Linebacker LaMarr Woodley is accustomed to football season extending beyond the 16-game regular season schedule. Only once during his six-year career had the Steelers missed the playoffs, that being in 2009, and if you asked him a few months ago he would never have thought this year would be the second time it happened.
“We are not used to it, but we put ourselves in the situation so we have to deal with it,” said Woodley. “It’s frustrating knowing you had every opportunity to put yourself in a good position to be in the playoffs and you weren’t able to.”
Woodley said he can look back at different games, different plays, throughout the season and see what happened, see why the team is where they are today, particularly some of the games early in the season.
“We were giving up too many big plays early in the year, plays that went 30 or 40 yards for a touchdown,” said Woodley. “Those plays hurt us. We gave up too many of those and were counting on the offense too much to bail us out when usually we take care of business.”
The Steelers have one last chance to take care of business on Sunday when they host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. It will be an opportunity for them to show that no matter the scenario, they aren’t about to give up.
“We know what we are capable of. We know the talent we have here,” said running back Jonathan Dwyer. “To be where we are is upsetting. Letting games slip away from us on stupid mistakes makes you want to do better.
“It’s motivation for this week. You want to prove yourself each and every day you step on the field. This week we want to prove ourselves and finish on a good note.”
All week players have been hearing the talk that the game doesn’t mean much because there are no playoff implications. But for men who know what it means to wear the black and gold, there is plenty on the line. Most notably pride.
“I think it’s definitely pride and wanting to end the season on a positive note,” said Dwyer. “The season didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but I think the best thing is to end in a good way to give us momentum heading in to the next year. You want to take it personal, make sure you do what you have to do and get the win for our team and our fans.
“You don’t want to go out on a down note. The fans here deserve a win. Winning is a good way to go out. You want to end the season on a good note.”
The Steelers will face a long offseason, one that will bring changes to the makeup of the team like every offseason does. And this week could be one final time to play together, and you can bet they are going to put it all on the line.
“The guys you have been lining up with, worked all year with, you get to go out there with them again,” said receiver Jerricho Cotchery. “The reality is you might not line up to that guy again. You appreciate those moments and go out there and give it your all for them, the fans and this organization.”
Tags: Jerricho Cotchery, Jonathan Dwyer, LaMarr Woodley
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While much of the talk about the Philadelphia Eagles centers on quarterback Michael Vick, the Steelers receivers know it’s their defense, in particular their cornerback tandem, they have to worry about this Sunday at Heinz Field.
Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are two of the best in the game, and having to deal with both of them is going to be no easy task.
“They present very good challenges, very tough,” said Jerricho Cotchery. “Both guys are going to be in your face the whole time. Nnamdi is pretty aggressive at the line. He is a guy that has been making plays in the league for a long time now. He is a good corner. Rodgers-Cromartie is an athletic guy, great ball skills. When the ball is in the air you have to attack it because he is going to attack it. They are very good on the outside. They have a very good secondary in general.”
The Eagles secondary is aided by their big guys up front who can put pressure on the quarterback, not allowing much time for the receivers to get open.
“They are good at playing man coverage and you have guys who can rush the passer up front,” said Cotchery. “You have to do what you know how to do as an offense, everyone doing their job and taking care of their responsibility. There isn’t much time to get done what you want to get done. They have benefitted from that the first few games.”
That pass rush is led by defensive end Jason Babin, who leads the Eagles with two and a half sacks, and fellow end Trent Cole who has added one and a half sacks.
“That is the big part of this week’s game plan, us versus those cornerbacks because of their front,” said Mike Wallace. “They get off so fast we don’t have much time to run our routes. We have to be precise and get open and be right on our screws. You have to get moving and get open.”
Wallace said he likes the challenge of going against the top corners in the game, something that brings out the best on both sides.
“Any time you go against a group like that you want to get the best of them,” said Wallace. “We definitely are going in with a pride factor.”
Tags: Jerricho Cotchery, Mike Wallace
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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.
Tags: Jerricho Cotchery, Ryan Mundy
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When the Steelers reported to training camp a week ago one of the big questions was who is going to replace Hines Ward as the leader among the wide receivers.
The answer is simple – Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery began to step up as a leader last year, but after Ward retired this offseason that role elevated. One thing Cotchery knows though is the best way for him to be looked upon as a leader, is to produce on the field.
“I think the leadership is not taken seriously unless you’re making plays,” said Cotchery. “I’m going to go out and I’m going to work and I’m going to show up every day. Hopefully the guys will see that.
“It’s all about winning a championship and what are you doing to help this team get there. I just want to hold up my end of the bargain showing up to work every day and making plays. If the guys see that maybe they’ll want to hold up their end of the bargain as well and that’s how we’re going to accomplish our ultimate goal.”
Cotchery signed a one-year deal with the Steelers after training camp started in 2011, but re-signed this year before the offseason programs began, giving him time to work with his teammates throughout and it’s helped tremendously.
“Last year I was just trying to figure everything out,” said Cotchery. “I was trying to meet people within the organization. Last year things were just moving so fast. We had an offseason this year to get familiar with the guys. They get familiar with me. That happened throughout the season, but that offseason work, you can’t replace it.”
Tags: Jerricho Cotchery
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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
Posted in Injury Report, Live @ 4, News, Playoff Diary | Comments Off | Print this Post
WR Jerricho Cotchery
Re: Ben Roethlisberger’s return from injury in the second half
“I told him I’m happy to be his teammate. He’s a warrior in every sense. He’s going to go out there and lay in on the line for his teammates and he came back in and did a great job for us.”
What happened on your touchdown?
“They played a lot of zone tonight. On that play, I was just trying to find a hole. Ben [Roethlisberger] came up in the pocket and drew the guys to him a little bit. He found me in the open and I was just trying to protect the ball and get into the endzone.”
Tags: Jerricho Cotchery
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Only four players did not practice on Thursday, including WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring), S Troy Polamalu (rib), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee), and LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring).
Linebacker James Harrison was limited with what was listed as a toe injury. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester returned for a full practice.
Tags: Arnaz Battle, Emmanuel Sanders, Hines Ward, James Harrison, Jerricho Cotchery, LaMarr Woodley, Stevenson Sylvester, Troy Polamalu
Posted in Injury Report, News | Comments Off | Print this Post
Emmanuel Sanders had his knee scoped on Monday and Coach Mike Tomlin said it was deemed a success, but could miss a couple of weeks. Daniel Sepulveda also underwent surgery on Monday.
Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has swelling on his knee and might be limited in practice early in the week.
Hines Ward appears to be doing well with concussion-like symptoms. He will be assessed again on Wednesday, but should be okay to go this week.
James Harrison had no issues coming off of his injury and LaMarr Woodley and James Farrior will be evaluated this week.
Tags: Emmanuel Sanders, Hines Ward, James Farrior, James Harrison, Jerricho Cotchery, LaMarr Woodley
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