Being on the same page and working together as a corporation is a key on a team.
“We have been talking a lot about developing some of the routes. Having a moment with him where we can just talk about our thoughts was really good. I learned a lot from that little bit of time.”
Brown said that he feels comfortable in Haley’s offense and with Mike Wallace still not in camp he is ready to do whatever is asked of him.
“No matter who is here, or not, I have to be available, willing and capable to come through in situations for the team,” said Brown. “We can only focus on who is here right now and what is important.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Todd Haley
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Antonio Brown might be the happiest player in Steelers training camp after signing a five-year contract extension, but quarterback Byron Leftwich isn’t far behind as he is thrilled to see Brown get the new deal.
“We all know he means a lot to us,” said Leftwich. “He is a unique talent, a real good friend of mine. I knew him before we drafted him. I am happy for the kid. When you do things like that you should be set for life. We know what type of player he is. We know he is going to work his butt off continuously. He has earned everything he has gotten.
“His energy, his hunger to be great is special. You have people with talent that don’t work as hard as him. He has always worked extremely hard to be one of the best in the game. He is hungry. That is what we see every day. I am happy for him, for the person Antonio Brown. I know what it means to him.”
Leftwich also is happy as one of the Steelers quarterbacks having a young, talented receiver locked up for the long-term.
“To be able to throw to people like that is great,” said Leftwich. “To be able to have people like that is special. Those types of stories when you see someone work that hard and they get to this point it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Byron Leftwich
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With Hines Ward retired and Mike Wallace having yet to sign his one-year tender offer, receiver Antonio Brown is going to get even more attention on the field and the reigning team MVP has his sights set on improving this year.
“You want to be more consistent,” said Brown. “You always want to take it to the next level every year and definitely want to be better, more precise and more accountable.”
With each practice Brown feels more comfortable with the team’s new offense, and like many of his teammates, is ready to put it to the test.
“I’m ready to see how it all fits,” said Brown. “Get a real fit now that everyone’s geared up and see how it all comes together. It’s kind of similar. It’s a lot easier to understand. It’s a lot simpler.”
Brown knows he could be the go-to guy for the passing game if Wallace doesn’t sign by the start of the season, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to continue to be a part of the return game.
“Whatever the team needs me to do. I’m always open and will always be available to do whatever they need me to do,” said Brown. “I did it all last year and I’m looking forward to the opportunity this year.”
Tags: Antonio Brown
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Receiver Emmanuel Sanders plans on doing typical workouts this offseason, with a minor twist.
“I was talking to the trainers and I am probably going to do a little dancing,” said Sanders. “Really just rest, that is what it needs, and to use my bone stimulator every day. Just get the bone stronger and take calcium and things of that nature. “
Sanders said he plans on getting together with fellow receiver Antonio Brown to do the dancing, something the two feel will help them.
“Me and Antonio have talked about linking up in Miami and doing that,” said Sanders. “I don’t know. He actually brought that idea up. It’s good for you.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders
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Friday, January 6
The outpouring of concern from Steelers fans regarding running backs coach Kirby Wilson is greatly appreciated. Steelers’ president Art Rooney II issued a statement regarding Wilson.
On the football side of things, cornerback Cortez Allen (shoulder) and running back Mewelde Moore (knee) have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Broncos. Center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) is listed as questionable, missing practice for the second straight day on Friday.
LB James Harrison (toe), DE Brett Keisel (groin), G Doug Legursky (shoulder), S Troy Polamalu (calf), QB Ben Roethlisberger (ankle), T Jonathan Scott (back),and LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) are all probable for the game and were all full participants in practice on Friday.
Pouncey and Polamalu both received good news as they were both named to the AP All-Pro first team.
Friday was declared “Black and Gold Day” by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald. There is plenty of black and gold on display by the Steelers staff, and a rally in downtown Pittsburgh brought out hundreds of Steelers fans.
The team had an early practice on Friday and former Steelers wide receiver and Hall of Famer Lynn Swann stopped by the take it in, talking with young receiver Antonio Brown for a few minutes on the sideline.
During the open locker room session after practice a reporter said to Hines Ward, “Everyone forgets about their defense, it’s overshadowed by the Tebow-mania.” Ward quickly corrected him.
“Who forgot about them,” asked Ward. “We didn’t forget about their defense. You guys can talk Tebow all day, but offensively I look at that tape and their defense is solid. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us.
“They play well at home. Their crowd is going to get into it. It’s an important game.”
Brett Keisel’s beard is one that has become legendary, but he isn’t the only one who has been growing some facial hair. Punter Jeremy Kapinos has a beard as of late, something he started to grow when the Steelers played the San Francisco 49ers and has kept since he has been punting well – and he likes the low maintenance aspect of it.
“I looked back at pictures from the Super Bowl last year and thought if it worked then, I should keep it,” said Kapinos. “I am a big comfort guy. It helps keep me warm. It’s comfortable when I put the chin strap on. It’s low maintenance. I don’t have to do anything in the morning. It feels good.”
While he likes the beard, he said no way is it anywhere close to what Keisel has.
“It’s like night and day,” said Kapinos. “He gave us all shirts with his on it. I will never get to that level. Right now I just have a little baby beard.”
When asked about the Steelers record on the road this year, which is 5-3, Max Starks joked saying the team only lost once on the road since he was re-signed by the Steelers.
Starks knows, though, that the challenge of going on the road in the playoffs is a tough one but is hoping the Steelers experience will benefit them.
“I think this group is battle tested,” said Starks. “This is where experience pays off, in the playoffs. It is single elimination football now. I think we have enough veterans in this room that have been in the playoffs and on the road in the playoffs that know how to handle it. I think the younger guys lean on us for experience. We have had our bumps and bruises and we have had a lot of rotation at a lot of different positions. This has set us up for this opportunity. If some guy goes down, every guy on our team has just about some type of starting or special teams experience this season. There is really not a guy on the active roster that doesn’t.”
Antonio Brown and Lynn Swann
Steelers equipment packed and ready to go to Denver.
Cam Heyward was a guest on Steelers.com Live @ 4 this week with Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley.
Jeremy Kapinos growing beard
Marcel Pastoor helps to stretch Heath Miller
Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark
Tags: Antonio Brown, Hines Ward, Lynn Swann, Max Starks, Steelers Injury Report, Steelers Playoff Diary
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Thursday, January 5
The news of the day came from the injury report following practice, with CB Cortez Allen (shoulder), LB James Harrison (toe), DE Brett Keisel (groin), RB Mewelde Moore (knee), S Troy Polamalu (calf), and C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) not practicing.
Pouncey said his ankle started bothering him again after practicing this week.
“I practiced the other day and toward the end I got sore,” said Pouncey. “Today, I came in and my ankle was real sore, so I don’t know what the turnout is going to be. Right now, I’m not practicing.
“I’m aggravated with it. I’m kind of stressed about it. I mean an injury prolonged this long is aggravating. Hopefully, I can push through it and see how this week goes.”
There was some good news, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) was a full participant in practice along with G Doug Legursky (shoulder) and LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring), both practicing for the second straight day.
On the fun side, another college bowl game, another day of bragging rights for a Steelers linebacker. This time it was Mortty Ivy who was sporting a West Virginia sweatshirt and boasting about his Mountaineers victory over the Clemson Tigers at breakfast on Thursday morning.
But there was one player who wasn’t so happy with the Mountaineers 70-33 Orange Bowl win – receiver Tyler Grisham. Grisham went to Clemson and wasn’t too happy he had to wear a West Virginia t-shirt courtesy of Ivy.
“It’s pretty painful, mainly because I have to wear it for three days,” said Grisham. “It’s an hour spurt here and there. Actually the West Virginia emblem is a little small so I can hide it with my backpack or jacket or something. It’s not too bad. But I would have liked to have given him the Clemson shirt to wear.
“I would have given him an extra small to wear, which would have been worse. I am wearing a 3XL and I look like a little child.”
Jerricho Cotchery is a newcomer to the Steelers, but not to the post-season. As a matter of fact when he was with the New York Jets he lost to the Steelers twice in the post-season, including the AFC Championship game last year at Heinz Field.
During his Steelers Speak interview, where he opens up about a lot of topics and can be seen by clicking on Steelers Speak, I asked Cotchery if coming to Pittsburgh is a “if you can’t beat them, join them,” scenario.
“It may be a little of that,” laughed Cotchery. “I just know that these guys know what it takes to get to the Super Bowl and to win. There are a lot of veteran guys, veteran leadership. There are a lot of guys that got a lot of experience last year, even the young guys. There are guys that know what it takes to get there and win it. My rookie year was a bad experience coming here and the kicker missing two field goals. Last year was even tougher losing the AFC Championship game. I am happy to be here, I am happy to be with this team.”
Cotchery also talked about what makes the Steelers a special organization.
“It’s just a true family atmosphere. That is the thing I see,” said Cotchery. “Everyone looks after one another. There is no one that is bigger than the family. Every guy is approachable, you can speak to everyone. There are no egos. It’s just a true family atmosphere. It’s unique.”
To watch the complete interview and learn a lot more about Cotchery, click on Steelers Speak.
Injured running back Jonathan Dwyer was at the practice facility on Thursday and instead of wondering “what if” in regards to him getting more playing time if he were healthy, he instead was feeling bad for Rashard Mendenhall.
“I am sad about what happened to Rashard,” said Dwyer. “He was doing well. He has been healthy the majority of his career. I hope he heals as fast as he can so he can be the player he is. Hopefully the guys who are out there now take advantage of the opportunity.”
Former NFL safety John Lynch, who played for the Denver Broncos and also the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Mike Tomlin was the secondary coach there, was at the Steelers facility today interviewing Tomlin and linebackers James Farrior and James Harrison.
Lynch chatted with me for a bit about Tomlin (you can read what he said about Tomlin by clicking here), but he also talked about the atmosphere in Denver, where he still lives.
“There hasn’t been the excitement about being in the playoffs because more people are talking about them backing in,” said Lynch. “I was a part of a Denver Broncos team that watched a sixth seed Steelers team come in and beat us in our place. I think you get in that tournament and special things can happen. I wouldn’t count them out and being around these Steelers, I know they aren’t.”
Jerricho Cotchery getting ready for Steelers Speak interview.
Antonio Brown is surrounded by the media.
And then turns the tables as he does a weekly feature for Steelers Live @ 4. Brown interviews Ramon Foster, who holds a fake dog, as Brown has a fear of dogs.
Brown interviews Emmanuel Sanders….
…and then Sanders takes the mic.
The Steelers secondary was presented a cake for being the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL.
Safety Ryan Clark took control of a camera before practice, taking pictures of Mike Wallace.
The finished product – Clark’s photo of Wallace
LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons before practice
Tags: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Jerricho Cotchery, John Lynch, Jonathan Dwyer, LaMarr Woodley, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Tomlin, Ryan Clark, Steelers Injury Report, Steelers Playoff Diary
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Wednesday, January 4
Cold. That is the only way to describe how Wednesday started off. Very, very cold with the temperature only 14 degrees as players made their way in to the team’s practice facility.
The talk at breakfast was Michigan’s win in the Sugar Bowl the night before, with Larry Foote proud of his school.
It was a good day for safety Troy Polamalu who was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Browns, an honor that was announced at the start of the team meeting.
Polamalu came up big with an interception of Seneca Wallace and had a tackle of Wallace or a loss.
The Steelers also made a roster move in the morning, activating running back Chad Spann from the practice squad for depth at the position. In a corresponding move linebacker Chris Carter was placed on injured reserve. Carter has been battling a hamstring injury. Running back Albert Young was also added to the practice squad.
A big topic of conversation in the locker room at lunch time was Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, with the horde of media on hand asking every player – both offense and defense – about Tebow, from his style of play to his faith – something that wide receiver Antonio Brown respects him for being vocal about.
“That is what it’s all about,” said Brown. “A guy like him displaying that is something special about his will and showing his true character. We are all different. But at the end of the day we both possess a strong will and great faith. Guys like that you respect, strong will and great faith.”
Brown, a devout Christian, lives by the motto “Chest up, Eyes up, Prayed up,” in his daily life.
“That’s my motivation,” said Brown. “I’ve been using that since I was a kid. I pride myself on believing that if I keep my chest up and my eyes up, and I remain prayed up, I have what it takes to move forward and get the good out of any situation that may hinder me.”
Another player who was hit up with a lot of questions about Tebow was Maurkice Pouncey, who played with him at the University of Florida. Pouncey has plenty of respect for Tebow, but his focus is on the Broncos defense.
“They have a great defense,” said Pouncey. “We have to get ready to play against these guys.”
There were large crowds around many players’ lockers, with local media joined by national media including ESPN, NFL Network and the New York Times. Among those drawing crowds were Ben Roethlisberger, Isaac Redman, Brett Keisel and Mike Wallace, who is ready to get going on Sunday.
“I have been caged in for about six or seven weeks,” said Wallace. “I’ve got to get loose. I’ve got to come out here and set the tone for my team and do my part to help the team get back to the championship.”
Running back John Clay is getting his share of attention this week as well as he will be the one to give Redman a spell.
“I am looking forward to showcasing my talents and helping the team out any way I can,” said Clay. “I just want to do my best.”
Clay has come a long way in the last month, going from practice squad to playing in his first post-season game.
“Everything is happening so fast,” said Clay. “Four weeks ago I was on the practice squad and not worrying about suiting up for Sunday and all of this happened and I am preparing myself for Sunday. I have been preparing from the beginning as if I was playing. Coach (Tomlin) always told me get ready like you are playing every Sunday. I already had that mindset.”
The cold temperatures forced the Steelers to go inside for practice, where the atmosphere was light beforehand but then got down to serious business.
On hand watching practice was Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and PNC Bank President Sy Holzer, who visited with Coach Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert.
The Steelers injury report from Wednesday had five players that did not participate at all including CB Cortez Allen (shoulder), LB James Harrison (toe), DE Brett Keisel (groin), RB Mewelde Moore (knee), and S Troy Polamalu (calf).
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) and center center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) were both limited in practice.
A good sight was linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) has a full participant in practice along with guard Doug Legursky (shoulder).
Brett Keisel was busy during the media session
Roethlisberger surrounded by media
Chris Hoke chats with Steve McLendon in the weight room
Chad Spann, John Clay and Mike Tomlin at practice
Chilling out before practice starts
Photographer Karl Roser taking headshots of those new to the roster
Who is that wearing No. 86 – not Hines Ward. See if you can take a guess.
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Tags: Antonio Brown, Chad Spann, Chris Carter, Clint Hurdle, John Clay, Larry Foote, Maukice Pouncey, Tim Tebow, Troy Polamalu
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