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Tag:Pittsburgh Steelers
Posted on: August 30, 2010 1:38 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.30.10 decisions decisions decisions

Posted by Andy Benoit

One ESPN writer thinks Shanahan can’t be serious about McNabb sitting out Week 1.

The Lions plan on doing what most teams do when they get overwhelmingly insecure about their linebacking depth: sign Rocky Boiman.

It’s hard to picture the Bucs keeping Michael Clayton in 2010, though the underachieving veteran wideout is confident he’ll remain with the team. Clayton hasn’t played much this preseason, but Raheem Morris tends to sit his veterans in August more than most head coaches.

The Cardinals will apparently consider intangibles when making their quarterback decision – whatever that means.

The Panthers defense has performed well this preseason...does it matter?

How about the Panthers offense scoring zero touchdowns in 42 possessions so far this preseason...does that matter?

There is still plenty of competition for the kick return duties in Dallas.

Who else found themselves kind of wishing that we’d get at least one look at the gash in James Farrior’s head Sunday night? The Steelers linebacker did a good job covering it up (though it was impossible to hide all the excess blood).

New England’s young defensive backs are getting some help from the veterans.

The Broncos weren’t exactly thrilled with James Harrison’s hit on Kyle Orton.

And, even better, James Harrison doesn’t exactly care. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Harrison said of Orton, “"He was running his mouth and getting in the way of the train. And the train wasn't coming off the track. (Orton) was popping off down there the first time they were about to score. So you run your mouth, expect to get something. Everything's between the lines, so he got what he had coming."
 

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2010 2:50 pm
 

Roethlisberger 5-game suspension a hoax?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Earlier we reported that Mike Wise of the Washington Post says, from what he’s hearing, Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension will be reduced from six games to FIVE games.

Now, we pass along this tweet from Michael David Smith of Fanhouse: “Mike Wise of the Washington Post is bragging on the radio that he picked up Twitter followers by fabricating a story.”

MDS had a second tweet shortly after: “What Wise did is worse than what Cowlishaw did. Cowlishaw made a mistake. Wise intentionally misled.”

At this point, it's hard to say what is what. Is Wise making a bad joke on Twitter? A bad joke on the radio? No joke at all?

The story will sort itself out -- likely by the end of the day, and definitely by the end of the week. Roethlisberger is scheduled to meet with Roger Goodell after the Steelers’ final preseason game Thursday.

Because Goodell has publicly praised the suspended quarterback, saying he has done more than what’s been asked of him the past few months, many observers believe Roethlisberger’s suspension will be reduced to four games.

A five-game suspension would, in a small way, be an admonishment of Big Ben.

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Posted on: August 30, 2010 12:08 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 12:15 am
 

Burning questions revisited

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

D. Dixon didn't do himself any favors Sunday night (US Presswire). Earlier this evening, we presented three burning questions the Steelers and the Broncos would face when they met at Invesco Field. After Denver finished off a 34-17 win, we have a few more answers (which are in bold).

Steelers

1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why? I still don’t know the answer, but I’ll tell you this: Dixon lost any chance he had to be a starter by tossing two interceptions and showing his inexperience and poor decision-making.

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams. He had some good moments against Williams and some bad moments where he allowed the Broncos to penetrate the backfield and get pressure on Dixon. But overall, this is a move that should work out well for Pittsburgh.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight. Of course, he played. No surprise there. He was workmanlike with 28 yards on five carries before calling it a night. But the breakout RB belonged to Steelers rookie Jonathan Dwyer, who recorded 89 yards and a score on just 13 carries while looking strong on one play and fast on the next.

Broncos

1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass. Dwyer was awesome tonight, though it came mostly against second and third-stringers. Still, the Broncos allowed 175 rushing yards on the night. Obviously, that’s not what Denver’s coaches wanted.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup. No, he didn’t play. Instead, we saw the return of LenDale White, who actually looked pretty good. He had 34 yards and a score on 12 yards, and if he didn’t have to sit out a four-game suspension to open the season, he’d have a better chance of making the squad.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays. He played, and he threw a god-awful interception. But he also showed a nice touch and good awareness on his 3-yard TD pass to Eric Decker. Either way, he looked more competent than Brady Quinn.

A few more observations:

-There was plenty of talk about how punter Daniel Sepulveda would take Jeff Reed’s job as the kickoff specialist. Well, Sepulveda booted the game-opening kickoff out of bounds for a penalty. One word: ugh.

-James Farrior did his best Eli Manning impression with that cut on his head.

-There was a scary moment for Broncos fans when Kyle Orton tried to deliver a hit on Steelers LB James Harrison after he picked up and ran with an alleged fumble. We’ll say this: it didn’t end well for Orton, who briefly left the game following his tackle. Like I said on Twitter, you don’t want Orton anywhere near Harrison when the latter is returning a possible fumble.

-The Steelers accumulated four personal foul penalties in the first half. That’s pretty ridiculous. Not the sign of a real disciplined team.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 9:47 pm
 

Big Ben has one more meeting

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You can file this in the “didn’t we already know this, and if we didn’t know this, didn’t we assume this” department.

Various Internet reports have emerged that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell after Pittsburgh finishes its preseason slate this week. I thought we knew that if Roethlisberger was to get his six-game suspension reduced to four games – by the way, this is almost a certainty to happen – he’d have to meet with Goodell again.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote on Twitter, “We are not confirming specifics of the commissioner's upcoming meeting with Ben but it has always been part of the plan.”

So, there you go.

Keep it moving, folks. Nothing to see here.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 7:59 pm
 

Burning questions for PIT-DEN game

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s only one game on the NFL preseason docket tonight, which gives us the chance to ask ourselves the three questions we really want answered after the Pittsburgh-Denver matchup is complete.

Steelers

1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why?

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight.

Broncos

1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 5:31 pm
 

Jeff Reed is not impressed with a few teammates

Posted by Will Brinson

Okay, Jeff Reed (a.k.a. "Skippy") has said plenty of ridiculous things in his day (and been taken in plenty of ridiculous photos).While this latest statement -- relating to teams doing well against the Steelers in terms of kickoff returns -- isn't going to top anything else he's done, it's still pretty silly.

“I hate not making every kick a touchback, but it’s not going to happen," Reed said. "I’m a hang-time kind of kicker and always have been. And I’ll get a touchback here and there. It starts with me, but you also have to have a good coverage team. Teams are not going to take a knee if it does go into the end zone if your coverage team is weak.”

Reed also added that there's a "lack of discipline for the [special teams] unit as a whole. When there’s 11 guys out there and half of them want to play and half of them are just out there, that’s what happens."

That = embarrassing coverage, obviously.

Of course, it's also embarrassing when your team's kicker, who happens to sometimes look like the picture to the right, calls you out for lacking discipline.

This isn't the first time that Reed's said something outspoken this offseason  -- he's complained about his contract to anyone who would listen.

Given that already disenchanted attitude and Reed's history for being a bit, um, odd, it's not all that surprising to hear him say this stuff either. He better just make sure he doesn't start missing a bunch of kicks early in 2010, or he won't have much of a leg to stand on. Or kick with, if you feel like being cheesy.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 29, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: August 29, 2010 11:19 am
 

Hot Routes 8.29.10: Just a big ole hot mess

Posted by Will Brinson

In hindsight, yes, I'm beyond furious that I didn't use the Jay Cutler - Matt Leinart bro pic for this. Dagnabbit.

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com.
  • The headline of the day pretty much has to be this one from Sean Jensen of the Sun-Times on the Bears: 'Saturday night summary: Hot mess." Yes, that makes me giggle. Almost as much as Jay Cutler getting sacked four times, throwing two picks and finishing the night with a QB rating of THIRTY ONE. Bwah. Meanwhile, in Arizona, the quarterback competition is going to come down to "chemistry with the team ." Really.
  • The fellas at The Wayne Fontes Experience make a good point: Willie Young has sacked the quarterback two weeks in a row. I have no earthly idea how he lasted until the SEVENTH round, but he'll be good. Also, guys, I'm the one driving the Jahvid Best bandwagon. You can hitch your wagon by calling 555-BEST. Also, Steve Schroder is right : why aren't they locking Detroit/Cleveland in for Thanksgiving? It's consistently more awesome than whatever else beatdown we're watching.
  • The score of the Panthers - Titans game might lead you to believe that it's the, you know, preseason. It also might lead you to believe that the Panthers defense is pretty good. As Jaxon writes at Cat Scratch Reader , that's not too far off. Offense, Tom Sorensen says at the Charlotte Observer , is "at a premium," which means that the failure/success of this season might actually hinge on the quarterback position for Carolina (once again). NO PRESSURE, Matt Moore.
  • I actually landed C.J. Spiller in a fantasy draft (for the first time) last night. I'm not upset but this news -- he is, as right tackle Cornell Green put it, "something else. " The guys at Buffalo Rumblings think the offense was "efficient and the defense was "lacking" -- if that's the biggest issue facing the Bills heading into the season, I think they take it and run.
  • Mike Tomlin has yet to announce a starting quarterback, but Ryan Wilson of Steelers' Lounge makes an excellent note : the two-headed quarterback monster of Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich is probably the smartest move. Or the only move. Whatever.
  • Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys makes an astute point: this IS the preseason and all, but you still can't "wash away the stink that was the Cowboys on Saturday night." The good news is that Jerry Jones isn't that concerned ; pretty sure t that won't last if the shoddy play continues through into the regular season.
  • Not that anyone actually roots for failure, but it's kind of funny when a New York team stinks, it usually results in fun headline-writing. "Giants still 'a ways' away from being good " and "Nothing goes right for Giants " are two examples. Basically, the point that you should be getting from this is that the Giants are an "at-risk" team for 2010. On the bright side, Joe Flacco is definitely the starter in Baltimore. Which is, um, unsurprising?
Posted on: August 27, 2010 6:34 pm
 

NFL hits Nicks, Taylor with $10k fines for fight

Posted by Will Brinson

Hakeem Nicks and Ike Taylor got into a little spat during last Saturday's preseason game between the Giants and the Steelers, and it's gonna cost them each $10,000.

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News ' "Blue Screen reports that both guys were fined for "unnecessary roughness" and specifically "after the play was over, [they] unnecessarily struck the opponent in the head area."

In other words, "punching each other."

Nicks, apparently, used the oldest excuse in the book to justify his actions, claiming that he was just "blocking downfield and trying to finish my block, and the next thing I knew (Taylor) was throwing punches so I tried to defend myself."

Taylor, for his part, said he "should have known better" and apologized to his teammates.

"I lost my cool," Taylor said, "but it won't happen again."

One of the more interesting points about this (and, by the by, that's actually Ryan Clark and Nicks fighting post-Taylor ejection) is that when you take the two fines and add them together, you get $20,000, which is exactly $5,000 less than what Chad Ochocinco was fined for tweeting during the middle of a game .

I totally understand that a) football is a very violent sport and b) the NFL doesn't want players/coaches/et al firing out electronic messages in the middle of games for all different reasons, but I still think it's an interesting comparison.

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