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Ghost
09-10-2010, 03:13 PM
Living in Enemy territory....

FLOWERY BRANCH Ė Pittsburghís Hines Ward, the hardest hitting wide receiver in the NFL, spoke to the Atlanta media earlier this week on a conference call.

The former University of Georgia standout was open about Dennis Dixon, Ben Roethlisberger and Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann. He also gave us an update on former Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer and a prediction on Saturdayís Georgia vs. South Carolina game.

Q: How have you all managed the quarterback situation leading up to the opener?

A: We decided to go with Dennis Dixon. Right now, we are trying to do everything possible to get ready. We are meeting after practice and in the morning. . . We are getting our communication down with the hot (routes) and stuff like that. We are putting in overtime just to make sure that we are all on the same page communication-wise.

Q: How has he looked so far? In his one start last year, he looked pretty good.

A: Heís looks great. He went out and made some plays throughout the preseason. Given that heís our starting quarterback now, he has the proper preparation time during the week so that he can go out and be ready for Sunday. Last year, he didnít really have the preparation time and still managed to go out and beat Baltimore in Baltimore.

Q: On film, what do you see from Atlantaís defense?

A: Their secondary is aggressive. They are young. They have some great ball players. I think (Brent) Grimes is phenomenal when the ball is in the air. Heís an acrobat around the ball. Dunta is still a great cornerback. Even when I was in college I remember him in high school up in Athens. I got a chance to play against him when he was in Houston. I really havenít seen any film on him. I really donít know how heís going to recovery from his injury. No. 71, (Kroy Biermann) he is beast. Just watching him on film, his motor doesnít stop. Heís constantly getting pressure on the quarterback. Heís a force in the run game. For us, it really starts up front. If we can contain their front seven hopefully we can open up some holes in the secondary. Hopefully we can take advantage of getting Dennis outside of the pocket.

Q: How much of the play book has to be closed? There was some talk about putting Charlie (Batch) in there because he knows more of the offense.

A: We just simplified a lot of things. We are not going to give Dennis too much. But the things that heís comfortable with. He can run. One thing that Dennis brings to the table . . .is that he makes plays with his legs. Thatís something that the Falcons have to prepare for. There are a lot of coverages that you canít run. If you all-out blitz and Dennis escapes that, thatís six going the other way. I donít know how they are going to play us. I donít know if they are going to blitz us the whole time. Or if they are going to sit back and see if Dennis can beat them by reading coverages and dumping the ball off. Either (way) we have to be prepared.

Q: You respect the game. Is it still a pleasure to see a guy like Kroy Biermann, whoís unheralded and he comes in and gets after it?

A: No question. Thatís how I came into the league through special teams. Really nobody (expected much from) me. I just played my tail off. For him to beat out the first rounder, I think it was Jamaal Anderson, it goes to show that the coach doesnít really care what round youíre drafted in. Heís going to put the players out there who are going to give 110 percent. He stands out on that tape. You donít see anything but constant play out of him. His motor doesnít stop. Those are the guys you have to worry about. Of course, the marquee guys (Sean) Weatherspoon and (John) Abraham, those guys, they are going to make plays. When you add in a player like (Biermann) whose motor doesnít stop and his goal is to try to disrupt things, it can be disruptive through out the game

Q: How do you all replace Santonio Holmes in the passing game?

A: You canít replace a Santonio Holmes, but I think we have the depth in all of the other spots with myself and Mike Wallace, who is emerging. Mike is definitely faster than Santonio. . . Weíve been working with Mike to try to slow it down and be more of a crisp route runner. But Santonio always gave you that run after the catch. He could go up top. He was just a dynamic receiver. Of course we lost that. But with Mike Wallace, myself and bringing Antwaan Randle El back, and we have these two young guys that are emerging in Emanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. I think between all of us we can make up for what we lost.

Q: How has Jonathan Dwyer looked for you guys in the preseason?

A: Heís was excellent in camp. He ran the ball well. I knew that he was always going to be a great runner, playing in the option and stuff. Heís just used to it. He has a knack for running the ball. Itís the other things that we are just trying to work with him on. Itís tough for any rookie running back. You have to be able to pass block. You have to do other things, not just run the ball. Heís getting better and better. Come this season, he will make some huge plays for us offensively.

Q: Will you all roll Dennis out? Run some option?

A: You just want me to tell you everything? Iím trying to beat you guys. I havenít beaten the Falcons since Iíve been here. I think Iím 0-1-1. I need every edge we can possible get. I really want to win this one.

Q: What did you say to Ben (Roethlisberger) when he was leaving camp?

A: I really didnít say anything. As preseason ended, the realization of him not being here (hit us). A lot of guys didnít know that he wasnít allowed in the facility. Itís to the point where we canít even contact Ben to discuss football or the suspension will be added on to. Itís disappointing. Not just the fact that heís not with us. . . He let a lot of people down. Not just the players. I think the fans are more hurt. I think throughout this, heís been adamant about changing himself. Heís a better teammate. Heís going out of his way to do things for the fans. . . I think he will come back with a vengeance. Our job is to hold down the fort until he comes back.

Q: Dunta Robinson just said South Carolina is going to win by 21. Whatís your reaction?

A: Tell Dunta their tight end just got hurt. . . Itís going to be a close one though. 21-17, Georgia.

cruzer8
09-10-2010, 04:41 PM
Q: What did you say to Ben (Roethlisberger) when he was leaving camp?

A: I really didnít say anything. As preseason ended, the realization of him not being here (hit us). A lot of guys didnít know that he wasnít allowed in the facility. Itís to the point where we canít even contact Ben to discuss football or the suspension will be added on to. Itís disappointing. Not just the fact that heís not with us. . . He let a lot of people down. Not just the players. I think the fans are more hurt. I think throughout this, heís been adamant about changing himself. Heís a better teammate. Heís going out of his way to do things for the fans. . . I think he will come back with a vengeance. Our job is to hold down the fort until he comes back.


Just can't resist, can you Hines?

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-10-2010, 05:25 PM
Living in Enemy territory....

Q: Dunta Robinson just said South Carolina is going to win by 21. Whatís your reaction?

A: Tell Dunta their tight end just got hurt. . . Itís going to be a close one though. 21-17, Georgia.

Did he just say what I think he did??? :wft

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-10-2010, 05:30 PM
Living in Enemy territory....Q: How much of the play book has to be closed? There was some talk about putting Charlie (Batch) in there because he knows more of the offense.

A: We just simplified a lot of things. We are not going to give Dennis too much. But the things that heís comfortable with...

And what about this? Isn't this absolutely contrary to what Tomlin said yesterday or the day before? :wft :wft

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-10-2010, 05:31 PM
I pray Hines doesn't turn into the Tiki Barber of the Steelers. He's the only jersey I bought ...

cruzer8
09-10-2010, 05:49 PM
Living in Enemy territory....

Q: Dunta Robinson just said South Carolina is going to win by 21. Whatís your reaction?

A: Tell Dunta their tight end just got hurt. . . Itís going to be a close one though. 21-17, Georgia.

Did he just say what I think he did??? :wft

He's talking college ball. South Carolina vs Georgia.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-10-2010, 05:59 PM
Living in Enemy territory....

Q: Dunta Robinson just said South Carolina is going to win by 21. Whatís your reaction?

A: Tell Dunta their tight end just got hurt. . . Itís going to be a close one though. 21-17, Georgia.

Did he just say what I think he did??? :wft

He's talking college ball. South Carolina vs Georgia.

Whew, that makes me feel a lot better. I would have been horribly dismayed otherwise. But instead, I'm happy to say I'm way off base for thinking he was talking about the game on Sunday!

SteelHead
09-10-2010, 06:26 PM
Q: What did you say to Ben (Roethlisberger) when he was leaving camp?

A: I really didnít say anything. As preseason ended, the realization of him not being here (hit us). A lot of guys didnít know that he wasnít allowed in the facility. Itís to the point where we canít even contact Ben to discuss football or the suspension will be added on to. Itís disappointing. Not just the fact that heís not with us. . .He let a lot of people down. Not just the players. I think the fans are more hurt. I think throughout this, heís been adamant about changing himself. Heís a better teammate. Heís going out of his way to do things for the fans. . . I think he will come back with a vengeance. Our job is to hold down the fort until he comes back.


Ya know....I've never been one on this whole bandwagon of Hines being out for Ben with some of his comments. For the most part I just think he's an honest guy who takes his leadership seriously but come on dude , can ya leave the "headline material" type stuff alone. These are things that writers take out of an interview and turn into more anti-Ben stuff which certainly doesn't help with everyone just moving on. I get what he's saying and the positive stuff is a great sign of his teammates being behind him but just leave it at than Hines.

Ok , rant over. Just getting a little sick of the little digs from him. He's not wrong but it's time to move on.

2 Days till STEELER FOOTBALL baby !!!
:tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1
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. :ratsuck

ikestops85
09-10-2010, 06:54 PM
I agree ... I'm a big Hines fan but the dude has to chill with the catty remarks towards Ben. He needs to just put that smile on his face, put on his helmet, go out on the field and kick some arse. Leave the sound bites to other a-holes.

Crash
09-10-2010, 08:08 PM
That smile is as phony as a $3 bill.

What a bunch of garbage. He just can't shut up.

I hope sooner or later his "rumored" off the field life gets made public. We'll see how he reacts to it.

skyhawk
09-11-2010, 06:15 PM
That smile is as phony as a $3 bill.

What a bunch of garbage. He just can't shut up.

I hope sooner or later his "rumored" off the field life gets made public. We'll see how he reacts to it.

Yep. Hines' fake smile reminds me of the fakest smile ever, Isiah Thomas.

Crash
09-11-2010, 06:44 PM
That smile is as phony as a $3 bill.

What a bunch of garbage. He just can't shut up.

I hope sooner or later his "rumored" off the field life gets made public. We'll see how he reacts to it.

Yep. Hines' fake smile reminds me of the fakest smile ever, Isiah Thomas.

Friggin' Zeke. Everything he touches turns to sh|t.

birtikidis
09-11-2010, 07:45 PM
Q: What did you say to Ben (Roethlisberger) when he was leaving camp?

A: I really didnít say anything. As preseason ended, the realization of him not being here (hit us). A lot of guys didnít know that he wasnít allowed in the facility. Itís to the point where we canít even contact Ben to discuss football or the suspension will be added on to. Itís disappointing. Not just the fact that heís not with us. . .He let a lot of people down. Not just the players. I think the fans are more hurt. I think throughout this, heís been adamant about changing himself. Heís a better teammate. Heís going out of his way to do things for the fans. . . I think he will come back with a vengeance. Our job is to hold down the fort until he comes back.


Ya know....I've never been one on this whole bandwagon of Hines being out for Ben with some of his comments. For the most part I just think he's an honest guy who takes his leadership seriously but come on dude , can ya leave the "headline material" type stuff alone. These are things that writers take out of an interview and turn into more anti-Ben stuff which certainly doesn't help with everyone just moving on. I get what he's saying and the positive stuff is a great sign of his teammates being behind him but just leave it at than Hines.

Ok , rant over. Just getting a little sick of the little digs from him. He's not wrong but it's time to move on.

2 Days till STEELER FOOTBALL baby !!!
:tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
. :ratsuck
i think y'all need to read the entire quote. He's right. Ben let people down. he didn't keep ripping him. from that point forward all he talked about was how ben was "going to come out with a vengance" how he's "made it a point to go out of his way for fans" etc.

but, i am surprised that he said that DD managed to beat Baltimore in Baltimore, because we lost that game.

stlrz d
09-11-2010, 07:50 PM
Q: What did you say to Ben (Roethlisberger) when he was leaving camp?

A: I really didnít say anything. As preseason ended, the realization of him not being here (hit us). A lot of guys didnít know that he wasnít allowed in the facility. Itís to the point where we canít even contact Ben to discuss football or the suspension will be added on to. Itís disappointing. Not just the fact that heís not with us. . .He let a lot of people down. Not just the players. I think the fans are more hurt. I think throughout this, heís been adamant about changing himself. Heís a better teammate. Heís going out of his way to do things for the fans. . . I think he will come back with a vengeance. Our job is to hold down the fort until he comes back.


Ya know....I've never been one on this whole bandwagon of Hines being out for Ben with some of his comments. For the most part I just think he's an honest guy who takes his leadership seriously but come on dude , can ya leave the "headline material" type stuff alone. These are things that writers take out of an interview and turn into more anti-Ben stuff which certainly doesn't help with everyone just moving on. I get what he's saying and the positive stuff is a great sign of his teammates being behind him but just leave it at than Hines.

Ok , rant over. Just getting a little sick of the little digs from him. He's not wrong but it's time to move on.

2 Days till STEELER FOOTBALL baby !!!
:tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
. :ratsuck
i think y'all need to read the entire quote. He's right. Ben let people down. he didn't keep ripping him. from that point forward all he talked about was how ben was "going to come out with a vengance" how he's "made it a point to go out of his way for fans" etc.

but, i am surprised that he said that DD managed to beat Baltimore in Baltimore, because we lost that game.

Actually...ah hell, we've been through it a million times. It's not worth it.

:HeadBanger

hawaiiansteel
09-11-2010, 08:14 PM
Yep. Hines' fake smile reminds me of the fakest smile ever, Isiah Thomas.



as long as Hines doesn't kiss opposing players before the game i'm okay...

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/01/magic-johnson-isiah-thomas-kiss-425.jpg

Crash
09-11-2010, 08:32 PM
He's right. Ben let people down

No he's not right. Goodell's lynching of an uncharged man is what let people down.

Hines dicked around so much on his wife that they are no longer married. Hines' clubbing/chasing skirt in Pittsburgh is legendary.

Now what if some bar skank accuses him and he's not charged? Did Hines let people down? Of course not. He's innocent.

Just like this "bad teammate" crap Hines talks about "earlier" in Ben's career. Hello???? This is year seven, he was team captain twice and team MVP once the last three years, so someone likes Ben, no?

Hines has been a crap teammate for years. Read his words on a variety of subjects long before Reno, and long before Milledgevilel came up for Ben.

Hines is LOVING this. Because now the focus is back on him. If he had any balls he would just come out and say what he feels: He doesn't like Ben because Plax and Ben were close.

Hines is nothing more than a bitter, jealous, paranoid freak. Ask those around the team who follow it. They'll all tell you the same thing.

I hope Ben comes out and speaks the truth about Hines: That before Ben arrived all Hines Ward was, was a good WR on mostly crap teams.

And that drives Ward CRAZY.

birtikidis
09-11-2010, 10:13 PM
crash, who cares? the bottom line is ben won't be on the field. that's a let down. sure i think it was completely wrong to suspend him, but as the saying goes fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. immature behavior is a let down. period. whether it be driving a motorcycle without a helmet, license and insurance or hanging out in college bars on your birthday. anytime you get your name in the paper for anything negative, it's a let down. get over it.

Crash
09-11-2010, 10:44 PM
If Goodell suspended players who had immature behavior he won't have a league. And Hines would have been suspended for life years ago as a repeat offender.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-11-2010, 10:52 PM
If Goodell suspended players who had immature behavior he won't have a league. And Hines would have been suspended for life years ago as a repeat offender.

There's only 1 criterion for Goodell's punishment - bad headlines.

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 12:09 AM
If Goodell suspended players who had immature behavior he won't have a league. And Hines would have been suspended for life years ago as a repeat offender.

There's only 1 criterion for Goodell's punishment - bad headlines.

I have said this from day one.
Small print on the sports page- non issue.
Front of the sports page- we got a problem

When it goes TMZ......when your story is in the same level as Lindsey Lohan going to jail, when you are a topic on "The View" and women who know nothing of the game and have never heard of you before are discussing you.....When the headlines are NOT limited to sports pages, Goodell WILL come after you hard.

Crash
09-12-2010, 12:18 AM
Vince Young's video of assault was all over ESPN and sports channels when it came out.

No suspension.

Try again.

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 12:28 AM
Vince Young's video of assault was all over ESPN and sports channels when it came out.

No suspension.

Try again.
Perhaps you need to "try again".

Read and attempt to comprehend.
You missed the entire point.

birtikidis
09-12-2010, 12:33 AM
Vince Young's video of assault was all over ESPN and sports channels when it came out.

No suspension.

Try again.
I don't give a crap about vince young. you don't get it crash, and i don't think you ever will.

Crash
09-12-2010, 01:08 AM
Vince Young's video of assault was all over ESPN and sports channels when it came out.

No suspension.

Try again.
Perhaps you need to "try again".

Read and attempt to comprehend.
You missed the entire point.

Vince Young's behavior got plenty of headlines, considering his bizarre behavior when his own mother asked Jeff Fisher to find him because she was afraid he was going to harm himself.

Guilty as sin, national headlines for Vince.

He's playing tomorrow.

If Ben's black, he's playing too.

How many media people do you guys need to hear say "Players were waiting to see what Ben's suspension would be" before you admit that his race played a big part in this?

Goodell should be flogged for what he did to Ben while at the same time letting repeat convicted criminals get less games, and others who plead guilty get zero.

Crash
09-12-2010, 01:31 AM
And again.......

Big Ben, Steelers paying the price
Concern over effects of suspension colors today's start of season
Sunday, September 12, 2010

From the moment Hines Ward waited to walk with him to the practice field at Saint Vincent College, lending moral support for his first appearance in public on the opening day of training camp, to the night he stood in the locker room at Heinz Field, knowing it was the last time he would be with his teammates until Oct. 4, Ben Roethlisberger impacted the Steelers in more ways this summer than probably anyone even imagined, maybe even more than when he was helping them win two Super Bowl titles.

And there is plenty more to come.

To some, including the quarterback himself, the saga of Ben Roethlisberger -- thrust into the public consciousness after a drunken March night in Milledgeville, Ga., that eventually led to allegations of sexual assault but no charges -- is only warming up.

To be sure, the public drama of his legal ordeal that included the release of sordid descrip-tions of what reportedly happened in a nightclub bathroom with a 20-year-old college student tarnished Mr. Roethlisberger's reputation, perhaps beyond repair, and fractured and appalled a Steelers fan base, some of whom wanted him shipped out of town.

But, what happens in the next four weeks while he serves a suspension for violating the National Football League's personal conduct policy -- and, perhaps more important, how he will be received by his teammates when he returns -- is a central issue that will burn quietly in the locker room, out of the public glare, for the remainder of the season and maybe beyond.

"And it's all because of a situation that happened off the field," said Mr. Ward, who enters his 13th NFL season as the team's all-time leader in receptions (895) and receiving yards (10,947). "And we're the ones who got to deal with it."

Unfairly or not, the Steelers players who will be on the field at 1 p.m. today against the Atlanta Falcons are the ones who will really pay the price for Mr. Roethlisberger's transgressions at the Capital City nightclub in Milledgeville.

But, with the full support of the Rooney family, who helped craft the punishment for their quarterback, that is the message Commissioner Roger Goodell wanted to deliver to Mr. Roethlisberger: Behavior off the field can indeed affect what happens on the field.

Fines, community service and charity work do not carry the same impact.

The Steelers stood firmly behind the sentence, which is why they did not seek a reduction in his suspension beyond the minimum four games. When the organization made the decision to rehabilitate Mr. Roethlisberger and not trade him, they did so with the knowledge and full acceptance that the franchise might suffer in the short term more than the quarterback himself.

"It's going to hurt; it's going to be hard," Mr. Roethlisberger said in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in the days leading up to the final preseason game Sept. 2 against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field. "I'm never going to take credit for a win, but I take credit for losses."

The return
In the four games in which they will be without their two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, the Steelers play the Falcons, who are coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history and are picked by some to unseat the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints as NFC South division champions; the Tennessee Titans, who won eight of their final 10 games in 2009; the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers; and division rival Baltimore Ravens, maybe the favorite in the AFC North.

It is conceivable the Steelers could start the season 1-3 before Mr. Roethlisberger returns from suspension Oct. 4, the day after the Steelers play the Ravens at Heinz Field. And even Mr. Roethlisberger has wondered how he will walk into the locker room, if that is the case, knowing his absence likely contributed to the poor start.

"I thought about it for the first time the other night, and I don't know -- I don't know if I'm going to cry or if I'm going to smile or go hug everybody," Mr. Roethlisberger said. "I honestly don't know yet. But it's going to be good to be back."

"He'll walk in with his head high, ready to work, ready to help us," said defensive end Brett Keisel, one of Mr. Roethlisberger's best friends on the team. "I think that's got to be your mentality -- to come in and make us all stronger. We all understand the situation and we're all going to welcome him with open arms.

"I think everyone will be happy he's back, regardless where we are, record-wise. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. To have a guy like that back on the field, it helps."

But it might not be as simple as that.

"If that were me, in his shoes, and we started off bad, that would devastate me because I know what I bring to the team, I know what I mean to this organization, and I let my off-field actions be the reason [for that]," Mr. Ward said. "It may not be the total reason why we started off bad, but I know me being on field gives us a better chance to win. I would be disappointed. And what happens if they have success without me? And to not be able to be around the guys, that's a whole other ballgame."

That's why some of the players will be curious to see how Mr. Roethlisberger handles his return. And how they react to him.

"We don't want to see any 'The savior's back,' that type of thing," said injured right tackle Willie Colon, who will not play this season because of surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Mr. Colon was one of the players who attended Mr. Roethlisberger's birthday gathering at his off-season house in Reynolds Plantation, Ga., and was at the Capital City nightclub the night the incident occurred.

"We all have the attitude that once we put on the helmet and we wear the Steeler logo, we put our hands in the dirt and go to work. That's what we expect to see from him. We don't want to see the whole lights-camera-action thing. That's not us."

Still, there is little doubt that every move Mr. Roethlisberger continues to make will be magnified. Just like the past six months.

"The whole situation is going to have drama, period," Mr. Ward said.

Steeler in exile
Under terms of his suspension, Mr. Roethlisberger is not allowed around the team -- not on their South Side office property, not at Heinz Field -- and is not allowed to talk with coaches or front-office personnel. He is also not allowed to talk to any of his teammates about what a league spokesman called "Steelers-related football matters," but he is not prohibited from talking to them or seeing them about other matters not pertaining to the team.

That foiled the plans of guard Trai Essex, who said the offensive linemen were planning to meet with Mr. Roethlisberger during his suspension to keep him abreast of what was happening with the team.

"This is a unique situation," Mr. Essex said before terms of the suspension were finalized. "We haven't had to deal with this with a player of his magnitude before. It's a process we'll have to get familiar with."

Mr. Roethlisberger said he will keep busy during his suspension working here with his personal quarterback coach, George Whitfield Jr., a former college and Arena League quarterback who runs Whitfield Athletix in San Diego, Calif. Mr. Roethlisberger said he is also hoping to help a local high-school football team.

"I'm not 100 percent sure yet what I'll be doing," Mr. Roethlisberger said. "I'd like to stay [involved] with football things. That will help."

In reducing his suspension from six games to four, Mr. Goodell said he was satisfied with the positive change in Mr. Roethlisberger and his compliance with terms of his league-mandated treatment and counseling. Mr. Roethlisberger has not said whom he has turned to for guidance -- his closest friends on the team are Mr. Keisel and the offensive linemen -- but on several occasions since the Milledgeville incident, he has mentioned things his father, Ken, has always told him.

But, regardless of any personal metamorphosis, Mr. Roethlisberger's behavior in a small college town six months ago has put his teammates in an untenable position. No matter how much they defend him, they know any success they might have in 2010 could be compromised by what happens in the four games without him.

Couple that with the loss of former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, who was traded to the New York Jets because of repeated off-field issues, and the Steelers will be facing what Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu called "the biggest test of all" this season.

"I don't look at Ben and automatically think about the issues he's had to deal with this offseason," Mr. Polamalu said. "It's really not our job to really think about those things. We're not trying to portray the dramatic pitch to the fans out there. All our job is is to come out here and put together the best team we can and come out and produce."

Humbling experience?
On the first day of practice at Saint Vincent College, shortly after Mr. Roethlisberger took the field with Mr. Ward by his side, Coach Mike Tomlin had his 28-year-old quarterback take the first snap of training camp with the first-team offense, even though that wouldn't be the case when the regular season would start more than six weeks later.

Asked if he were sending a message, Mr. Tomlin replied tersely, "No."

But, indeed, Mr. Tomlin was sending some kind of message, whether to the players, fans or even the quarterback himself, that Mr. Roethlisberger was his No. 1 guy. And he spent most of the preseason reinforcing the point, electing to start Mr. Roethlisberger in each of the final three preseason games.

At one point, Mr. Tomlin referred to the process of how he was deploying his quarterbacks as "double thumbs up."

"I've heard people say, 'Why is he playing in the preseason if he's not going to be here? Shouldn't we focus on guys who will be playing?' I've heard it all," Mr. Ward said. "You see Ben out there in the huddle, knowing he isn't going to be out there the first four games, and we're still having to decide on a starting quarterback -- everyone in this locker room is affected. We're all dealing with it the best we can."

Indeed, the Milledgeville incident has impacted the professional lives of many, beginning with backup quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was reacquired in a draft-day trade specifically to bring insurance to the position. When Mr. Leftwich sprained his medial collateral ligament in the final preseason game, the Steelers were forced to keep veteran Charlie Batch on the roster, causing them to cut guard Kraig Urbik, last year's third-round pick. When Mr. Roethlisberger returns to the 53-man roster in October, the team will have to cut another player, perhaps Mr. Batch, to make room.

But the incident also has impacted Mr. Roethlisberger, who appeared to change the way he interacted with people, even with his own teammates, according to those who know him.

"All this bad pub, he wants to prove to everybody that he is a good person," Mr. Essex said. "We know what kind of person he is, what kind of teammate he is. But he's out to prove something."

"We've all made bad decisions and choices and he's dealing with the consequences of doing that," Mr. Ward said. "It's how he's repairing himself. The camaraderie he has now is night and day. He's involved with everybody. For so many years, you'd see him go his own way and you really didn't know what was going on. Now he's mingling with rookies, veteran guys, older guys."

Asked why Mr. Roethlisberger is doing that now, Mr. Ward said, "I have no idea. Maybe it was a humbling experience. When you have success at a young age like he did and you're up here, there's only one place to go when something goes wrong -- you go down."

'A football junkie'
For his part, Mr. Tomlin spent the preseason trying to publicly downplay the significance of Mr. Roethlisberger's suspension. He was careful to not reveal which quarterback -- Mr. Leftwich or Dennis Dixon -- would be the starter in the season opener, even though most signs pointed to Mr. Leftwich. What's more, he was especially careful not to judge Mr. Roethlisberger or bring into question any issues about his character or even his supposedly new behavior.

When asked Aug. 13 if he thought Mr. Roethlisberger was a different person, Mr. Tomlin said, "I don't know how different he is. I try to develop intimate relationships with people that's characteristic of leadership. When you develop those relationships, sometimes you have perspective on people that maybe others don't have.

"From my perspective, Ben is Ben. He's a football junkie. He likes to compete. He's enjoying camp. Those are very consistent with things he's done for the four seasons I've been around him."

There is little doubt Mr. Roethlisberger will be a different person when he returns in four weeks. There is even less doubt who will be the starting quarterback when he does, though that remains part of the subplot.

Of bigger concern is how Mr. Roethlisberger, after being apart from his teammates for four weeks, will change the makeup of a team attempting to form a personality without him.

"He understands what he did to the organization, he understands the mark he left on his family, he understands all the ridicule, he understands all of that," Mr. Colon said. "But, there's no doubt in my heart he's learned his lesson for what he's done. He's extremely passionate about getting this team where it needs to be and getting another [Super Bowl] ring.

"That's his sole purpose and that's his sole focus."

Crash
09-12-2010, 01:56 AM
"If that were me, in his shoes, and we started off bad, that would devastate me because I know what I bring to the team, I know what I mean to this organization, and I let my off-field actions be the reason [for that]," Mr. Ward said. "It may not be the total reason why we started off bad, but I know me being on field gives us a better chance to win. I would be disappointed. And what happens if they have success without me? And to not be able to be around the guys, that's a whole other ballgame."

What a joke. This moron refused to honor his signed contract, and he's talking about what others did "off the field".

The ONLY drama left in all this is because Ward won't shut the hell up.

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 01:56 AM
Vince Young's behavior got plenty of headlines, considering his bizarre behavior when his own mother asked Jeff Fisher to find him because she was afraid he was going to harm himself.
Guilty as sin, national headlines for Vince.

You still miss my point or simply choose to avoid it. :lol:


If Ben's black, he's playing too.

This is clear because the commish never suspends black players, right Crash? :roll:

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 02:00 AM
"If that were me, in his shoes, and we started off bad, that would devastate me because I know what I bring to the team, I know what I mean to this organization, and I let my off-field actions be the reason [for that]," Mr. Ward said. "It may not be the total reason why we started off bad, but I know me being on field gives us a better chance to win. I would be disappointed. And what happens if they have success without me? And to not be able to be around the guys, that's a whole other ballgame."

What a joke. This moron refused to honor his signed contract, and he's talking about what others did "off the field".

The ONLY drama left in all this is because Ward won't shut the hell up.

Gotta agree on this one. Hines needs to shut up.

Crash
09-12-2010, 02:00 AM
This is clear because the commish never suspends black players, right Crash?

Without charges? Nope. Ben's the first. Goodell will never suspend a black player without being charged with a crime.

Two additional players were investigated for the SAME CRIME Ben was, after Milledgeville. They also were not charged.

But only the white guy is sitting.

You can take from that what you will.

Crash
09-12-2010, 02:16 AM
When it goes TMZ

http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/22/tom-brady ... -shooting/ (http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/22/tom-brady-and-gisele-sued-for-shooting/)

I'm sorry, I must have missed how many games he was suspended for?

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 02:28 AM
In saying "why" Pacman was supended-

Goodell said:

"Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league."

He said to Vick before his conviction:

"While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football League to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy."

Goodells words to Vick long before Ben make clear the policy has NOTHING to do with whether a crime was even committed.

What is the purpose of the Personal Conduct Policy?


Wikipedia:

On April 10, 2007, the National Football League introduced a new conduct policy to help control off-field behavior by its players and preserve the league's public image.[1] The policy, introduced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, implements a tougher, new personal-conduct policy, and under conditions of the previous policy handed down two of the harshest suspensions in NFL history for off-field misdeeds. Each player that has been suspended must reapply for reinstatement. The policy only applies to the player's personal lives and image in the public spotlight.


You keep acting like it is a league "Justice System".

It was never meant to do that.

A "pattern" that tarnishes the leagues "image" is what it is about.

Bad PR.

By that standard, the one clearly described in the policy, one Goodell clearly communicates when a suspension is handed out, you CANNOT say these other incidents are worse, since it is about PR not justice.

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 02:39 AM
When it goes TMZ

http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/22/tom-brady ... -shooting/ (http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/22/tom-brady-and-gisele-sued-for-shooting/)

I'm sorry, I must have missed how many games he was suspended for?

Hmmm, I never heard of that one.

I give up, between Bret Farve accusation that you brought up and this one I am convinced that since both these "black QBs" did not face Goodell wrath its all about race. :lol:

Crash
09-12-2010, 02:45 AM
Pac Man was arrested multiple times.

Mike Vick was CHARGED, two weeks BEFORE training camp began. The charges weren't "pending" like race baiter Jamele Hill states, he was already charged.

"The Falcons' Pro Bowl quarterback was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on charges he sponsored dog fights at a home he owns in Smithfield, Virginia. He's scheduled to make his first court appearance in Richmond, Virginia, on July 26, the same day the Falcons open training camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia"

So once more, try again.

Crash
09-12-2010, 02:50 AM
I think Hines is brain dead too:


Facebook

Hines Ward: 5 day til Gameday against the Falcons. I can't wait to play because being from Atlanta I've yet to beat the falcons

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/b ... 250pit.htm (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199910250pit.htm)

I guess we had a different Hines on that team. Actually I think we did. That Hines wasn't a loudmouth team cancer like this one is.

Crash
09-12-2010, 02:55 AM
So if the media runs the league what's Goodell's job?

Some skank can lie off her ass and accuse Mike Tomlin of raping her tomorrow. That will bring bad PR, no? So should Tomlin sit then?

Bad PR's the excuse, race is the reason.

Stop denying it.

Crash
09-12-2010, 02:58 AM
http://static.thedirty.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/lane-kiffin.jpg

That would be married Mike Tomlin drinking booze out of a stylish red cup with Lane Kiffen in the company of multiple females who are not his wife.

Bad PR? Why isn't Tomlin sitting?

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 03:18 AM
Pac Man was arrested multiple times.

Mike Vick was CHARGED, two weeks BEFORE training camp began. The charges weren't "pending" like race baiter Jamele Hill states, he was already charged.

"The Falcons' Pro Bowl quarterback was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on charges he sponsored dog fights at a home he owns in Smithfield, Virginia. He's scheduled to make his first court appearance in Richmond, Virginia, on July 26, the same day the Falcons open training camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia"

So once more, try again.

I have no disagreement at all about what is more "serious".
For all I care they could STILL be suspended.

Crash, we know they commited crimes, I detest that some ignorant fools in the media act like these are the same as Ben who was not charged, they are not.

My point is that Goodell said "why" they were suspended. He clearly said it didnt matter if they were guilty of a crime. He said that long before Bens troubles.

He said to all three it is about the leagues image.

Once you grasp THAT you will see why they all got hit, black and white.

Find me a player that has a "pattern of behavior" that has "tarnished the leagues image" (Goodells Language) to the degree of shown here and was never suspended, then you can make your case.

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 03:59 AM
So if the media runs the league what's Goodell's job?

Some skank can lie off her bad word and accuse Mike Tomlin of raping her tomorrow. That will bring bad PR, no? So should Tomlin sit then?

Bad PR's the excuse, race is the reason.

Stop denying it.

Thanks Crash, for the low slow pitch. Now watch as I hit that one out of the park. :lol:

If "some skank" lied about Tomlin, and he had sex with her (like ms Reno) people would think she was lying unless she could prove it. If Tomlin went into a restroom in a public place with a 20 year-old he fed drinks to as YOU and I believe Ben did and she accused him of rape too after the first accusation? People would wonder if he did it. The outrage in Pittsburgh would be far greater that that of Ben.

Tomlin WOULD MOST DEFINITELY be arrested in Georgia before any hospital test based on the accusation alone.

Yes, Tomlin gets suspended by Goodell in a heartbeat.

AND he gets fired. And I'm all for it too.

That is embarrassing on a whole different level.
No way is Rooney putting up with that from a coach, the leader of the team.

Before you "go there" all of this happens whether Tomlin is married or not.

If you are HONEST you know I am right.

Crash
09-12-2010, 10:17 AM
Tomlin WOULD MOST DEFINITELY be arrested in Georgia before any hospital test based on the accusation alone.

Yes, Tomlin gets suspended by Goodell in a heartbeat.

Apples to oranges. Tomlin would be arrested, no?

Ben was never arrested.

Goodell will NEVER suspend, a black player, or a coach, without being charged first.

If he tried that? He'd get hell from Jesse and Al.

And that's why he won't do it.

Captain Lemming
09-12-2010, 11:35 AM
Tomlin WOULD MOST DEFINITELY be arrested in Georgia before any hospital test based on the accusation alone.

Yes, Tomlin gets suspended by Goodell in a heartbeat.

Apples to oranges. Tomlin would be arrested, no?

Ben was never arrested.

Goodell will NEVER suspend, a black player, or a coach, without being charged first.

If he tried that? He'd get hell from Jesse and Al.

And that's why he won't do it.

Crash, Goodell has been criticized by the same eliments from DAY ONE for suspending black players only. For YEARS. He could care less.

He was criticized for suspending players because he did so before they were proven guilty. Yes, they were "charged" but my point is he NEVER buckled from HIS POV based on criticism.

If he was so "scared" of criticism he would NOT have the history he has had.

He told those players WHY he suspended them. Nothing to do with "justice" or if a crime even occured. His words. He was criticized for taking that stand. He did so anyway without fear of repercussions from from eliments of the media who are all too quick to cry race (and you thought you had nothing in common with Jesse :D ).

By the very clear standard he articulated to other black people, Tomlin gets suspended for doing exactly what Ben did whether a crime occured or not.

Why has it not happened before?

If is almost impossible engage in a "pattern of behavior" that has "tarnished the leagues image" (Goodells Language before Ben) like this case.

You want to go "apples to apples" show me the case black or white where this has happened?

Crash
09-12-2010, 11:47 AM
Crash, Goodell has been criticized by the same eliments from DAY ONE for suspending black players only.

And how many of them were not charged? ZERO.


By the very clear standard he articulated to other black people, Tomlin gets suspended for doing exactly what Ben did whether a crime occured or not.

Not without being charged he wouldn't.