Tag Archives: long

Steelers Try Out Long Snapper Matt Katula

Aaron Wilson of Profootball.scout.com reports the Steelers tried out former Ravens and Patriots long snapper Matt Katula, according to a league source.

Katula, 29, played in five games last season for the Vikings, filling in when Cullen Loeffler broke a bone in his lower back.

A former Wisconsin player, Katula played with the Ravens from 2005 to 2009 and played eight games two years ago for the Patriots.

Source: Steelers Gab

David DeCastro, Alameda Ta’amu Fast, Powerful Friends Long Before Being Drafted By Pittsburgh


There are many reasons why rookies in the NFL may struggle in adapting to the pro version of the game. One of which is a lack of familiarity of the people with whom they're doing battle on the field.

Steelers first round pick, OG David DeCastro and fourth round pick, NT Alameda Ta'amu, may not have to worry about that as much. They have a history of competing against each other dating back to high school.

DeCastro and Ta'amu both attended high school in the Seattle area (DeCastro at Bellevue High School and Ta'amu from Rainier Beach), and were roommates together at a high school all-star football game in California back in 2007.

When the two made their college choices, DeCastro elected to attend Stanford due to its sterling academic reputation. Ta'amu stayed in-state, and played four years for the hometown Huskies.

The two squared off In 2009-11, with Stanford thrashing the Huskies all three times. The Cardinal rushed for 446 yards in their final meeting, a 65-21 thrashing of the visiting Huskies.

Per a Seattle Times article leading up to the game, the two appear to be respectful of each other, and still maintain a level of friendliness.

Of Ta'amu:

Whatever happens, Ta'amu says he'll warmly shake DeCastro's hand afterward. "That's my boy right there," he said this week.

And DeCastro:

"He's a great guy," DeCastro said of Ta'amu.

The familiarity they share with each other will serve them well as they compete against each other, hopefully for the Steelers, for a very long time.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Rooney: ‘Sooner the Better’ on Long Term Deal for Wallace


No news is good news in SteelerNation.

And there is no news.

Tribune-Review writer Scott Brown hit up Steelers president Art Rooney II for his thoughts on the progress of free agency, and the most one could glean from it is a subtle shot at the representatives of restricted free agent Mike Wallace. When asked about the progress of reaching a long-term deal, Brown quoted Rooney as saying "the sooner the better as far as we're concerned, but there are two parties to it."

This comes amid speculation from a Sacramento Bee report that Wallace informed the San Francisco 49ers, upon an inquiry about the kind of contract he's looking for, he wanted a deal similar to Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerld, which was reportedly eight years, and $ 120 million.

Wallace implied the information was false via Twitter:

But that's neither here nor there. Other teams have until April 20 to sign Wallace and other restricted free agents to an offer sheet.

The lack of a long-term deal for Wallace is possibly the reason why the Steelers have not signed any of their free agents, particularly WR Jerricho Cotchery or even RB Mewelde Moore.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Rooney and the Steelers still plan to sign Wallace long term

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Even after the report that Mike Wallace was looking for a mega deal the Steelers still have real interest in keeping him long term.  This is no surprise as Mr. Rooney has called signing Wallace a priority since the offseason started.  Rooney wants Wallace to stay and that is his number one goal for the offseason.  He made it clear today that he would like to get it done quickly so it is over with.
“The sooner the better as far as we’re concerned but there’s two parties to it,” Rooney told the Tribune-Review. “We’ll have to see what we agree on so I don’t want to put any particular time frame on it or restrictions on it because these things take time and I wouldn’t want to box myself in on it.”
The Steelers are still relatively close to the cap right now.  Signing Wallace may be a priority but it is also going to force the Steelers to rework some other contracts as well unless Wallace takes a low number this season.  The team stil...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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As Long as the Steelers Have a Franchise Quarterback, They Should be Able to Endure the Inevitable Roster Changes


As many long-time Steelers fans will tell you, one of the biggest mistakes the franchise ever made was passing on Dan Marino in the 1983 draft. Some have said that had the team drafted Marino, they may have won another title or two in the 80's.

I have a hard time believing that. It seems to me that those 80's squads were filled with a lot of mediocre talent, and it's hard to picture guys like Walter Abercrombie and Weegie Thompson being part of a Super Bowl parade, but after watching some of Bill Cowher's playoff teams come up short time and time again, maybe there's something to that.

Cowher's Steelers playoff teams from the 90's and early 00's were loaded with talent, but the one thing that seemed to keep them from winning a championship was the lack of a bona fide franchise quarterback.

When the Steelers finally drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, it ended their 20 year drought in the elite quarterback department , and it soon put them over the top to the tune of three Super Bowl appearances and two World Championships.

It's been a wonderful ride and a new golden era for Steelers fans. Unfortunately, however, the team faces major decisions regarding some legendary players, and there is a fear that the time for Super Bowl championships may be coming to an end.

However, I think the 2011 New England Patriots proved that as long as a team has a franchise quarterback, it can still be a serious Super Bowl contender.

To be honest, I thought the Patriots run as legit contenders was pretty much over. After their 18-1 campaign in 2007, the Pats failed to make the playoffs in 2008 and were one and done the following two years.

By 2011, the Patriots were seven years removed from their last Super Bowl championship, and it's pretty rare for a team to remain in the hunt that many years later. Besides, New England's 2011 roster looked nothing like their '04 team as legends like Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Willie Mcginest and Rodney Harrison were long gone.

The one constant, however, was Tom Brady. While the roster may have been younger in a lot of areas--the defense was certainly a work in progress--with Brady under center, the Patriots were able to maintain their championship level and make it to their fifth Super Bowl since 2001.

The Steelers will be forced to make some tough decisions here in the near-future, and there is no doubt that the roster will undergo some serious reconstruction.

Hey, that's life in today's NFL.

With free agency and a salary cap, it's harder today than it was years ago to maintain a championship level--kudos to the Steelers for keeping the team together for as long as it has--but with a franchise quarterback, an organization can still stay in contention as long as the front office and coaching staff do a decent job in overhauling the roster.

As Steelers fans, we'll have to say goodbye to some beloved Super Bowl heroes in the weeks, months and years to come, but with Ben Roethlisberger still in the prime of his career, we may not have to say goodbye to Super Bowl runs any time soon.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Jack Butler waited a long time to get into the Hall of Fame

How long has Jack Butler been waiting to get into the Hall of Fame? He played his last game in 1959, before 18 of the 32 current NFL head coaches were born, and his eligibility for the Hall of Fame began 48 years ago. In that time Butler watched all but one of the other…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers defensive lineman Hoke persisted despite long odds

Chris Hoke was the consummate role player who planted his hands in the trenches and committed to doing the dirty work that enabled others to thrive amid the spotlight.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Kirby Wilson faces a long road to recovery

On the Friday before the Steelers’ season ended with a 29-23 overtime loss in Denver, running backs coach Kirby Wilson was seriously injured in a house fire. The attachment of the label “not life-threatening” created a sense of relief, but it’s now clear that Wilson faces a long and difficult road to recovery. The Steelers…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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“Man, listen. Antonio got caught yesterday on his long run. That would never happen to me.” -Mike…

"Man, listen. Antonio got caught yesterday on his long run. That would never happen to me."

-Mike Wallace on Antonio Brown after being asked if the emerging second-year WR could hang with him in a race.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Steelers TE Saunders grateful for long road to NFL

Weslye Saunders spent nearly a year hearing the whispers. Endure the kind of self-inflicted hardship Saunders put himself through in 2010 and they're hard to ignore.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie tight end doesn't blame those who labeled him a ''cancer'' and a ''head case'' - Saunders' words - following his inglorious exit at South Carolina.

His senior season ended before it even began when coach Steve Spurrier suspended Saunders for a violation of team rules. He was kicked off the team entirely a few weeks later then admitted to lying to NCAA investigators about staying at an off-campus hotel at a discounted rate.

They weren't the kind of headlines that impress NFL scouts, who are just as concerned about character as the 6-foot-5, 270-pound Saunders' combination of size, speed and soft hands.

Missing the game he loved humbled Saunders. It also made him grow up. Quickly.

''I had to prove I wasn't what they said I was back in Carolina,'' Saunders said.

The process proved painful.

Saunders broke his left foot preparing for the NFL draft yet couldn't say no when the Steelers tight end coach James Daniel flew down to take a look. He went through all the drills - the 40-yard dash, shuttle run and route tree included - thanks to a mixture of grit and healthy doses of Tylenol.

He had surgery the next day then watched 224 players hear their name called in the draft. His was not one of them. It was a cold dose of reality, yet one Saunders now considers a favor.

If he'd stayed out of trouble, the Steelers wouldn't have signed him as an undrafted free agent shortly after the lockout ended. If he'd stayed healthy he might not have scored his first NFL touchdown last week in Pittsburgh's 13-9 win over Kansas City. If he'd played last year at South Carolina he might not have gained the perspective necessary to cut it with a veteran-laden team.

''Maybe if I'd have gone first round like everyone projected and I had anticipated I wouldn't be as grateful,'' he said. ''I would have taken it for granted. Just the fact I had to work so hard to get to where I am now, I'm just enjoying it.''

So much so Saunders forgot all about the well-choreographed touchdown celebration he'd outlined with teammate Antonio Brown when he finally reached the end zone for the first time, perhaps because he was still stunned when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stepped away from pressure before finding Saunders along the end line for a 2-yard score.

During the countless times the Steelers have run that play in practice, the ball never came Saunders' way. Not once. Yet he kept running as Roethlisberger broke containment, then went up and snatched the high pass out of the air while deftly getting both feet down before tumbling to the earth.

''To his credit, he stayed alive,'' Roethlisberger said. ''He's in the back of the end zone and he's a big-play guy. I was kind of disappointed he didn't go up and get it. He let it come down to him.''

Roethlisberger is kidding, well mostly. He's not quite ready to say Saunders has arrived, but acknowledges the two are slowly building a comfort level as the raw talent who couldn't block when training camp started became an effective part of the running game.

Once he proved his willingness to stick his nose in uncomfortable places and his ability to run routes properly, Saunders found himself on the field more often.

''When we started the season I didn't have a great rapport with Ben or anything like that,'' he said. ''But over the weeks, getting cussed out at practice and doing the wrong things in the game I've learned what not to do and what Ben likes and that's what's most important.''

Doesn't sound like the same kid who was so unwelcome at South Carolina last fall the school opted not to reinstate him last December even though he would have had one more year of eligibility.

There are no hard feelings on Saunders' part. As difficult as it was to be told he was no longer wanted, he needed it to grow both on the field and off.

''It definitely gave me time to grow and look at things from a different view,'' he said. ''Coming to an organization like this is truly a blessing, where winning is so important. I've never been part of a program like this.''

There's still one program he's not a part of despite countless lobbying: the ''Young Money Family,'' the fraternity established last season by receivers Brown, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders.

Brown told Saunders he ''needed to get his money up'' to earn a spot. As an undrafted free agent, Saunders' three-year deal is in a significantly lower tax bracket than the lucrative contract he would have signed if he'd been chosen in the first round.

''We're Young Money, but he's no money,'' Wallace said with a laugh.

Maybe, though Saunders understands if he does his work, the big-time payday will come.

That's a long way off, to be certain. A lot can happen over the next three years. Over the last 18 months, Saunders has gone from sure-fire star to cautionary tale to humble rookie.

It's a journey he never planned on taking, but one he knows was necessary.

''I'm happy where I am right now,'' he said. ''I really don't think about it as much. I wish things could have gone differently, but really things turned out OK.''

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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