Enjoying a four-course meal at an upscale restaurant is not something that happens often for inner city school students, but on Monday night it did for some football players from Perry Traditional Academy, part of the Pittsburgh Public School system, thanks to the efforts of Steelers Chris Carter and Jonathan Dwyer.
The high school players took part in a mentoring session that Carter and Dwyer hosted at Capital Grille in Pittsburgh, rewarding them for their achievements on and off the field and providing them encouragement to continue to become better individuals and athletes.
“It was for kids from the inner city schools who might not be as privileged as others,” said Carter. “I grew up like that so it hits home with me. They are going through some things and sometimes they don’t have the resources or the people to talk to, sometimes you don’t know anybody who is in the situation where you want to be.
“Growing up I had big dreams to be in the NFL but I didn’t have anybody to talk to. I remember how much I would have appreciated someone mentoring me, giving me advice and guidance. That is what we are trying to do, help these kids by talking about relationships, family, school and dedication to their sport. All of that is necessary to get to this level and contribute to their success. We want to give them something to think about.”
Dwyer and Carter let the young men ask them whatever questions they wanted, and they were able to answer them from someone who was once in their shoes.
“It was an opportunity for us to spend time with kids who look up to us for guidance and want a role model to help them,” said Dwyer. “It was a chance for us to give advice to these kids. I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet guys at the level I am playing at to get their advice and sit down and meet with them and get that extra edge to live my dream as well.”
While they shared the hard work and dedication it took to get to where they are today, the players were also forthcoming sharing some of the pitfalls along the way, assuring them that while you might stumble, you can always get back up again.
“We opened up and let them know we are normal people and you just have to work hard to get to where you are,” said Carter. “But the biggest thing is them understanding we made plenty of mistakes and you can rebound from them. You are never stuck in a situation, you can always get out. Coach (Mike) Tomlin tells us all of the time how do you get out of a hole. The first step is to stop digging and the second step is to stand up. You are never stuck in a situation. There is always a way out.
“That is what we wanted to get across to them. They might not have the support they need, might have different distractions, everybody lives a different life, but there is still a path for them to get to the top and get to where they want to be.”
Tags: Chris Carter, Jonathan Dwyer
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Several Steelers’ players were cooking up a storm on Friday, not to feed their teammates, but instead to help women who are either in treatment for breast cancer or are survivors so they can learn more about the importance of proper nutrition as a part of their treatment.
Tackle Max Starks and linebackers Chris Carter and Marshall McFadden helped prepare a meal at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s “Cooking and Eating for a Healthy Life” class.
“It means a lot to be here,” said McFadden, who was first up making a pan seared chicken panini. “It’s great to come out in the community and show love and your sense of humor so hopefully you can make them feel better. Plus, football players are competitive so you give them any kind of task and they think they can do it. It’s fun going up there and showing I have a mixture of skills.”
Carter’s cousin and aunt and Starks’ mom are breast cancer survivors, so taking part in the class was special for them as well.
“It means everything to me because my family that experienced this is very close to me,” said Carter. “They have been there for me and for me to support something that affects them means a great deal. I am in a position where I can affect others in a positive manner, so why not take advantage of it.”
The players also prepared pumpkin chili and quinoa pudding with pistachio, pears and dark chocolate, all which they served to the ladies after making it.
“The patients idolize the Steelers,” said Judy Herstine, administrator of women’s cancer services at Magee Womens Hospital. “Nutrition is important to everyone and they can show with humor that you can make nutritious, healthy meals with fresh ingredients quickly. It’s great, the patients love it and I think the Steelers enjoy as well.”
The Steelers will celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month when they host the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field on Oct. 7 and the most noticeable aspect will be players wearing pink apparel, from sideline hats, to shoes, chinstraps and more.
“It’s important to promote early detection, making sure you take care of yourself and knowing the proper steps if you do find something,” said Starks. “I am glad the NFL takes this initiative. I look forward to wearing the pink stuff during October to show my support for everyone, more so my mom.
“It’s important to give back. My mother is now 21 years in remission and she is still around because people cared to help her through the process so it’s my duty to give back.”
The group all took part in a pink Terrible Towel twirl after the class ended, which was special for Elissa Ashwood of Pittsburgh who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.
“It was moving to hear the players talk about their personal relationship with cancer,” said Ashwood. “You forget how many people are affected. It’s nice to know they are doing something positive.
“Support means everything. That is why we are wearing our Steelers stuff, because we support them. To feel like our favorite sports team is supporting us is awesome.”
* * *
In support of the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the Steelers will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month during the team’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7. The 2012 campaign, A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives, is targeted at encouraging annual mammograms for women over 40.
The Steelers will be selling breast cancer awareness merchandise at the game and through the team’s online store. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research.
Breast Cancer Awareness elements will be seen throughout Heinz Field, including special game balls with pink ribbons, pink coins for the coin toss, pink apparel worn by players including cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, chin straps and quarterback towels. In addition coaches and sideline personnel will wear special hats.
Breast cancer survivors will be honored at the game and every fan entering Heinz Field for the game will receive a pink Terrible Towel, sponsored by Ford and UPMC Cancer Centers.
Ford and UPMC Cancer Centers will also be presenting a check to the Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh Affiliate.
On Saturday, October 6th the Steelers will be a sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, starting at the North Shore Riverfront Park across from Heinz Field. Individuals can take part by calling 1-800-881-2345 for more information.
Heath and Katie Miller will host Bid For Hope XI on Monday, October 29 as they raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer through the Glimmer of Hope Foundation. For more information visit Bid For Hope.
Tags: Chris Carter, Marshall McFadden, Max Starks
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Show taping takes place at Heinz Field in the FedEx Great Hall
Doors Open at 5:30 p.m., show taping begins at 6:30 p.m.
Kids under age 12 are free, all others $5.00.
Two shows are taped per night. Parking available in lot Gold 1A.
The McDonald Steelers KidZONE Show airs Sunday mornings
at 10:30 A.M. on The Pittsburgh CW.
Show begins airing on Sunday, Sept. 16 through Sunday, Dec. 30
Once guests are known for each show we will publish them on this page.
Tuesday, September 4 - Jerricho Cotchery and Ryan Mundy
Tuesday, September 11 – Baron Batch and Cortez Allen
Tuesday, September 18 – Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Carter
Tuesday, September 25 -
Tuesday, October 2 -
Tuesday, October 16 -
Tuesday, October 23 -
Tags: Chris Carter, Jonathan Dwyer
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The talk at training camp on Wednesday was about James Harrison’s left knee after he had arthroscopic surgery on it.
One player thrown into the spotlight if Harrison is out for any amount of time is second-year linebacker Chris Carter.
“The standard is the standard,” said Carter. “I have a lot to live up to. I am going to try my best and hopefully get to where James is at.”
Carter, who said he was pleased with his performance against the Eagles, doesn’t doubt his ability to get the job done
“I am the last person to ever doubt my size especially when it comes to the run,” said Carter, 6-1, 248. “I’ve been doing a good job so far during camp and in preseason games. I have to continue to build on it. The one thing about Coach (Mike) Tomlin and Coach (Keith) Butler is that we never get satisfied, ever.”
Like everyone else Carter doesn’t know how long Harrison could be sidelined, but said the offseason helped prepare him for this after not having an offseason his rookie season because of the lockout.
“I expect James to be at full health and in the case that he is not I am more than willing, able and ready to stand up and take that job that day,” said Carter. “Coach (Dick) LeBeau and the rest of the defense have done a great job of prepping me to be able to take care of the responsibility I need to when I am on the field.
“I wish the best for James. He is a great asset to the team. With him out there our defense is unstoppable. But I believe in myself as well and my abilities and I can still get out there and hold things up.”
Carter is having a strong training camp and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s represented himself well not only since he’s been here but he had a very productive offseason, OTAs and minicamp,” said Tomlin. “He’s a second-year player, a guy that has to take that step in the manner in which we challenge all our second-year players. So far, he’s accepting that challenge.”
Carter hasn’t talked to Harrison about the injury, which has had him on the PUP list since camp began, and he doesn’t know how long the recovery will take.
“I don’t ask him about it,” said Carter. “He is a consummate pro. He knows how to deal with that and get his body in perfect condition. I am sure he is going to come back as soon as possible, as soon as he feels ready.
“Until then I am just going to take care of my business.”
Tags: Chris Carter, James Harrison
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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.
The Steelers.com Live @ 4 Team on air on Wednesday. Check it out daily for the latest news.
Tags: Antonio Brown, Chad Spann, Chris Carter, Clint Hurdle, John Clay, Larry Foote, Maukice Pouncey, Tim Tebow, Troy Polamalu
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Ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Rams are: CB Curtis Brown (knee), RB Mewelde Moore (knee), C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), and WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot).
Questionable are: LB Chris Carter (hamstring), QB Ben Roethlisberger (ankle), LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring)
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Carter, Curtis Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, LaMarr Woodley, Maurkice Pouncey, Mewelde
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As expected Ben Roethlisberger missed practice on Thursday with an ankle sprain. Also missing practice were: LB Chris Carter (hamstring), T Marcus Gilbert (illness), S Troy Polamalu (hamstring), C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), and WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot).
Two players were limited in practice – WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and CB Curtis Brown (knee
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Carter, Emmanuel Sanders, Marcus Gilbert, Maurkice Pouncey, Troy Polamalu
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With injuries at linebacker piling up – including LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior and James Harrison being limited in practice on Wednesday – some young players need to be ready to step up if needed on Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.
“I am excited,” said rookie Chris Carter. “If I get the opportunity to go out there again, I will be ready for it.”
Carter knows that while he is excited, he will have to be sure not to get too hyped up for a game that has first place in the AFC North on the line.
“That is the great thing about getting experience in the last game and the games prior to that,” said Carter. “You get that out of your system. It helps to have a great supporting cast, James Harrison helping out, LaMarr Woodley, Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu. They have been like big brothers to me. They all have been helping me out and assisting me.
“When you get out there and have guys like that supporting you it takes a lot of the nervousness out of it because you have good people backing you up.”
Tags: Chris Carter
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