Tag:Pittsburgh Steelers
Posted on: August 16, 2010 3:19 pm

Around the League: Tebow, Big Ben, Fitz & Mittens

Posted by Will Brinson

So, Tim Tebow played some football last night. I thought it was "impressive." Many of you felt differently, but that's okay.

What was impressive about his play? Well that (and what WASN'T that impressive) was the top topic in today's "Around the League" video with Lauren Shehadi.

We also talked about whether Larry Fitzgerald's knee injury should be considered serious/dangerous, when/if Mike Tomlin will get Ben Roethlisberger on the field in the 2010 preseason and whether or not David Carr (aka Mister Mittens) qualifies as a threat to Alex Smith's starting gig in San Francisco.

Pete Prisco then takes over from Falcons training camp before I confirm his suspicious that Atlanta could seriously contend this season and we close out by discussing the single biggest factor in tonight's Jets-Giants preseason matchup. (Aka REVIS.)

Posted on: August 15, 2010 3:29 pm

Steelers should have a QB competition

Posted by Andy Benoit

All offseason it has been assumed that Byron Leftwich will start while Ben Roethlisberger serves what will almost certainly be a four-game suspension. The reason for the assumption? The Steelers have said Leftwich is the starter. And, they’ve given him the practice reps to prove it.
B. Leftwich (US Presswire)
But some observers – mainly those paying the slightest bit of attention – question why the journeyman veteran was given the job by default. Haven’t the Steelers been grooming 2008 fifth-round pick Dennis Dixon for this role?

Sure, Leftwich is experienced. But there’s a reason he went unsigned during the hottest months of free agency.

If a preseason opener is to be taken seriously – and that’s a genuine IF – then the Steelers may have some rethinking to do. Leftwich worked with the first team offense against the Lions Saturday night and was 6/10 passing for 43 yards. The respectable numbers obscure the fact that the Steelers first offense looked sluggish most of that time.

Dixon, working with and playing against backups, was 6/7 for 128 yards (though 68 of those yards came off a catch and run touchdown by rookie Antonio Brown). He was lively in his pocket movements and looked comfortable.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette asks if the Steelers now have a quarterback controversy on their hands. If they’re smart, they do.

Leftwich is a statue of a pocket passer. The painfully long windup to his throwing motion hinders the rhythm of a passing attack. This makes him almost the exact opposite of the type of quarterback you want operating behind a mediocre pass-blocking front five like Pittsburgh’s.

Dixon, on the other hand, is practically a Leftwich foil. He is a natural scrambler and conservative, short-area passer. Leftwich might understand more of Bruce Arians’s playbook, but athletically, the callow Dixon can actually execute more of it.

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:27 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 8:06 pm

Roethlisberger not playing Saturday night

Posted by Will Brinson

Ben Roethlisberger's playing time was easily one of the top stories to watch (along with the reception he received) for Saturday's preseason games.

Go ahead and scratch Roethlisberger off the list of reasons to tune into the Lions-Steelers game, though, as it appears he won't play tonight.

Per a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , Roethlisberger is dressed and participated in warm-ups but will not play.
In his place, Byron Leftwich will start.

It's an odd decision to say the least -- given that Roethlisberger won't exactly get any game action for at least 4-6 weeks, you would think that Mike Tomlin would get him as much work as he could. Not to mention, as Andy said , starting Roethlisberger helps to reduce the impact of the crowd's reaction to Big Ben.

Or maybe Tomlin just found out that everyone from Findlay, Ohio was in attendance .

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: August 14, 2010 1:13 pm

Why Steelers should start Roethlisberger tonight

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Steelers aren’t saying which quarterback will take the field with the first unit in Saturday’s preseason opener against Detroit. Preseason subterfuge – gotta love it. B. Roethlisberger (US Presswire)

That’s fine. More interesting will be what kind of reception Ben Roethlisberger gets. He’s been treated well by fans at training camp, but it takes more brass for a fan to jeer a man in the more-intimate camp setting (where fans are often in bleachers seats and closer to the players). Put fans in stadium seats, away from the action, next to their buddies and always within 30 yards of a beer, and their behavior changes.

Expect Tomlin to start Roethlisberger against the Lions if for no other reason than, by starting Big Ben, Tomlin minimizes the oomph of a potentially-distracting story. Think about it. If Roethlisberger gets booed, the national media will ask what that means for the Steelers’ morale, their role in the community, etc. If Roethlisberger gets cheered, the national media will ask how in the world a suspended womanizer can get so much love (and from a “blue collar” town, no less!).

But by having Roethlisberger take the field with the starters, the boos are more likely to get drowned out by cheers for the 10 other Steelers. Or, the cheers for Roethlisberger can be attributed as cheers for the whole team. Boos or cheers, either way, a distracting story gets watered down or avoided outright.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 1:55 pm

Tomlin not tipping his hand about quarterbacks

Posted by Andy Benoit

Say this: Mike Tomlin knows how to sell preseason tickets. The Steelers must decide whether to start Ben Roethlisberger or Byron Leftwich against the Lions Saturday night. (Imagine waking from a coma, not knowing anything that’s happened in the past 10 months, and reading that last sentence.)

Tomlin was asked in a news conference whether he’ll go with Leftwich, his Week 1 starter, or Roethlisberger, his presumed Week 6 starter, in the preseason opener. "We're going to make you come to the stadium to find out," he said.

When camp opened, Roethlisberger worked with the first unit. But obviously, the Steelers will need to have Leftwich ready for that role come September.

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Posted on: August 11, 2010 10:07 am

Chris Hoke does a jig followed by falcon kick

Posted by Will Brinson

Training camp is a fun, silly time. Unless you're Albert Haynesworth. Then it's a time to be lazy and fat and harassed by the media. Fortunately, Steelers' NT Chris Hoke is not Alberto. In fact, he seems like a pretty chill bro.

Provided, of course, that you can assume such a thing about a man based on a 15-second video in which he does an Irish jig and then follows it up with a Falcon Kick. I think that's a pretty safe assumption. Vid graciously provided by the always excellent PSAMP .

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Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:30 am

LeBeau happy to be back at Steelers practice

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here’s a nice little interview with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau after he returned to practice following his Hall of Fame induction on Sunday.

LeBeau has a very good reputation in the NFL as being a great dude, and that was pretty evident when the Steelers organization left training camp to travel to Canton to watch the induction ceremony. 

After practice Monday, he talked to the media, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review .

My favorite question and answer? This one.

Q: Who did you leave in charge while you were gone and how did they do?

A: “John Mitchell is the assistant head coach but each coach kind of shared their duties equally. I figured it would take three of them to do my job.”


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