Daily Archives: June 24, 2012

DE Brett Keisel Talks About Steelers Fan Camp in Mexico City

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Steelers DE Brett Keisel was on WDVE's morning show recently talking about his upcoming trip to Mexico City to help run a Steelers Youth Camp as well as a fan camp the next day. Along with him are QB Charlie Batch, OLB James Harrison, WR Emmanuel Sanders, FS Ryan Mundy and broadcasters Craig Wolfley and Tunch Ilkin.

Keisel right away found an opportunity to take a shot at Harrison.

"James sends me a text, like, before we agreed to do this, 'come with me to New Mexico to a camp.' I texted him back, and was like, 'Jim, I think it's Mexico, not New Mexico.' He's like, 'oh no, I'm gonna have to bring some guns.'"

Keisel noted after that they would be "packing heat" down there. I don't think he was talking about the weather.

"The Mexican Nation recognizes the six Lombardis we have, which is more than any other franchise, so why wouldn't they root for us?"

It's a fair question.

After some back-and-forth about the extent of Keisel's Spanish coming from watching Looney Tunes, they get into the most popular topic involving Keisel - the beard.

He confirmed his starting growing his beard a bit earlier than he has in the past, noting how "big and beautiful" it will be in December.

Keisel's on the youth football camp circuit recently, just having attended QB Ben Roethlisberger's camp prior to his trip to Mexico City. He said he played a bit of quarterback in the scrimmages at the end of the camp.

"My favorite part is doing the little games they do at the end, which is like a 7-on-7 drill, and I play all-time quarterback...You line them up and send them on routes. Every time they come back, they're tugging on you, saying 'I was open, man, why didn't you see me? I was open in the end zone.' And that's like every kid there."

He noted Roethlisberger makes a point to throw a pass to every kid, something Keisel (jokingly) didn't understand.

"Ben, save your arm for the season, man."

It shifted a bit more nostalgically as Keisel talked about the losses of DE Aaron Smith and NT Chris Hoke in reference to DE Ziggy Hood likely filling the vacant starting role this season.

"(defensive linemen) have got to really raise their game this year. Ziggy's gonna be that guy from Day 1. Aaron Smith is gone, and we all miss him dearly, especially me. I was really close with Aaron, and Hines (Ward), and James (Farrior) and Chris Hoke.

"I tell them this is their time to shine, they've got a great opportunity right now to play for this great organization. It's their time and they better make it right."

"I'm excited to go down to Mexico Steeler Nation and give them some pointers."




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


DE Brett Keisel Talks About Steelers Fan Camp in Mexico City

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Steelers DE Brett Keisel was on WDVE's morning show recently talking about his upcoming trip to Mexico City to help run a Steelers Youth Camp as well as a fan camp the next day. Along with him are QB Charlie Batch, OLB James Harrison, WR Emmanuel Sanders, FS Ryan Mundy and broadcasters Craig Wolfley and Tunch Ilkin.

Keisel right away found an opportunity to take a shot at Harrison.

"James sends me a text, like, before we agreed to do this, 'come with me to New Mexico to a camp.' I texted him back, and was like, 'Jim, I think it's Mexico, not New Mexico.' He's like, 'oh no, I'm gonna have to bring some guns.'"

Keisel noted after that they would be "packing heat" down there. I don't think he was talking about the weather.

"The Mexican Nation recognizes the six Lombardis we have, which is more than any other franchise, so why wouldn't they root for us?"

It's a fair question.

After some back-and-forth about the extent of Keisel's Spanish coming from watching Looney Tunes, they get into the most popular topic involving Keisel - the beard.

He confirmed his starting growing his beard a bit earlier than he has in the past, noting how "big and beautiful" it will be in December.

Keisel's on the youth football camp circuit recently, just having attended QB Ben Roethlisberger's camp prior to his trip to Mexico City. He said he played a bit of quarterback in the scrimmages at the end of the camp.

"My favorite part is doing the little games they do at the end, which is like a 7-on-7 drill, and I play all-time quarterback...You line them up and send them on routes. Every time they come back, they're tugging on you, saying 'I was open, man, why didn't you see me? I was open in the end zone.' And that's like every kid there."

He noted Roethlisberger makes a point to throw a pass to every kid, something Keisel (jokingly) didn't understand.

"Ben, save your arm for the season, man."

It shifted a bit more nostalgically as Keisel talked about the losses of DE Aaron Smith and NT Chris Hoke in reference to DE Ziggy Hood likely filling the vacant starting role this season.

"(defensive linemen) have got to really raise their game this year. Ziggy's gonna be that guy from Day 1. Aaron Smith is gone, and we all miss him dearly, especially me. I was really close with Aaron, and Hines (Ward), and James (Farrior) and Chris Hoke.

"I tell them this is their time to shine, they've got a great opportunity right now to play for this great organization. It's their time and they better make it right."

"I'm excited to go down to Mexico Steeler Nation and give them some pointers."




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Ike Taylor Speaking for Mike Wallace Again, Feigns Optimism but Past Comparables Suggest Problems

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Steelers CB Ike Taylor should be on WR Mike Wallace's payroll, with the amount of speaking he's done for his teammate this offseason.

The most recent occurrence, at his 9th annual "Face Me, Ike" camp at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna, La., where Taylor grew up, mirrors a bit of what he said on his TribLive Radio show in May; optimism a deal will get done, but recognition it's all a part of the process.

So is this just lip service?

NFL.com's Brian McIntyre makes an interesting point; Wallace is under "club control" for the next two seasons, with the restricted free agency offer he's been given, and a potential franchise tag in 2013. Together, McIntyre estimates the maximum the Steelers would have to pay to retain Wallace for the next two seasons is $ 12.5 million.

All of that would be guaranteed. Because of that, the $ 12.5 million figure would likely be where both sides would start negotiating. By Wallace holding out training camp instead of signing his $ 2.7 million tender offer this year, he'd further jeopardize that number increasing through negotiations with the Steelers.

However, he knows, barring injury, those are the relative values of the two consecutive 1-year deals he'd get, with the second one being a salary cap-killing $ 10 million, give or take a few bucks.

I've opined Wallace's agent, Bus Cook (the same agent who negotiated Lions WR Calvin Johnson's mega-deal this offseason) will likely seek a number north of what Tampa Bay gave Vincent Jackson this offseason - five years, $ 55 million total value, $ 26 million of that is guaranteed, all in the first two years of the deal.

Wallace has a bit better overall numbers than Jackson does, but more than anything, what you see with Jackson is Wallace's future. Jackson got caught in the lockout year, when the elimination of the salary cap meant players needed six accrued years to become eligible for free agency. Jackson had five, and was given the high-level tender offer from San Diego, the same way Pittsburgh did with Wallace.

Jackson not only skipped training camp in 2010, but skipped the first seven games, before reporting to the team in time to serve a three-game suspension for his absence by general manager A.J. Smith. The Chargers exercised their right to reduce Jackson's tender offer to 110 percent of his previous salary, something the Steelers elected to not do (perhaps because they saw how poorly that strategy worked out with Jackson) with Wallace.

Jackson was given the franchise tag in 2011, earning around $ 11 million - up from the $ 300,000 he made in 2010.

Or, just a bit less than the club control figure the Steelers have on Wallace.

We won't know if the report suggesting Wallace wanted a contract in the vicinity of Larry Fitzgerald is legitimate or not, but Jackson's battle and ensuing contract with Tampa Bay strongly suggests he'd be looking for somewhere around five years, $ 58 million with $ 30 million guaranteed. The Steelers do not appear to be in a cap position to front-load the deal, thus making it easier to cut ties with him quickly if things don't work out in the first two years. Spreading that much money out over at least four years of the deal would make future deals with other players a bit more difficult.

Many teams will look to make huge lump-sum guaranteed payments to players in certain years, hoping to limit the future cap damage of a big contract followed by an injury or lack of performance. That's what Tampa Bay did with Jackson - a twice convicted DUI offender. Tampa also had more money in cap space than the gross domestic product of many third-world countries. The Steelers do not.

So as optimistic as Taylor may be about his buddy and fellow Louisiana native, the numbers paint a bleaker picture.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Colbert: Steelers’ offense is progressing


Sun, 24 Jun 2012 17:23:52
by SCOTT BROWN




...

Source: TribLIVE RSS Feeds

Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback Ike Taylor is Still Haunted by the Loss to Denver in the Playoffs

Even with the excitement building for the 2012 season many Pittsburgh Steelers fans have the disappointing overtime loss to the Denver Broncos etched into their psyche. Like those fans, cornerback Ike Taylor still has the memory fresh in his head, going as far to tell the media during his annual football camp at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna, Louisiana, that he will do everything in his power to make up for that final play.The Steelers will need another big season from Taylor as the make-up of the cornerback position looks to be a lot younger in 2012. In fact, the team will definitely look for him to provide leadership to a group of cornerbacks who lack starter experience. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, that group of players will not only need to play hard, but they must be effective.  

During this press session with Albert Burford of The Times-Picayune, Taylor also believes that teammate Mike Wallace and the Steelers will reach an agreement allowing the Pro Bowl wide re...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Colbert: Steelers’ offense is progressing


Sun, 24 Jun 2012 17:23:52
by SCOTT BROWN




...

Source: TribLIVE RSS Feeds


Kevin Colbert: Steelers offense isn’t making a lot of mistakes

The installation of a new offense in Pittsburgh has been a constant storyline this offseason. Ben Roethlisberger has expressed confusion about the general philosophies that new coordinator Todd Haley was crafting the offense around while the addition of two rookie starters on the offensive line and the absence of wide receiver Mike Wallace have raised…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers


Steelers in Dublin? Sure, but as Away Team, Not Home Team

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ESPN's Jamison Hensley included in his Wake-up Call column a bit about Steelers owner Dan Rooney's continued conversations about the Steelers playing a game in Ireland. Rooney currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador there, which would logically give off the impression the Steelers could be involved in a regular season game overseas.

That logic doesn't escape Hensley, but what colors the Steelers would play in that game seems to.

The most recent information came from an interesting piece on Rooney and the possibility of a game in Dublin from BBC News Northern Ireland reporter Haydn Parry.

Per Hensley:

I've never been in favor of moving regular-season games from fans here in the United States, especially the ones who pack their home stadiums. I understand that the owners want to market the game internationally. That generates more revenue. I just dislike the fact that one of the eight games at Heinz Field in a given season could get displaced because of Ireland.

I agree with the notion of not eliminating home games from teams with large followings, which is exactly why the Steelers won't be giving up one of their home games. Rooney has said before the lease at Heinz Field says they will play eight home games there each regular season.

They can play in Ireland, there's little to no chance the Steelers will be doing it in their black jerseys. If Rooney is doing the heavy lifting as far as getting Dublin's Croke Stadium into the international games' rotation in the NFL, it seems only fitting the league would honor his request to have his team play as the visitors.

We speculated on some possible opponents for a future overseas game earlier this year. Seems like there are enough cities who won't routinely sell their stadiums out, so the sense in Pittsburgh fighting their lease to waste a home game doesn't add up.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Former Steelers LB Clark Haggans Serving DUI Jail Time in Pittsburgh

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In kind of a bizarre story, former Steelers LB Clark Haggans - a member of Pittsburgh's Super Bowl XL team - is serving a 48-hour jail sentence to be followed by seven days of work release for a DUI arrest in April.

What's bizarre is his excuse. If there is one for driving under the influence, that is.

It's a tough situation, but one he is facing up to, nonetheless.

According to SB Nation's Joel Thorman, who quoted Jeff Sperbeck, Haggans' agent, Haggans released a statement explaining the incident.

The summarized statement reads that Haggans and his wife were at a concert on April 21, 2011, in Maricopa County, Ariz., when Haggans received a call from the babysitter of the couple's 5-year-old daughter was having trouble breathing. His daughter is on medication for under developed lungs.

Haggans could not find his wife, so despite having been drinking, he got in his car and rushed him to tend to his daughter.

En route, he was picked up for running a red light, as well as suspicion of DUI.

He also notes after that the officers and Haggans returned to his place to administer care to his daughter, where, at that point, he was cited for running a red light, speeding and suspicion of DUI.

He offers up in hindsight, he should have found a different way home, and he does accept full responsibility for his actions.

The Tribune-Review noted Haggans chose to serve his sentence at the Westmoreland County Prison in Pittsburgh.

He had a DUI arrest in Colorado in 2004.

It isn't a fun set of circumstances for him to be in, and as he said, he made a bad decision. It's just a tough position in which to put oneself, considering the medical history of his daughter. Haggans always seemed to be an up-and-up kind of guy, and we hope he and his family can get whatever help they need, and he can finish his career out on a high note.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Ike Taylor Thinks Mike Wallace Will Get New Contract Done In Time For Camp


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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is back home in Louisiana this weekend hosting his annual football camp at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna and he spoke to the local media there about several topics related to the Steelers.

According to Albert Burford of The Times-Picayune, Taylor said that he thinks that teammate Mike Wallace will resolve his contract dispute soon and be in training camp when the team reports to Latrobe late next month. "He's going to be there (training camp)," Taylor said. "They'll get it done. When you talk about that kind of money, it's not an overnight type of deal. Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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