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fordfixer
12-31-2009, 02:36 AM
Wallace, Farrior earn honors from Steelers

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, December 31, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 60121.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_660121.html)

Wide receiver Mike Wallace was named the Steelers' top rookie Wednesday while inside linebacker James Farrior received the honor that is named after team founder Art Rooney.

Farrior, a 13th-year veteran, won the "Chief Award" for his cooperation with the local media. The award is voted on by local members of the Pro Football Writers Association.

Past winners include Ryan Clark, Alan Faneca, Deshea Townsend, Brett Keisel and Hines Ward.

"I've been around this league a long time," Farrior said, "and I understand you've got to take the good with the bad."

Wallace hasn't been around nearly as long but the third-round draft pick has made quite an impact on the Steelers.

Wallace leads the Steelers in yards per catch (18.7), and his 692 receiving yards are the most among rookies in the AFC. In winning the "Joe Greene Great Performance Award" in a unanimous vote, Wallace joins a list of past honorees that includes Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller, Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu.

"I think I have a long way to go," said Wallace, who admittedly is still learning the Steelers' offense. "I'm going to get a lot better in the offseason."

» Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu practiced on a limited basis Wednesday but later conceded that time may be running out on his bid to return to the field this season. Polamalu has missed the last six games with a strained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his left knee. He said he needs to practice at least once to be able to play Sunday in the 1 p.m. game against the Dolphins.

"Truthfully it feels a lot better than it did last week, so there's some progress being made," said Polamalu, who needs to show he can cut on the knee he has hurt twice this season before playing on it. "(Today) we'll see how it feels and hopefully it gets better and better and my body's able to adjust."

Polamalu said if he does not get a full practice in today that doesn't necessarily mean he won't play against the Dolphins.

"I've only practiced on Fridays and played before," the five-time Pro Bowler said.

» Wide receiver Hines Ward (hamstring), defensive end Brett Keisel (neck), defensive end Travis Kirschke (calf) and left guard Chris Kemoeatu (wrist) didn't practice yesterday because of injuries. Ward is nursing hamstring injuries in both legs. Before rushing to a meeting following practice, Ward said, "Am I playing? How do I feel? Good." Inside linebacker James Farrior didn't practice yesterday as coach Mike Tomlin gave him a veteran's day off.

» Running back Willie Parker said he is "definitely playing this week" despite a shoulder injury that limited him in practice yesterday. Tomlin said Tuesday that the injury would keep Parker from playing against the Dolphins. Kemoeatu said he is hopeful that his left wrist will be strong enough for him to play Sunday. Kemoeatu, who has missed the last two games, said he will try to practice today.

DIGITS

2 — Stefan Logan's rank among AFC kickoff returners with an average of 26.6 yards

73 — Combined points in which the Steelers have outscored the opposition in the first half this season

QUOTABLE

"Some people say I started off slow this year. I'm playing pretty strong in the second half. It's kind of a popularity-type thing to me." — Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on not making the Pro Bowl despite having 11.5 sacks, third most in the AFC.

fordfixer
12-31-2009, 02:38 AM
Notebook: Wallace earns Greene Award

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... award.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2009/december/31/notebook-wallace-earns-greene-award.html)

Thursday December 31, 2009 12:19 AM

PITTSBURGH — For the first time in three seasons, the Steelers have a Rookie of the Year who’s more than just a special teams player.

This year, wide receiver Mike Wallace is the winner of the “Joe Greene Great Performance Award," given annually to the Steelers' top rookie.

Two years ago, punter Daniel Sepulveda won the award. Last year, it was linebacker Patrick Bailey, who’s used exclusively on special teams.

“I just have confidence in what I can do,” said Wallace, one of the Steelers’ three third-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft. “I know what type of player I am. I have all of the confidence in the world in my abilities.

“If somebody is giving me the opportunity to get out there, I'm not giving it back. I’m taking advantage of it. I never have been the type of guy who wants to sit around and watch. I like to play in a game, be in a game and make an impact.”

As the Steelers’ No. 3 wideout behind starters Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, Wallace sure has made an impact. He’s fourth on the team with 37 catches, fourth with 692 receiving yards and tied for second with five touchdown catches. He’s a big-play threat who’s scored TDs on catches on 47, 40, 25, 70 and 19 yards

“I just believed in myself, hoping for an opportunity,” Wallace said. “I just thank the organization for giving me the opportunity to get in and play, believing I can make the plays.”

FARRIOR: MEDIA GOOD GUY

As a 13-year NFL veteran, inside linebacker James Farrior knows how to deal with the media. Since coming to the Steelers in 2002 as a free agent, he’s been a player that reporters always seek out for his perspectives.

This year as the Steelers have struggled in their bid to make the playoffs, Farrior has been especially cooperative in dealing with tough questions that typically follow tough losses. That’s one of the reasons why Farrior was presented with “The Chief Award,” presented annually to the Steeler who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media.

“I’ve been around this league for a long time and I understand you have to take the good with the bad,” Farrior said. “This year we had more bad than we normally have.

“It’s been tough. This year was probably the toughest year as far as dealing with the media. We haven’t been in a situation like this, losing five straight games (recently). It was something we weren’t used to but I understand dealing with the media is part of our business. It’s something we are obligated to do. I felt like I had to do it.”
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“The Chief Award” is named in honor of the Steelers’ founder, the late Art Rooney Sr.

MORE PRO BOWLERS?

The Steelers only had two of their stars make it to the Pro Bowl. The AFC roster announced Tuesday included nose tackle Casey Hampton and outside linebacker James Harrison.

But there is a chance as many as three more Steelers may play in the NFL’s annual all-star game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, tight end Heath Miller and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley are alternates.

If any Pro Bowl picks don’t play in the game, their places will be filled by alternates.

Of the three Steeler alternates, Roethlisberger and Miller have the best chance of making the Pro Bowl, which will be played Jan. 31 in Miami.

There’s a good chance that one of the three AFC QBs _ Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning, San Diego’s Philip Rivers or New England’s Tom Brady _ will be playing in the Feb. 7 Super Bowl. If that’s the case, he won’t play in the Pro Bowl.

The same holds true for the AFC Pro Bowl tight ends, If Indy’s Dallas Clark or San Diego’s Antonio Gates are in the Super Bowl, Miller will be added to the AFC roster.

Woodley’s chances of playing in the Pro Bowl aren’t as promising. The three outside linebackers — Harrison, Houston’s Brian Cushing and Denver’s Elvis Dumervil _ might not even make the playoffs.

WOODLEY HONORED

Based on his impressive performance Sunday in a 23-20 win over Baltimore, Woodley has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Woodley finished the game with seven solo tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. Both his sacks came on the Ravens final possession. The second sack resulted in a fumble that was recovered by rookie defensive end Ziggy Hood.

Woodley, a second-round pick in the 2007 draft, leads the Steelers with 11.5 sacks this season.

He set a franchise record Sunday by recording at least a half-sack in seven consecutive games. The previous record of six was set by linebacker Greg Lloyd in 1994.

NorthCoast
12-31-2009, 12:01 PM
Wallace was one of the few bright spots this season. Is there an anti-Greene award? We have a few candidates for that one as well.

Iron Shiek
12-31-2009, 12:19 PM
Wallace was one of the few bright spots this season. Is there an anti-Greene award? We have a few candidates for that one as well.

Tyrone Carter wins the Anthony Smith bonehead award. Would that be the Anti Greene? Or would it be the Plaxico "Spike the Live Ball" Honorary Award.

BradshawsHairdresser
12-31-2009, 01:27 PM
"Some people say I started off slow this year. I'm playing pretty strong in the second half. It's kind of a popularity-type thing to me." — Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on not making the Pro Bowl despite having 11.5 sacks, third most in the AFC.

To say he started off slow is an understatement. He came in out of shape, and was essentially INVISIBLE for the first half of the season. Start a season like you care, LaMarr, and maybe you'll find yourself making a Pro Bowl.