Daily Archives: December 29, 2011

Teammates name receiver Brown as Steelers’ MVP

The rise this season of second-year wide receiver Antonio Brown took hold in November when he became a starter and culminated today when his teammates voted him the Steelers’ most valuable player.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

Colt McCoy plays good soldier, won’t criticize Browns

The Cleveland Browns’ medical staff failed to recognize that Colt McCoy had suffered a concussion before sending him back onto the field in a loss to the Steelers on December 8, but McCoy is declining to criticize them. Instead, in his first public comments since then, McCoy played the good soldier and defended the team…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Brown Voted Steelers’ 2011 MVP, Farrior & Gilbert Receive Pro Football Writers Awards

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the regular season winding down, several awards were given out ahead of Steelers practice today.

Wide receiver Antonio Brown has been named the Steelers’ MVP. He is the first Steelers wide receiver to be named the team MVP since Hines Ward in 2005.

Brown was also just named to his first Pro Bowl as a kick returner.

In his last seven games, Brown has 29 receptions for 587 yards, which are both team highs.

Brown is only the sixth Steelers’ wide receiver to win the award in the last 40-plus years.

Meanwhile, linebacker James Farrior and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert received the annual awards handed out by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.

Farrior, who is in his 15th NFL season, received “The Chief Award,” which goes to the member of the Steelers’ organization who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media.

Gilbert was named the winner of the “Joe Greene Great Performance Award,” which is given out to the outstanding Steelers’ rookie.

Gilbert was the team’s second round draft pick in 2011 and played in 13 games with 12 starts.

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Steelers.com: “Brown voted MVP by teammates”
Steelers.com: “Farrior, Gilbert win PFWA awards”
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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Antonio Brown, Awards, James Farrior, Joe Greene Great Performance Award, Marcus Gilbert, MVP, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pro Football Writers of America, The Chief Award

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

Being last helped Brown finish first

Antonio Brown’s work ethic and the production resulting from it helped him win team’s MVP award.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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Antonio Brown Steelers’ MVP

Antonio Brown was named Steelers MVP by a vote by his teammates today making him the youngest player to win the award in more than 20 years.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Steelers’ Insider Talks Possibility Of Division Championship

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Every Monday morning, 93.7 The Fan Steelers’ Insider,and Post-Gazette Beat Writer, Ed Bouchette joins the Fan Morning Show at 8 a.m.

Ed says that the Steelers are planning on playing Ben Roethlisberger if he is healthy to a certain extent. He says the team doesn’t want to have him sit out two (possibly) three weeks and become rusty.

The main difference between Antonio Brown’s rookie, and sophomore season, according to Ed,  is experience. He thinks that Antonio is learning a more developed system than he had at Central Michigan and as he develops, he has the potential for stardom.

Ed didn’t notice any problems with Trai Essex at center, so that must be a good thing, saying, “Trai can play every position on that offensive line.” Fellow offensive lineman, Marcus Gilbert was being punished for a lack of preparation, and Ed doesn’t think it was a big deal. He says that the message was received, and the team will move on.

The Ravens have the potential to lose their game on the road to the Bengals on Sunday, which would give the Steelers the top seed in the AFC North if they beat the Browns.

We also get Ed’s thoughts on LaMarr Woodley and what is exactly going on with his hamstring.

Filed under: Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Steelers, Watch + Listen Tagged: Ed Bouchette, Football, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers, The Fan Morning Show

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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Roethlisberger Practices, Hopes To Play Sunday

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Four injured Steelers returned to practice Wednesday, the most notable being quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger suffered a high-ankle sprain Dec. 8 against Cleveland and played through the injury Dec. 19 in a 20-3 loss at San Francisco on Monday Night Football. Roethlisberger sat out of Saturday’s 27-0 win against St. Louis and backup quarterback Charlie Batch got the start.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in his weekly press conference Tuesday that he expects Roethlisberger and any other injured players to play at Cleveland Sunday if they are able to practice during the week.

“I’d like to play just because I like being out there but I don’t know if I necessarily need it,” Roethlisberger told the Tribune Review’s Scott Brown before practice Wednesday. “It would be nice to get another week of rest but I would prefer to play.”

Roethlisberger went through a full practice. The Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette quotes both wide receiver Hines Ward and tackle Max Starks as noting Roethlisberger looked good in the workout.

Roethlisberger, along with center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Chris Carter and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders returned as full participants in practice, meaning all four are on track to play against the Browns.

Other injury news:

  • Linebacker James Harrison (neck), guard Doug Legursky (shoulder), running back Mewelde Moore (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (knee) sat out of Wednesday’s practice.
  • Wide receiver Mike Wallace (ankle) and linebacker Lamarr Woodley (hamstring) were limited in practice Wednesday.

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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Ben Roethlisberger, Doug Legursky, Injury Report, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Mewelde Moore, Mike Tomlin, Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers, Troy Polamalu

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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Steelers Appear To Be Taking Cautious Route By Putting Roethlisberger on a Snap Count


Word around the Steelers‘ practice facility is QB Ben Roethlisberger would play in Pittsburgh’s Week 17 game at Cleveland.

While speculation has fired up around whether he should or shouldn’t play, the Steelers are doing the smart thing and suggesting he may do both.

Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette suggested in his “On The Steelers” column coaches want to use him 25-30 snaps so he’s not idle between Dec. 19 (his last game) and whenever their first playoff game will be.

Putting Roethlisberger on a limited number of snaps (25-30 is probably about half of a game) is perhaps the best of both worlds. He’ll get a chance to use his damaged ankle a little bit, allowing a test of its durability and to help bring back some of its flexibility, which has no doubt been compromised due to the sprain he suffered in Week 14.

This wasn’t said in Bouchette’s report, but it also gives the Steelers something of an out when it comes to scoreboard watching. The validity of Pittsburgh’s Week 17 game depends solely on Baltimore’s game at Cincinnati. If the Ravens win, the Steelers have nothing to play for. If they look up at the scoreboard and see a 34-0 Ravens lead in the third quarter, it wouldn’t be smart to risk Roethlisberger further damaging his ankle – or having several other players risk further injury. The Steelers will be the 5-seed in the upcoming playoffs if Baltimore wins.

Along with Roethlisberger, C Maurkice Pouncey looks to return Sunday from a high ankle sprain of his own. He’s missed the last two games with the injury.

OLB LaMarr Woodley, though, didn’t seem as optimistic. He’s come back to the field twice since the initial hamstring injury, but has been unable to finish either game.

Freshly added to the injury report and did not practice Wednesday are SS Troy Polamalu (knee) and OLB James Harrison (neck), neither of them practiced. LG Doug Legursky and RB Mewelde Moore did not practice either and both are expected to miss the game. WR Mike Wallace (ankle), and Woodley were limited. Roethlisberger, Pouncey, WR Emmanuel Sanders and OLB Chris Carter are on the injury report, but participated fully in practice.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Roethlisberger expected to start after full practice

The question no longer seems to be whether Ben Roethlisberger will start for the Steelers on Sunday. The question is how much he will play. There is nothing else to deduce after Roethlisberger went through a full practice Wednesday. “He looked all right,” Hines Ward said via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don’t know if he…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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The Uncertain Playoff Fate the Pittsburgh Steelers Face Heading into Week 17 is Nothing Compared to the 2009 Situation


There are a lot of nervous people in Steeler Nation this week, hoping and praying that their favorite team somehow manages to win another AFC North crown and at least a bye into the second round of the playoffs. While I want the same thing, I won’t be as worried as many when I tune in to see the Steelers take on the Browns at 4:15 on New Year’s Day.

Things could be a lot worse. Pittsburgh could need help just to make it into the playoffs. Remember 2009?

I’ve been following the Steelers for over thirty years, and in all of that time, maybe the most frustrating season to experience was the team’s 2009 edition. Going into the year, I was hoping the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers had it in them to repeat as champions (yes, I know, spoiled rotten), and when they got off to a 6-2 start, I figured they’d at least avoid a repeat of what they did in 2006 and not miss the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, that 2009 squad was living on borrowed time the entire first half, and the many problems that were mere annoyances during the first eight games–stupid penalties, costly turnovers and 4th quarter meltdowns–mushroomed into an epidemic, and the team lost four straight games, each one more gut-wrenching than the last, and the Steelers were now a .500 team at 6-6.

By that point, early December, I had already resorted to the comfort foods of Super Bowl DVDs and college basketball, but the week leading up to the now infamous Thursday night game in Cleveland against the Browns, local scribes like Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac were telling the fans not to give up on the season just yet, that the Steelers, in fact, still had a pretty decent shot at at least the final wildcard spot in the AFC. When I looked at the AFC teams who were fighting for those two wildcard spots, I became encouraged once again. The Broncos were 8-4, but all of the other wildcard contenders were in the same boat as the Steelers, right around the .500 mark.

I became convinced that the Steelers would shrug off their four-game losing-streak and do to the Browns what they should have done to the Chiefs and Raiders–completely dominate an inferior opponent. The Browns were a 1-11 football team heading into that Thursday night game on the NFL Network, and no way would such a pathetic group stand in the way of the Steelers and a possible playoff berth.

Unfortunately, it was the Steelers who looked totally pathetic that night as they lost, 13-6. If I wasn’t convinced that Pittsburgh was toast after losing in overtime to the Chiefs and Ravens and falling to the Raiders in the final seconds at Heinz Field, the team’s horrible display of football on that cold and windy night in Cleveland left little doubt.

The next day, I was listening to one of Beano Cook’s many radio appearances, and he said that Steelers fans had nothing to complain about, the team gave us two Super Bowls in five years, what more could we possibly want? That was sound, logical thinking. The Steelers weren’t going to be in the playoffs, but at least their were a few games left to enjoy.

However, those local scribes kept listing playoff scenarios for the Steelers in the newspaper. I wasn’t buying it. They couldn’t even win a game when they controlled their own destiny, how could they win three-in-a row and get all of the help they needed just to sneak in as a 6th seed?

But in week 15, the Steelers played a memorable game against the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field that ended when Ben Roethlisberger connected with Mike Wallace on the game-winning touchdown pass as time ran out, and just like that, I got a second-wind.

With Denver losing two-straight games and all the other contenders still hovering around the .500 mark, I had renewed enthusiasm and started envisioning a 2005 scenario where the Steelers would get hot at just the right time, sneak into the playoffs on the last day of the season and march all the way to Miami for Super Bowl XLIV.

The following Sunday, the Steelers out-lasted the Ravens at Heinz Field to improve to 8-7, and if the Broncos and Jets could both lose, the Steelers playoff chances would look significantly better. Well, the Broncos took care of their part of the equation by losing to the Eagles (rooting for Philadelphia didn’t even phase me, it was all about the Steelers), but as most football fans probably remember, it was week 16 of the 2009 season when Colts‘ head coach Jim Caldwell decided that resting his starters and keeping them out of harm’s way until the postseason began was a little more important than chasing an undefeated season. I can’t say I disagreed with that logic, but it sure didn’t help the Steelers. A pretty weak New York Jets team took advantage of their new-found fortune and stayed alive in the playoff race by knocking off Indy’s scrubs.

The Ravens and Jets both had “win and you’re in” status heading into the final week. The Steelers needed big time help. The most realistic scenario had Pittsburgh getting into the playoffs with a win against the Dolphins in Miami combined with losses by the Texans and the Jets or Ravens.

I was pretty optimistic leading up to week 17–I had seen the Steelers overcome long odds and sneak into the playoffs in both 1989 and 1993–and I thought things would fall Pittsburgh’s way.

At that point, I wasn’t worried about what seed the Steelers could get, or whether or not they’d get a bye, all I wanted was just one playoff game.

I wasn’t feeling too good about a Ravens loss. Baltimore was playing in Oakland at 4:15 against a pretty pathetic Raiders team . However, the Texans were going up against New England at home. And even though the Patriots couldn’t really improve their playoff position with a win, I figured Belichick and Brady would be too competitive to roll over and play dead so the Texans could stay alive for the playoffs.

The Pats/Texans started at 1pm, as did the Steelers/Dolphins game, and heading into the 4th quarter of each game, things were looking good for the Steelers. New England was beating the Texans, 27-13, and the Steelers were up, 27-10, in Miami.

I was feeling more confident than ever. If the Texans lost, the Steelers just needed a loss by either the Ravens or Jets. Heck, Pittsburgh could be in the playoffs by 7pm! And even if the Ravens won their game, the Jets were playing against the Bengals on Sunday night, and even though the AFC North champion Bengals had nothing to gain by going all out, the Cincy players had insisted all week that they would play to win. I figured the Jets were just posers who got lucky the week before in Indianapolis and they would come back down to Earth against the Bengals.

Back to those 1pm games. Things started to turn pretty sour if you were a Steelers fan. Much like most of the ’09 season, the Steelers were doing everything in their power to hold off their opponent in the 4th quarter, as the Dolphins mounted a pretty furious comeback and were now only down by three points. In Houston, quarterback Bobby Hoyer was one of many backups inserted into the lineup for the Patriots. The Texans took advantage and scored 21 unanswered 4th quarter points and won, 34-27. For their part, the Steelers managed to hold off the Dolphins long enough to win, 30-24, but by that point, it was pretty much too little, too late.

During Mike Tomlin’s post-game press conference, someone informed him that the Texans had come from behind to win, and even though I was only listening on the radio, I could tell Coach was more than a little disappointed by that outcome. Like the fans, he could see the handwriting on the wall.

Now, the Steelers were down to one last, very improbable scenario–they needed the Ravens, Broncos and Jets to all lose their games. The Broncos would go on to lose to the Chiefs, but before that game was even over, the Ravens were walking off the field in Oakland victorious, and the Steelers were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

As it turned out, even if Baltimore would have lost, it wouldn’t have mattered because the Bengals decided to take a Sunday evening nap on national television and lost to the playoff-bound New York Jets, 37-0.

I don’t know why I decided to get my hopes up after that Green Bay win. I guess like most die-hard fans, I’m an eternal optimist, but I wish I hadn’t, because for whatever reason, seeing the Steelers eliminated from the playoffs that day was one of the most depressing thing I’ve ever experienced as a sports fan in a very long time.

So, while it’s 50/50 at best for a possible bye into the second round of the playoffs, I’ll take the “problems” of wondering when and where the Steelers will play in the postseason over the uncertainty that the fans of the Titans, Bengals, Jets, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys and Giants face this week.

The Steelers are in the playoffs no matter what. At the end of the day, well, things could be a lot worse.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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