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Roethlisberger, Wife ‘Really Excited’ For New Baby

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ben Roethlisberger and his wife are expecting and he talked to reporters for the first time about it on Tuesday.

“Obviously, family is very important to me and we’re really excited and we can’t wait for that day to come,” he said.

Over the weekend, Ben posted on his website that he and his wife Ashley are expecting a baby boy later this year.

“I want to be just like my dad,” he said. “I’ve said it many times and he’s my role model. If I could be like him, I’d be really happy, so that’s who I’m modeling my future fatherhood after.”

And he’s looking forward to making memories.

“The ultimate is to try to have your son or daughter or both at a Super Bowl, so that’s going to be my goal now is to get a Super Bowl,” says Ben, “because I don’t think there’s anything better than having your family on the field with you when you’re holding that trophy and the confetti’s falling on you.”

Ben and Ashley have been married for almost a year now. They tied the knot last July.

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Filed under: Sports, Steelers, Syndicated Sports Tagged: Ashley Harlan, Baby, Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

State Of The Steelers Linebackers – Could Worilds Really Be Slated To Move Inside?

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds is about to enter his third season since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. Several in Steeler Nation are still struggling to understand why inside linebackers Sean Lee or Navarro Bowman weren’t the pick instead of Worilds. Linebackers coach Keith Butler was asked that very question during his press conference following the selection of Worilds and said, “We like those guys. We like Bowman, I especially like Sean Lee. But those guys are inside linebackers right now. And we have a pretty good quartet of guys at inside linebacker. Read more […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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State Of The Steelers Linebackers – Could Worilds Really Be Slated To Move Inside?

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds is about to enter his third season since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. Several in Steeler Nation are still struggling to understand why inside linebackers Sean Lee or Navarro Bowman weren’t the pick instead of Worilds. Linebackers coach Keith Butler was asked that very question during his press conference following the selection of Worilds and said, “We like those guys. We like Bowman, I especially like Sean Lee. But those guys are inside linebackers right now. And we have a pretty good quartet of guys at inside linebacker. Read more […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Does Mike Wallace Really Think He Can Win a Staring Contest Against the Pittsburgh Steelers?

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Last week, it was reported that Mike Wallace, a restricted free agent, had decided that he wasn’t going to sign the Steelers $ 2.7 million one year tender. This indicated that Wallace’s intention was to draw a line in the sand and enter into a battle of wills with the Pittsburgh Steelers. You knew that already, of course. Neal Coolong summarized that quite succinctly last week when the news first broke.

That’s old news.

What’s even older news is that it’s almost impossible to win a staring contest with the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Wallace doesn’t know this, his agent should, and they should probably try to come up with a better plan if they’re going to get what they want.

More highly decorated Steelers than Mike Wallace have tried this tactic in the past, and they have failed.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the most disciplined approaches to running a business in all of professional sports. If they establish a way of doing things, a policy, they very rarely go off course.

For example, the Steeler hardly ever make big splashes in free agency. This often frustrates fans who want them to go hard after the top names each and every offseason. But the Steelers would rather build through the draft, develop their own stars, and sign them to huge deals when the time is right. The team just ignores the protests from the outside, continues to do their thing every year, and it has worked to the tune of being the most successful franchise in the NFL over the past 40 seasons.

The Steelers have also set a precedent of not re-negotiating contracts during the regular season.

In 1988, Pro Bowl linebacker Mike Merriweather held out the entire season despite still being under contract. The Steelers never gave in to this negotiation tactic, and they simply traded him away for a first round pick in 1989.

Want a more recent example? In 2005, Hines Ward, one of the greatest Steelers of all-time, held out the first couple of weeks of training camp because he wanted a new deal even though he still had another year remaining on his then current contract.

Did Hines think it was going to work? I don’t know. But it wasn’t long before then coach Bill Cowher persuaded Ward to come to camp, and it wasn’t long before the team took care of him with a new contract. Yes, Ward eventually got his deal, but that’s because he came to his senses and, unlike Merriweather, decided to negotiate in good faith. Had Ward continued to hold out, he probably wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.

That’s two examples nearly two-decades apart of how the Steelers handle strong-arm negotiation tactics. They simply don’t back down.

Wallace should take notes.

There has been speculation floating around over the past few weeks that Wallace wants Larry Fitzgerald money. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that he’s not going to get that kind of money from the Steelers, not with their salary cap situation being what it is. The team had to cut ties with a few veterans and ask a few others to re-structure their contracts just so they could barely get under the cap.

Very few restricted free agents sign offer sheets, but Wallace is an attractive enough receiver–the best deep threat in the game– that you would think someone would have taken at least a slight interest in him and tried to sign him to an offer sheet. The fact that Wallace has had very little interest from other teams at this late point is a pretty fair indication that maybe he is over-valuing his worth just a little bit.

I don’t think Wallace has much leverage at this point. His only real recourse is to sign the tender sheet and play out his last year with the Steelers and see what happens.

Do I think Wallace is worth Fitzgerald money? Personally, no, not yet. But that’s just my opinion, and things would change pretty fast if Wallace goes out and sets the league on fire this season.

If he establishes himself to be the equal to Fitzgerald and receivers like him, Wallace will have the leverage as he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2013..

And, who knows? The Steelers might actually be willing to find a way to give him a fair market deal.

As I said, the Steelers may hold their ground when re-negotiating, but they do want to keep their own stars whenever they can.

As a restricted free agent, Mike Wallace is under no obligation to sign anything or do anything. But he owes it to himself to at least sign the tender sheet if he and the Steelers can’t come to an agreement before training camp.

If he wants his big contract, he has a 16-week job interview coming up to show the Steelers and the rest of the NFL what he’s truly worth.

That’s his best option. Hopefully, he’ll come around, because the Steelers aren’t going to change their approach to business.

They always win their staring contests.

My guess is that Mike Wallace will be the one who blinks first.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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REALLY Mocking the NFL Draft: We Have No Idea Who Will Pan Out


I ran across an interesting statement in one of the innumerable draft articles I’ve viewed in the past few months. I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw it, nor the exact wording. But the essence of it was this: the writer indicated his preference for the draft and all the activity surrounding it to actual football.

It’s easy to make the assumption the speaker must have been a “fan” of one of the teams generally considered to win their Super Bowl in March and April. In other words, if, despite generally having high draft picks and the money to sign exciting free agents, one’s team doesn’t actually perform particularly well as a rule, one might just as well get excited about free agency and the draft and not worry too much about the season.

But I don’t think this was the case. I think the writer was writing for a Steelers blog, and would therefore be presumed to be interested in Steeler football.

The irony to me is how often the highly touted players everyone gets so worked up about don’t pan out. In the first round, they generally do, to one extent or another. But I suspect the folks who prefer the draft to actual football are more interested in finding the “gems” in later rounds. They are also presumably the people who write rapturous articles two days after the draft is over, praising how well their team did, or bemoaning the fabulous players they left on the board for the not-terribly-impressive list of who they actually picked.

You would think we would learn. The Cold Hard Football Facts article assessing the past decade of drafting began with this statement:

We’ve come far enough along as a collective group of football observers to know that hasty post-draft grades are about as useful as a $ 5 coupon toward a new BMW. Yes, even our own.

The final sentence was linked to this article. In it, Sports Illustrated writer Kerry Byrne explains the following:

You know how most analysts do it: They pretend they watched every college football game of the past three seasons, toss out clichés about various schemes, or which players “set the edge” and have “good motors” and then try to guess which will succeed or fail at the next level.

Good luck with that.

The truth is that nobody knows who’s going to succeed or fail — not us, not the draft “experts” on TV and certainly not the GMs making the decisions on draft day.

As an example, he went on to say “History proves that first-round wideouts have a huge rate of failure in the NFL and that the position is incredibly overvalued by teams, fans and analysts.”

No matter how well a player played in college, no matter how ready their game seems to be to translate smoothly to the NFL, focusing on individual players is more or less of a risky proposition. Any number of things can interfere with any given player succeeding in the NFL—injuries, unforeseen “character issues,” for lack of a better term, psychological issues, and so on.

On the other hand, signing proven veterans isn’t a panacea, either. Just ask the teams who signed Albert Haynesworth. For every vet who goes to a new system and excels there is one who goes to a new team and doesn’t impress.

These failures can be traced to multiple possible causes. A new system may not be optimal for the playing style in which a given player excels. This is probably as good an explanation as any for why Nnadami Asomugha seemed rather ordinary on the Philadelphia defense. A player may have already peaked by the time he leaves a team and moves to another. This was probably the case with a number of former Steelers who never seemed to play as well again after leaving the team.

A player may just be lazy enough to figure he has nothing left to prove when the money is guaranteed, like Haynesworth, apparently. Or it may be more random—the amazing season which jacks up the free agency price may be the result of a combination of fortuitous factors which will never be repeated.

So why is it the draft and free agency so exciting to so many of us? I think it is for reasons having less to do with football than one would think.

When I was in elementary school I found the first week or two of each school year to be a time filled with promise. I had not yet besmirched my clean new notebooks with messy writing or ill-conceived and hasty calculations. I had not yet fallen behind in a class through not properly assimilating the foundational material. In short, there was still the chance I would excel in that grade and get straight A’s, something I almost never actually managed.

A fan of a team with a losing record in 2011 has the chance to see the team turn around in 2012. Although some of the greedier owners would like to change it, parity still holds sway in the NFL. As a result, every team, at least in theory, begins the season with the chance to win the Super Bowl that year. And maybe, just maybe, this is the year the ownership and management gets it right. They pick the right players, sign the right free agents, shake up the coaching staff, and the combination spits out a championship team. Or at least one who ends the season at better than .500.

And then there is the bargain hunting factor. Who among us would not prefer a genuine Ming vase we found in a thrift store for $ 2 over one for which we paid $ 20 million? After all, anyone with enough money and a trustworthy dealer can buy the latter. It takes persistence and knowledge as well as a lot of luck to happen upon the former.

In the same way, we assume our first-round draft picks will excel, and moan when they don’t produce as much or as quickly as we expect. But to find a Brett Keisel or Antonio Brown in the last rounds of the draft, or to pick up a Defensive Player of the Year in the undrafted players like James Harrison—that REALLY feels good.

Isaac Redman is another example of this phenomenon. He may actually turn out to be as good as people thought all along (although possibly no one could be that good,) but had the coaching staff listened to the moaning fans and started him a few years ago it would likely not have ended well. If he does well this season in Mendenhall’s absence, though, it will be even more exciting, because we “discovered” him and believed in him. In the same way, it was all the sweeter to go 3-1 for the four games Ben was suspended, because no one expected it.

And let’s not forget veteran free agency. If you can pick up a bargain, all the better. James Farrior had not produced like a #5 overall pick for the Jets when the Steelers signed him in 2002. For him to rapidly improve, develop into the leader of the defense, and just miss being made Defensive Player of the Year a few years later was great. It was especially great because the Steelers took someone the Jets didn’t value and turned him into a great player for the next 10 years.

Anybody can pick up the year’s hottest free agent if they are willing to spend enough money. For some teams, that’s their Super Bowl. For the Steelers, slow and patient generally wins the race. The team may not boast the “best” player at any given position, although a reasonable argument can be made for a few, but they compete, year after year, with solid but unglamorous draft picks and small, careful forays into free agency.

But the real proof of the pudding is in the football games. So, to those of you who might find yourself agreeing with whoever said he preferred the draft to the games, I say “chacun à son gout.” I appreciate all of the great information you put out there, but as much as I enjoy the draft, I only enjoy it because love football. Come next fall I’ll be jumping up and down and twirling my Terrible Towel. You should consider joining me.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Ziggy Hood Move To Nose Tackle Talk Back In High Gear, But It Really Shouldn’t Be

The annual Willie Colon move to guard talk is back in high swing and so you knew the annual Ziggy Hood move to nose tackle would not be far behind it. It is more talked about this offseason it seems being as Casey Hampton has a strong possibility of starting the year on the PUP list as he recovers from his knee surgery.

Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin was asked on Tuesday about the possibility of Hood playing nose tackle and he replied, “Hood is potentially part of that. He is a very talented and strong guy, but I think Steve McLendon proved that he is a capable backup a year ago, Read more […]

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Did Arians Really Reitre? Or Was He Forced Out by Rooney?

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Reading a lot more about the Bruce Arians *retirement* today, it’s starting to sound more and more like the OC was forced out, and it wasn’t just Mike Tomlin’s decision.

The Post-Gazette reports that team president Art Rooney II made a rather strong recommendation to Tomlin to not renew Arians’ contract. In other worse, Arians was fired.

It seemed pretty evident from the start that the decision to leave wasn’t Arians’. He had been telling people that he wanted and intended to come back in 2012, that is until he caught wind that his deal was not being renewed.

Also Tomlin told Arians, the media, and other coaches that he was going to bring Arians back.

In the end, seems that public had something to do with the decision, as the constant bashing of Arians could be hear far and wide around Steeler Nation, and Rooney could have finally thought it was time to go in another direction.

The big questions now – who will be brought in, and will that person click with Ben Roethlisberger, who has been a huge Arians supporter over the years.

Source: Steelers Gab

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