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Moore's 3 TDs ignite Steelers

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					                                      Vol. 21, No. 10 • October 25, 2008 (514) • $3.00




                                                        Moore’s 3 TDs
                                                        ignite Steelers




                            INSIDE:

                      1 0
                             • An impressive 5-1 record
                             • A Giant task now awaits
0   74470 76780   0
                             • Stapleton getting his shot
Time to see what Steelers have
   CINCINNATI — Since the end of                                                                                            No. 1 rushing attack will test the
March, it has fueled talk shows and                                                                                         Steelers front seven and Mississippi’s
been the impetus behind hundreds                                                                                            Eli Manning will pose a much more
of questions that really had no an-                                                                                         severe threat to their secondary than
swers.                                                                                                                      Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.
                                                                                                                               Like all obedient teams, the Steel-
                                                                                                                            ers will be reciting the mantra of
 Bob Labriola                                                                                                               “one game at a time” throughout
                                                                                                                            the upcoming week, but this section
              EDITOR                                                                                                        of their schedule will determine
                                                                                                                            whether they have the ability to sus-
   Now, it’s here. Now, it’s going to                                                                                       tain the focus and level of perfor-
get interesting. Now the Steelers get                                                                                       mance necessary to handle a trip to
to the meat of what statistics claim                                                                                        Washington after a game against the
is the most difficult NFL schedule in                                                                                       Giants, and then a visit from Peyton
decades.                                                                                                                    Manning after games against the Gi-
   Even as the last of the Steelers                                                                                         ants and Redskins, and then deal
were walking off the playing surface                                                                                        with LaDainian Tomlinson and his
while basking in the adulation of                                                                                           cohorts after all that.
their fans who had taken over Paul                                                                                             Often in professional sports, the
Brown Stadium, the 38-10 beating                                                                                            style of play is different in the regu-
they had hung on the home team al-                                                                                          lar season than it is in the playoffs,
ready had the impact of yesterday’s                                                                                         but what the Steelers are facing now
news.                                                                                                                       is the kind of every-week-against-
   Yes, it was a victory, and a road                                                                                        top-teams test you typically find
victory against a division team, but                                                                                        only in the postseason. The only
the fact is the Steelers got to 5-1 by                                                                                      thing missing will be the single-
slapping around an 0-7 Bengals                                                                                              elimination guillotine hanging over
team being quarterbacked by a guy                                                                                           their heads.
who should be smart enough to find                                                                                             The upcoming month is daunting
a better use for his Harvard                                                                                                on paper, but the Steelers are good
diploma. There are countless fields                                                                                         enough to handle it. Yes, each of
where an Ivy League education is                                                                                            the Steelers’ next four opponents is
the best preparation, but the field on                                                                                      a playoff contender, a midseason
which Ryan Fitzpatrick found him-                                                                                           Super Bowl contender, but so are
self trying to decipher the many per-                                                                                       they. Suffice it to say that if the
mutations of Professor Dick                                                                                                 Steelers coaches are concerned
LeBeau’s zone blitzes wasn’t one of                                                                                         about what Justin Tuck and Fred
those.                                                                                                                      Robbins might do to Ben Roethlis-
   The Steelers did what they                                                                                               berger, the Giants coaches are just
wanted to the Bengals throughout                                                                                            as nervous about James Harrison
this beautiful fall afternoon, even if                                                                                      and LaMarr Woodley hunting Eli
what they wanted throughout the                                                                                             Manning.
second quarter was to let them back                                                                                            What will get the Steelers through
into the game. Three seasons after                                                                                          this gauntlet, if they are to survive it,
Cincinnati won the AFC North Divi-                                                                                          will be their fierce competitive na-
sion championship, it has degener-                                                                                          ture. These are players who com-
ated into a rabble that is a team in      The Steelers got to do a lot of celebrating against the hapless Ben-              pete against one another every day
name only.                                gals, including after Nate Washington’s touchdown, but the schedule               in practice, who compete to see
   The Bengals took the field against     gets a whole lot tougher over the next few weeks. Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS         who wears the sharpest suit on road
the Steelers with an “offense”                                                                                              trips. No matter what else happens,
ranked 30th or lower in the NFL in          What the Steelers did against the      the performance authored by an           the Steelers compete and they hit,
rushing, passing and scoring, and        Bengals will be judged based on           NFL team from one week to the            and teams that do both of those
with a defense that was having seri-     what they do against the teams they       next, both good and bad, which           things consistently have a chance to
ous trouble stopping the run and         will face over the ensuing four           makes it dangerous to depend upon        win every game they play.
getting off the field on third downs.    weekends — the New York Giants,           what happened in Cincinnati to be           This is it. The toughest schedule
And to complete the triangle of in-      Washington Redskins, Indianapolis         a predictor of what therefore should     in the league is what the Steelers
eptitude, the Bengals had to face the    Colts and San Diego Chargers.             happen vs. the defending Super           were handed in 2008, and it’s now
Steelers without their placekicker          If they duplicate or build upon        Bowl champion Giants this Sunday         upon them.
and best kick returner.                  the positives from their trip here,       at Heinz Field.
                                                                                                                               “This is going to tell a lot about
   So, how to judge a performance        this Sunday afternoon will be                The Giants, for example, are the
                                                                                                                            our team,” said Hines Ward.
in which the Steelers didn’t allow       marked as the beginning of their          defending Super Bowl champions
                                                                                                                               More than that, it will define
Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked          journey to elite status. If they don’t,   primarily because their defense was
                                                                                                                            them.
even once for the first time since       well, then the significance of every-     able to generate consistent pressure
last December, in which the Ben-         thing that happened here will be          on Tom Brady last February without         “McDonald’s Steelers Digest,”
gals passing attack posted a pathetic    dismissed, because the Bengals right      blitzing, by rushing only their four     with Rick Giugliano, Tunch Ilkin and
2.8 yards per pass play, in which        now are the worst team in the NFL         defensive linemen. Justin Tuck and       Bob Labriola, is televised on The
the Steelers defense posted seven        and showing no signs of surrender-        Fred Robbins will test the pass pro-     CW in the Pittsburgh market at 11
sacks and rang up seven three-and-       ing the distinction any time soon.        tection that was consistently solid      p.m. on every Saturday of the NFL
outs?                                       There often is no correlation to       against the Bengals, just as the NFL’s   season.

                                                                                                                                October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                         DIGEST

                                                                                                                                            VOLUME 21, NUMBER 10                                                                OCTOBER 25, 2008 (514) $3.00




                                                                                                                                                                                                                   On the Cover ...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Running back Mewelde Moore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   celebrates one of his three touch-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   downs as a large number of Steelers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   celebrate at Paul Brown Stadium.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Cover Photo/MIKE FABUS




                                                                                                                                         THOMAS N. CURTIS .......................................................................................................... Publisher
                                                                                                                                         ANDREW E. COHEN .............................................................................................. Managing Editor
                                                                                                                                         BOB LABRIOLA ........................................................................................................................ Editor
                                                                                                                                         ARMANDO MATO ....................................................................................................Creative Director
                                                                                                                                         ALAIN POUPART .................................................................................................... Associate Editor
                                                                                                                                         TERESA VARLEY ..................................................................................................... Assistant Editor
                                                                                                                                         MIKE FABUS .............................................................................................................. Photographer
                                                                                                                                         BILL DALEY, CHASE CLARK....................................................................... Design & Composition
                                                                                                                                         ALBERT GOMEZ, MONIQUE DAW ..................................................................... Customer Service
                                                                                                                                         MARIA ESTEVEZ ................................................................................................ Executive Secretary
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Some rust, but a good victory
  It was a great win for our team.
To see the fan support we had here
was moving not only for me, but
everybody in the locker room
shared those thoughts and senti-
ments. The game was kind of typi-
cal for us and something we were
concerned about coming out of the
bye. The quality of execution was


 Mike Tomlin
             HEAD COACH
not there early on. The positive
thing was I thought that we played
hard and we played fast, just not the
kind of quality of execution we
need.
   We had a little rust, but the guys
didn’t blink. We didn’t change any-
thing we were doing, we just had to
do it a little better. We were able to
make some plays in the second half
and get a great victory in a hostile
environment versus a division oppo-
nent on the road. We don’t take
those for granted. They are sweet.
We are glad to get a win. We will
put it with the rest of them. We real-
ize the challenges that lie ahead for
us. We’ll start readying ourselves for
those.
   Q. For the second straight game,
Mewelde Moore made a big contri-
                                          Running back Mewelde Moore earned a game ball for his performance at Cincinnati, which included scoring
bution. Can you comment on his            three touchdowns.                                                                   Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS
performance?
   A. We just gave him a game ball.
                                         field. Max Starks stepped in at left        do it. We have to keep marching.              A. We are not trying to paint
He has become a locker room fa-
                                         tackle and, based on how we                 We are not any different than any          with a broad brush based on this
vorite. We make no bones about
                                         moved the ball and protected, I can         other team. The Bengals sustained a        performance. We are glad to win.
why we feel the way we feel for
                                         say he did a good job. Darnell Sta-         few injuries. We can’t let that be an      We’ve got to prepare and play next
each other. It’s based on deeds. This
                                         pleton took a nice step. I think that       excuse. There are too many guys            week. We’ll let you guys judge it.
guy is delivering time and time
                                         group is coming together and they           ready to perform like Mewelde              We’ll judge it when we are done at
again with his legs, with his hands.
                                         had a nice performance today.               Moore did out there. I think that’s        the course of this thing. No ques-
He is doing a nice job. He is a pro,
                                                                                     what we embrace.                           tion we had a nice game against
he prepares himself. He is doing a          Q. What does it mean to get an-
nice job for us.                         other win against a division oppo-             Q. Where is the offense in terms        the Bengals. Guys did a nice job
                                         nent?                                       of developing its full personality?        protecting him. We got some new
   Q. Can you talk about how you                                                                                                and different faces in there working
                                            A. We cherish all of those. Divi-           A. I don’t want to put any ceiling
were able to keep the running game                                                                                              together, and they answered the
                                         sion games are extremely important.         on us with my thoughts of what we
on schedule, which opened some                                                                                                  challenge.
                                         We have a lot of respect for what           are capable of. We are just trying to
things up in the second half with
                                         this rivalry is and the support we get      come out every week and be better              Q. The schedule gets consider-
long passes and things like that?
                                         when we come here and play. Guys            and get better and be more efficient.      ably more difficult in the weeks
   A. First and foremost, we were
                                         did a nice job and they were sensi-         We left a few scoring opportunities        ahead. Is that something you talk to
controlling the line of scrimmage.
                                         tive to that.                               out there in the first half. We had an     the team about, or do you take it as
We were running some of our inte-
                                                                                     opportunity to get a first down and        it comes?
rior zone plays, and on some of             Q. What happened to Troy Pola-
                                                                                     messed up a third-and-1.                       A. What I have told the guys is
those double teams, we were get-         malu and Bryant McFadden?
                                                                                        We just barely moved ourselves          this: If we continue to play the way
ting pretty good pushes, even as we         A. Troy got dinged. We’ll see
                                                                                     out of field goal range with a few         we are playing and keep the focus
were shooting ourselves in the foot      where he is. I don’t want to make
                                                                                     penalties. We are just trying to be the    that we keep, we will see every-
a bit in the first half. I thought we    any judgments in regards to that.
                                                                                     best we can be. Any level of expecta-      body, but we can only see one of
were controlling the line of scrim-      Bryant McFadden has an arm injury.
                                                                                     tion or judging at this point is putting   them at a time, once a week.
mage and our hat goes off to the of-     We are in the process of getting that
                                                                                     a mental ceiling on what we are ca-            That’s the way we are going to
fensive line for what it did. Who-       looked at.
                                                                                     pable of being. We are going to just       approach it. We have a formidable
ever we handed the ball to had a            Hopefully it is not anything long
                                                                                     keep working and seek perfection.          opponent next week in the New
chance because of that surge.            term, but if it is, we accept it. That is
   We had some guys who had              the nature of football. The next men          Q. Ben Roethlisberger has been           York Giants. We respect the heck
quality performances. I think Ben        have to be ready to step up,                sacked a lot this season. Does this        out of those guys and what they
(Roethlisberger) had quality time        whether it’s William Gay or An-             game show improvement in the pass          have done. All we are going to do is
and had quality looks down the           thony Madison. Guys know how we             protection?                                prepare ourselves to play.

                                                                                                                                   October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 5
Polamalu piling up ‘splash plays’
By JIM WEXELL
Digest Correspondent
    It was before the Baltimore game when Hines
Ward was fielding questions about hitting some
of the poor Ravens too hard. Ward smiled over
the death threat made by Bart Scott, smiled over
the prospect of Ed Reed paying him back some-
day. The smile disappeared when Ward was
asked if he’d rock Troy Polamalu, if Polamalu
ever played for another team.
    Suddenly somber, Ward said, “I would have to.”
    Almost three weeks later, Polamalu was asked
if he’d be angry if Ward rocked him the way he
does every other safety in the league.
    “No, not at all,” said Polamalu. “I understand
that’s a part of the game.”
    Perhaps Nike would have to redo its latest and
greatest commercial and feature Ward and Pola-
malu colliding at midfield. But there’d be one
problem: If Ward got up from the collision and
smacked Polamalu in the helmet, he’d get fined in
real life.
    Ward’s fine, in fact, was the spark that led to
Polamalu’s quiet rant last week when he said the
NFL was turning pro football into “a pansy game.”
    “We’ve really lost the essence of what real Amer-
ican football is about,” Polamalu said as quietly and
sweetly as his childhood hero, Walter Payton.
    Polamalu, in fact, plays like Payton. In what        Safety Troy Polamalu set a high standard for himself in his first few seasons in the NFL, but
may be a last-chance, desperation grab at retain-        he actually might be playing even better than ever in 2008.               Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS
ing gladiator essence, Polamalu is having his finest
season. He’s added weight, but hasn’t lost speed.       think a minute, his first real starting season was    Browns at the goal line just before the half, and
He has fewer sacks, but more interceptions. He’s        2004. That’s only four years. His first seven years   then he made a ridiculous one-handed diving in-
still making kill-shot tackles, but incredibly hasn’t   he should grow dramatically, and I think that’s       terception against the Eagles that was so outra-
been fined. The four-time Pro Bowler has never          what we’re seeing.”                                   geous the officials had to look for some type of
been better.                                               Mike Tomlin calls them “splash plays” and Po-      bobble on instant replay. They didn’t find one,
    “I’ve said continually that he should improve       lamalu makes a few per game. He intercepted a
for the next three or four years,” said defensive       Texans comeback attempt in the opener, picked
coordinator Dick LeBeau. “When you stop and             off what looked like a momentum-builder for the                            See POLAMALU, page 8



 No downplaying Clark’s importance
   Steelers coaches love what Troy                                   offense breaks the huddle,               instead of having it focused on Clark’s contribu-
 Polamalu brings to the defense,                                     civilians roll their eyes and            tions as a player.
 but they have come to realize                                       close off their minds.                      This season should change that, because with
 they need what Ryan Clark                                              Polamalu, with his pen-               Clark back in the starting lineup, the Steelers de-
 brings to the defense.                                              chant for the spectacular,               fense no longer is being plagued by blown cov-
   When the Steelers signed Clark                                    drew most of the attention               erages, nor is it being victimized by big plays.
 as an unrestricted free agent in                                    and all of the All-Pro recogni-             In 2007, the four longest pass plays allowed
 2006 to replace Chris Hope,                                         tion, and when a rookie                  by the Steelers — 63, 56, 56 and 55 yards — all
 who left for the Tennessee Ti-                                      named Anthony Smith arrived              came after Clark was injured and out of the
 tans, his arrival was explained as                                  via the 2006 draft and started           lineup. As the Steelers traveled to Cincinnati to
 an addition to the secondary that                                   smacking receivers around,               face the winless Bengals, their defense had al-
 would allow Polamalu to con-                                        Clark was perceived to be a              lowed only four pass plays of 25-plus yards, and
 tinue to freelance within the sys-                                  caretaker for the free safety            in none of those was the receiver running free
 tem. Because he had played with                                     spot that certainly would be-            behind the coverage.
 Sean Taylor in the Redskins sec-            RYAN CLARK              come Smith’s.                               This stability is what Ryan Clark brings to the
 ondary, and because Taylor also                                        But in sports, as it often is in      Steelers defense, and if everyone can agree this
 was allowed the freedom to use his instincts to  life, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.         quality is invaluable to the team, it now should
 make plays, Clark’s experience with a player         The 10 regular season games the Steelers                be recognized that the player who provides it is
 of that pedigree was a major selling point.      played without Clark last season offered dra-               invaluable as well.
   Fans and the media underrated Clark’s role,    matic evidence in the case to be made for his                  If Coach Mike Tomlin were asked whether he
 probably because it wasn’t properly under-       value to this defense, for his importance on this           would rather go into a game without Troy Pola-
 stood. When coaches talk about the value of a    team. But even then, it was a matter of perspec-            malu or Ryan Clark, don’t be so certain you
 player who understands the defense and can       tive, for more attention was paid to the mental             know what his answer would be.
 make the correct calls and audibles once the     and physical mistakes made by Anthony Smith                                              — By BOB LABRIOLA


                                                                                                                               October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 7
POLAMALU, from page 7
and miraculously the league office didn’t fine him                                                               nickel and dime we’ve got (Lawrence) Timmons
for making the catch.                                                                                            in there, so he’s been able to stay back more.
    “That was truly one of the greatest plays I’ve                                                               He’s still very instinctive in making plays.”
ever seen,” LeBeau said. “But that pick he made                                                                      Townsend’s favorite was the play against Balti-
in the Cleveland game was big. Cleveland’s down                                                                  more in which Polamalu ran from the deep mid-
there with a good chance to score at least three                                                                 dle to break up an out-pattern on third down.
points, and he gets us off the field with nothin’ in                                                             There was also the timed leap over center, and
a game that ended up 10-6.”                                                                                      who can forget the tackle Polamalu made with
    But that isn’t LeBeau’s favorite Polamalu play.                                                              his back to the ball carrier?
    “I like that (second) interception he got for us,”                                                               “Same old Troy,” said LeBeau. “I think he pro-
LeBeau said of the 2004 season. “It was against                                                                  duces every year. To me he had a great year last
Cincinnati. He took it back for a touchdown, and                                                                 year. He just missed some games.”
if you remember he ran through about three play-                                                                     Polamalu endured an injury-plagued 2007 that
ers and the last one was his old teammate. I re-                                                                 began to deteriorate after a Hall of Fame-type per-
member that one as Troy starting to feel at home.”                                                               formance in the first half of the Arizona game. He
    Troy’s partner in the deep patrol, Ryan Clark,                                                               suffered a rib injury during a ping-ponging inter-
points to another interception Polamalu made                                                                     ception return and then suffered two other in-
against Cincinnati as his favorite play.                                                                         juries later in the season and missed five games.
    “It was before I got here. I saw it on film,”                                                                But Polamalu is back, bigger and better than ever.
Clark said. “He made a pick on a ball that any                                                                   But, not louder. Like Walter Payton, Polamalu
safety would have thought was going to a spot on                                                                 talks softly and hammers opponents like a batter-
the other side of the field. But he studied and                                                                  ing ram.
studied and picked something up, and dang if he                          TROY POLAMALU
                                                                                                                     “He’s quiet,” said Aaron Smith, a pretty quiet
wasn’t standing right there when Carson Palmer                                                                   guy himself. “He’s much more quiet than I am.
threw it.”                                               from the back end of the field this season. Clark       Troy hands down is the quietest player.”
    Of course, LeBeau has a soft spot for those sub-     said it’s leaving fewer holes in the defense as Pola-       What would happen if, say, Troy flashed some
lime Polamalu maneuvers. Against Indianapolis,           malu waits for the game to come to him.                 fire? Would that arouse the team significantly?
Polamalu bolted so suddenly from deep safety                “He’s being very solid in the base defense, but          “The last time he flashed his fire, we got a
that Edgerrin James couldn’t gather himself in           also making extraordinary plays. You can’t ask for      penalty in San Diego,” Smith said of a rare personal
time to make a key first down after catching a           more,” Clark said.                                      foul by Polamalu. “Another year he got one against
pass in the flat in the 2005 playoffs.                      “The plays are coming to him, but he’s still the     Oakland. He already plays with enough fire. When
    “That kind of talent makes good coaches,” said       same aggressive playmaker he’s always been,”            he lets it out, it might be a little too much for us.”
LeBeau                                                   said Deshea Townsend. “The defense now                      Or the league — a league that needs more play-
    Polamalu, in fact, is doing the brunt of his work    doesn’t require him to be up as much, and in the        ers like Troy Polamalu.



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                                                                            Steelers became the first team to win four Super Bowls.
                                                                          • Super Bowl XL – Long removed from the glory of the 1970s, the Steelers won
                                                                            their fifth Super Bowl ring in 2005 by beating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10.
                                                                          These broadcasts are essential pieces of Steelers history – now available
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                                                                                                       STUFF                             By TERESA VARLEY


Awfully ‘fine’ win
    The Steelers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this month, but it was a costly                   Keisel: Age just a number
win. Costly in terms of thousands of dollars of fines levied against four players.
     Nate Washington was fined $7,500 for taunting the Jaguars sideline after making a                           Brett Keisel returned to action against the Bengals after miss-
catch in the fourth quarter; Ryan Clark was fined the same amount for a hit on receiver                      ing three games with a calf strain, and Travis Kirschke, Orpheus
Matt Jones; Hines Ward was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness; and James Har-                           Roye and Nick Eason filled in there at the same time Chris Hoke
rison was fined $20,000 for postgame comments he made about the officiating in the                           stepped up due to an injury to Casey Hampton at nose tackle.
game.                                                                                                            “What happened to Casey and I showed how important it
    Harrison was angry about being flagged for roughing the passer on a                                      is to have quality guys that are ready to play at any time,”
play where few people who watched the game thought it was an illegal                                         said Keisel. “I am proud of our guys and the organization for
hit. Few people, that is, besides referee Ron Winter.                                                        keeping us intact. Not only are we great competitors on the
    “It’s hard to comment on it because you have to be careful of                                            field, but we are all really good friends and it makes coming
what you say, but my personal opinion, I didn’t think it was a late                                          to work fun. We are going to keep riding the ship and getting
hit,” said Ben Roethlisberger, “and I usually stand up for quar-                                             better.”
terbacks. I think if you ask David Garrard, I don’t think he                                                     After the 2007 season, Coach Mike Tomlin said the team
would tell you it was a late hit.”                                                                           needed to get younger on the defensive line, and the media
    Since then Harrison has been cautious around the media.                                                  picked up on that and kept the issue alive right up until the start
    “I have no comment because I can’t get fined for something                                               of the regular season. That didn’t sit well with Keisel, who is 30
I don’t say,” said Harrison. “Right now, if you have questions                                               and the second-youngest player there. Eason is 28.
for me, I have no comment on basically anything unless it’s                                                      “It did bug me to hear people say that, it bugged me a lot be-
fact. If you ask me if my name is James Harrison, I can say                                                  cause I feel like as a unit up front we are one of the best in the
yes to that. If you ask me an opinion on how I feel about a                                                  league,” said Keisel. “To pinpoint us and say we can’t play at as
player or a team, I can’t answer that because I don’t want to                                                high a level as we used to wasn’t right. I think each year we are
be fined.”                                                                                                   getting better. I think we play together as good as anyone in the
                                                                                                             league.”
                                                  JAMES HARRISON


More awards                                                  uation where we were going to throw the ball a bunch.
    Ben Roethlisberger was named the AFC Offensive
Player of the Week for his performance against the
                                                             They knew it, and we had to go the length of the field.
                                                             That’s why we went in that direction.”
                                                                                                                          17, but not 18
                                                                Starks started at left tackle in Cincinnati when             Dan Rooney has been against expanding the
Jaguars. Roethlisberger completed 26 of 41 passes
                                                             Smith was unable to play because of back spasms.
for a season-high 309 yards and three touchdowns                                                                          regular season, but he returned from an owners
in the 26-21 win.                                            An easy ticket                                               meeting and said he would compromise.
    “It’s nice, but I like the win better,” said Roethlis-                                                                   “I am willing to compromise and consider 17
                                                                Steelers fans normally find a way to get tickets to
berger. “That is all that matters to me. I am not going                                                                   games, not 18,” said Rooney.
                                                             away games, but Bengals fans made it extremely
to lie and say it’s not a great honor, because it is.                                                                        Commissioner Roger Goodell’s opinion is that
                                                             easy by selling their tickets at bargain prices. Ac-
But to me it’s about team things and we won the                                                                           preseason games don’t meet proper NFL stan-
                                                             cording to the Cincinnati Enquirer, StubHub, just one
game.”                                                                                                                    dards, and some owners believe adding regular
                                                             of the many secondary outlets selling tickets, had
    Roethlisberger was also voted the FedEx Player           3,000 tickets available for sale, some of them with a        season games would help their attendance.
of the Week and Mike Tomlin the Motorola Coach of            face value of $64 going for a mere $24.                         “That’s what they believe,” said Rooney. “But
the Week by fans on NFL.com for the Jaguars game.                                                                         it was said, and what I’ve always said, ‘You say
                                                                                                                          you have trouble with the preseason. What are
Explaining the decision                                        Challenge the champions                                    you going to have if you’re a team in the North
   Coach Mike Tomlin explained why Trai Essex was                 James Farrior will host “Challenge the Champi-          and you’re 2-12 with two home games left?’ ”
inserted at left tackle against the Jaguars when Mar-          ons” 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at The                       Rooney is concerned that cutting back the
vel Smith was forced from the game with cramps.                Carnegie Science Center. All proceeds go to                preseason would curtail development.
Max Starks, who is the team’s third tackle, also was           Every Child, Inc., a social service agency in the             “We have to be concerned about training foot-
available.                                                     Pittsburgh Community.                                      ball players, particularly quarterbacks,” said
   “Due to the game circumstances and the situation               Farrior will be joined by some of his team-             Rooney. “You come to camp four quarterbacks.
we were in from a matchup standpoint, we thought               mates, as well as other local Pittsburgh sports            You have to play your No. 1. Now, how do you
Essex had the tools to fight that battle,” said Tomlin.        personalities, to play games and sign autographs.          get in someone like (Dennis) Dixon? He looks
“They had Quentin Groves over there, an edge rusher,           Call 412-665-0600 or visit www.everychildinc.org           great for the future, but he needs time. You can
speed guy, kind of undersized. We thought that Essex           for information and to purchase tickets.                   say that about everybody, even the officials.”
gave us a legitimate matchup, and we were in the sit-


Injury Update
   As it turned out, the Steelers weren’t     was inactive for the third straight game.   spasms) were unable to practice during      ter from the practice squad, and he also
as healthy for their trip to Cincinnati as      Also on the sideline in Cincinnati        the week and were among the inactives.      was in uniform against the Bengals.
they had hoped.                               were Casey Hampton (groin) and Carey           With Kendall Simmons already on             Parquet (6-6, 321) was with the team
   Brett Keisel (calf) and Nick Eason         Davis (ankle), both of whom also            the injured reserve list and with Smith     throughout the preseason before being
(groin) both returned to the lineup, but      missed the Jaguars game.                    unavailable, the Steelers made a roster     waived on the final cut. He played both
Willie Parker (knee) suffered a setback         Three players injured in Jacksonville     move late last week.                        guard and tackle during the preseason.
during the week leading up to the Ben-        could not play against the Bengals.            With the defensive line getting             If Paxson clears waivers, the Steel-
gals game. He couldn’t practice on              Keyaron Fox (hamstring), Dallas           healthier, Scott Paxson was waived and      ers would be interested in putting him
Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and            Baker (shoulder) and Marvel Smith (back     Jeremy Parquet was added to the ros-        back on the practice squad.

                                                                                                                                           October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 9
 GAME SUMMARY                                                              No.    Yds.     Avg.   Net.     TB    Int.    Lg.

Steelers
Bengals
                      1
                      10
                      0
                              2
                              0
                              7
                  Team Stat Comparison
                                        3
                                        7
                                        3


                                          PIT
                                                   4
                                                   21
                                                   0
                                                                T
                                                               38
                                                               10


                                                               CIN
                                                                           TBSTEELERS
                                                                            Ret.
                                                                        Yds/Att

                                                                           Comp.
                                                                          Yds.
                                                                                     Pts.
                                                                                  Sack
                                                                                 Int.
                                                                              STATISTICS
                                                                                    Cmp%.
                                                                                   Avg.
                                                                                         Lg.
                                                                                             FG
                                                                                          Rating


                                                                                          Net.
                                                                                                   Att.

                                                                                                 Ret.
                                                                                              Yds/Att
                                                                                                   TB
                                                                                                     No.
                                                                                                            Comp.
                                                                                                            Yds.
                                                                                                          Pts.
                                                                                                         Sack
                                                                                                         Int.
                                                                                                                  FG
                                                                                                                    Avg.

                                                                                                               Rating
                                                                                                                 Lg.
                                                                                                                     Cmp%.

                                                                                                                       Att.
                                                                                                                           Net.

                                                                                                                         No.
                                                                                                                        Ret.
 1st Downs                                 20                   16
   3rd down efficiency                   6-12                 4-16   PRESEASON (Won 3, Lost 1)                                                               Rushing                             No.        Yds        Avg         Long              TD
   4th down efficiency                    0-0                  2-2   Aug. 8     W        16-10              PHILADELPHIA                                     W.Parker                             66        263         4.0          32               3
 Total Yards                              375                  212   Aug. 14     L       21-24              vs. Buffalo (Toronto)                            M.Moore                              46        238         5.2          27               2
 Passing                                  250                  128                                                                                           R.Mendenhall                         19         58         3.1          12               0
                                                                     Aug. 23    W        12-10              at Minnesota
   Comp-Att                             20-31                24-39                                                                                           B.Roethlisberger                     13         26         2.0          17               0
                                                                     Aug. 28    W        19-16              CAROLINA
   Yards per pass                         8.1                  2.8                                                                                           G.Russell                            10         25         2.5          15               0
 Rushing                                  125                   84                                                                                           C.Davis                              10         18         1.8           8               0
   Rushing Attempts                        27                   22   REGULAR SEASON (Won 5, Lost 1)
                                                                                                                                                             N.Washington                          2         14         7.0           8               0
   Yards per rush                         4.6                  3.8   Sept. 7       W         38-17          HOUSTON                                          S.Holmes                              1         10        10.0          10               0
 Penalties                               3-15                 4-55   Sept. 14      W         10-6           at Cleveland                                     N.Davenport                           1          3         3.0           3               0
 Sacks against                            0-0                 7-47   Sept. 21      L         6-15           at Philadelphia                                  B.Leftwich                            2          0         0.0           0               0
   Turnovers                                0                    1   Sept. 29      W         23-20 (OT)     BALTIMORE                                        Team                                170        655         3.9          32               5
      Fumbles-lost                        2-0                  2-1   Oct. 5        W         26-21          at Jacksonville                                  Opponents                           142        418         2.9          15               3
      Interceptions thrown                  0                    0   Oct. 12                                Bye Week
 Possession                             30:35                29:25   Oct. 19       W         38-10          at Cincinnati                                    Receiving                           No.         Yds       Avg         Long              TD
                    Steelers Statistics                              Oct. 26                                N.Y. GIANTS                  4:15 p.m. (FOX)     H.Ward                               28         376       13.4           49              5
                                                                     Nov. 3                                 at Washington                8:30 p.m. (ESPN)    S.Holmes                             22         360       16.4           48              1
Passing
                                                                     Nov. 9                                 INDIANAPOLIS                 4:15 p.m. (CBS)     H.Miller                             18         188       10.4           21              1
                   C/ATT          YDS        TD INT RAT
                                                                     Nov. 16                                SAN DIEGO                    4:15 p.m.* (CBS)    N.Washington                         15         225       15.0          50t              2
 B. Roethlisberger 17/28          216         2   0 108.6
                                                                                                                                                             M.Moore                              11          68        6.2           24              1
 B. Leftwich          3/3          34         1   0 153.5            Nov. 20                                CINCINNATI                   8:15 p.m. (NFLN)
                                                                                                                                                             R.Mendenhall                          2          17        8.5           11              0
 Team              20/31          250         3   0 121.7            Nov. 30                                at New England               4:15 p.m.* (CBS)
Rushing                                                                                                                                                      M.Spaeth                              2          12        6.0            6              0
                                                                     Dec. 7                                 DALLAS                       4:15 p.m.* FOX      C.Davis                               2           9        4.5           10              0
                    CAR       YDS           AVG         TD     LG    Dec. 14                                at Baltimore                 1:00 p.m.* (CBS)
 M. Moore            20       120            6.0         2     24                                                                                            L.Sweed                               1          11       11.0           11              0
                                                                     Dec. 21                                at Tennessee                 1:00 p.m.* (CBS)    G.Russell                             1          -2       -2.0           -2              0
 G. Russell            4        0            0.0         0      3
                                                                     Dec. 28                                CLEVELAND                    1:00 p.m.* (CBS)    B.Roethlisberger                      1          -7       -7.0           -7              0
 B. Roethlisberger     2       -1           -0.5         0      0
                                                                     *-Game subject to flex scheduling                                                       Team                                103        1257       12.2         50t              10
 N. Washington         1        6            6.0         0      6
 Team                27       125            4.6         2     24                                                                                            Opponents                           127        1149        9.0           35              5
Receiving                                                                                                         Pittsburgh                   Opponent
                      REC         YDS       AVG         TD     LG    Total First Downs                                     108                          99   Interceptions                       No.        Yds        Avg         Long              TD
 M. Moore                5         14        2.8         1      7    Rushing                                                33                          24   T.Polamalu                            3         12         4.0          12               0
 S. Holmes               5         89       17.8         0     32    Passing                                                62                          67   B.McFadden                            2          0         0.0           0               0
 H. Ward                 4         60       15.0         1     29    Penalty                                                13                           8   L.Woodley                             1          6         6.0           6               0
 H. Miller               2         13        6.5         0      7    3rd Down: Made/Att                                 29/77                      30/85     Team                                  6         18         3.0          12               0
 N. Washington           2         57       28.5         1     50    3rd Down Pct.                                     37.7%                      35.3%      Opponents                             3         73        24.3         72t               1
 M. Spaeth               1          6        6.0         0      6    4th Down: Made/Att                                    1/3                        4/7
 L. Sweed                1         11       11.0         0     11    4th Down Pct.                                     33.3%                      57.1%      Punting            No       Yds       Avg          Net       TB       In          Lg     B
 Team                   20        250       12.5         3      0    Possession Avg.                                    30:13                      29:47     M.Berger           30      1293       43.1        39.3        2       12          61     0
Punting                                                              Total Net Yards                                     1792                       1370     Team               30      1293       43.1        39.3        2       12          61     0
                    TOT       YDS           AVG     -20              Avg. Per Game                                      298.7                      228.3     Opponents          35      1575       45.0        41.9        2       11          64     0
 M. Berger             5      204           40.8      2              Total Plays                                           355                        372
                                                                     Avg. Per Play                                         5.0                         3.7   Punt Returns                  Ret         FC      Yds        Avg           Long         TD
Punt Returns
                                                                     Net Yards Rushing                                     655                        418    S.Holmes                       13          2       69         5.3            13          0
                      TOT         YDS        AVG        LG     TD
                                                                     Avg. Per Game                                      109.2                        69.7    M.Moore                         2          5       -2        -1.0             1          0
 S. Holmes                3        21          7        12      0
                                                                     Total Rushes                                          170                        142    Team                           15          7       67         4.5            13          0
Kickoff Returns
                                                                     Net Yards Passing                                   1137                         952    Opponents                      18          6       74         4.1            12          0
                     TOT          YDS       AVG LG             TD
 N. Davenport           3          70       23.3 27             0    Avg. Per Game                                      189.5                      158.7
                                                                     Sacked/Yards Lost                                19/120                      25/197     Kickoff Returns                     No.        Yds        Avg         Long              TD
                    Bengals Statistics                               Gross Yards                                         1264                       1149     N.Davenport                           6        140        23.3          27               0
Passing                                                              Attempts/Completions                            166/103                    205/127      R.Mendenhall                          6        115        19.2          27               0
                     C/ATT        YDS        TD INT           RAT    Completion Pct.                                   62.0%                      62.0%      M.Moore                               4         73        18.3          22               0
 R. Fitzpatrick      21/35        164         1   0           81.1   Had Intercepted                                         3                           6   C.Davis                               2         40        20.0          24               0
 J. Palmer              3/4        11         0   0           77.7   Punts/Average                                    30/43.1                    35/45.0     T.Carter                              1         16        16.0          16               0
 Team                24/39        175         1   0           80.6   Net Punting Avg.                                     39.3                       41.9    M.Spaeth                              0          0           0           0               0
Rushing                                                              Penalties/Yards                                   36/309                     42/386     Team                                 19        384        20.2          27               0
                      CAR     YDS           AVG         TD     LG    Fumbles/Ball Lost                                     9/3                        9/4    Opponents                            28        572        20.4          40               0
 C. Benson             14      52            3.7         0     15    Touchdowns                                             16                           9
 K. Watson              4      17            4.3         0      6    Rushing                                                 5                           3   Field Goals                       1-19       20-29       30-39       40-49             50+
 R. Fitzpatrick         4      15            3.8         0     10    Passing                                                10                           5   J.Reed                             1/ 1        2/ 2        2/ 2        4/ 4            1/ 1
 Team                  22      84            3.8         0     15    Returns                                                 1                           1   Team                               1/ 1        2/ 2        2/ 2        4/ 4            1/ 1
Receiving                                                                                                                                                    Opponents                          0/ 0        2/ 2        6/ 6        0/ 0            0/ 0
                    REC YDS                 AVG         TD     LG    Score By Periods                Q1      Q2           Q3        Q4       OT      Pts
 T. Houshmandzadeh     8   58                7.3         0     19    Team                            30      37           38        33        3      141     Fumbles Lost: B.Roethlisberger 3 Total: 3
 C. Johnson            8   52                6.5         1      9    Opponents                       17      30            6        36        0       89     Opponent Fumble Recoveries: L.Woodley 3, B.McFadden 1 Total: 4
 C. Henry              3   44               14.7         0     18
 A. Chatman            2    8                4.0         0      5    Scoring            TD   Ru       Pa          Rt      PAT          FG     2Pt    Pts     Sacks: J.Harrison 8.5, L.Woodley 7.5, L.Timmons 3.0, A.Smith 2.0, J.Farrior 1.5,
 K. Watson             1    1                1.0         0      1    J.Reed              0    0        0           0     15/15      10/10       0     45     L.Foote 1.5, N.Eason 0.5, T.Kirschke 0.5 Team: 25.0, Opponents: 19.0
 C. Benson             1   10               10.0         0     10    H.Ward              5    0        5           0       0/0        0/0       0     30
 J. Simpson            1    2                2.0         0      2    M.Moore             3    2        1           0       0/0        0/0       0     18
 Team                24 175                  7.3         1      0    W.Parker            3    3        0           0       0/0        0/0       0     18
Punting                                                              N.Washington        2    0        2           0       0/0        0/0       0     12
                 TOT     YDS                AVG     -20              H.Miller            1    0        1           0       0/0        0/0       0      6
 K. Larson          8    303                37.9      2              S.Holmes            1    0        1           0       0/0        0/0       0      6
Punt Returns                                                         L.Woodley           1    0        0           1       0/0        0/0       0      6
                    TOT YDS                  AVG        LG     TD    Team               16    5       10           1     15/15      10/10       0    141
 A. Chatman            3    6                  2         7      0    Opponents           9    3        5           1       9/9        8/8       0     89
Kickoff Returns
                   TOT    YDS               AVG LG             TD    2-Pt. Conversions: Team 0/ 1, Opponents: 0/ 0
 A. Caldwell         3     88               29.3 36             0
 K. Watson           1     15                15 15              0    Passing                   Att         Cmp           Yds        Cmp%       Yds/Att       TD     TD%         Int      Int%          Long        Sack          Lost           Rating
 J. Simpson          1      8                  8  8             0    B.Roethlisberger         152            96         1163        63.2%          7.7        9     5.9%          3      2.0%            50t         18           111             98.1
 D. Coats            1     18                 18 18             0    B.Leftwich                14             7           94        50.0%          6.7        1     7.1%          0      0.0%             21          1             9             95.6
 Team                6    129               21.5 36             0    Team                     166           103         1257        62.0%          7.6       10     6.0%          3      1.8%           50t          19           120             97.9
                                                                     Opponents                205           127         1149        62.0%          5.6        5     2.4%          6      2.9%             35         25           197             73.0

10 Steelers Digest October 25, 2008
STEELERS 38, BENGALS 10                                           STEELERS RECORD: 5-1 • LAST SEASON: 4-2

                                                                                                                          WHAT WENT RIGHT
                                                                                                                              • During the first quarter, the
                                                                                                                          Bengals ran eight plays, had 0
                                                                                                                          first downs, lost 22 yards com-
                                                                                                                          bined on a botched reverse and
                                                                                                                          a sack by James Harrison and
                                                                                                                          punted twice, one of which net-
                                                                                                                          ted only 15 yards. The booing
                                                                                                                          of the home team began with
                                                                                                                          3:27 left in the first quarter.
                                                                                                                             • The Steelers’ first posses-
                                                                                                                          sion of each half resulted in a
                                                                                                                          touchdown. They opened the
                                                                                                                          game by going 75 yards in nine
                                                                                                                          plays; after a sack by Harrison
                                                                                                                          forced a Bengals punt to open
                                                                                                                          the second half, the Steelers
                                                                                                                          went 55 yards in six plays for a
                                                                                                                          17-7 lead.
                                                                                                                             • One game after rushing for
                                                                                                                          99 yards in Jacksonville,
                                                                                                                          Mewelde Moore had 134 yards
                                                                                                                          from scrimmage (120 rushing
                                                                                                                          on 20 carries) and three touch-
                                                                                                                          downs (two rushing).
 Cincinnati quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick filled in for the injured Carson Palmer against the Steelers, but
 LaMarr Woodley and his teammates made sure things wouldn’t go smoothly for him.       Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS               • Zero sacks allowed.


STORYLINE:                                                                                                                WHAT WENT WRONG
   Often in this series these teams have come into a            BY THE NUMBERS:
game on opposite ends of the division standings, and                                                                         • It was an offensive posses-
so it was again last Sunday. Is it possible for an 0-6                 The number of first downs the Bengals man-
team playing without its starting quarterback to upset
a 4-1 team whose fans made up almost half of the
                                                                0:     aged on their first five offensive possessions,
                                                                before getting seven on their TD drive to end the first
                                                                                                                          sion that started for the Steelers
                                                                                                                          at the Bengals 30-yard line after
                                                                                                                          a 15-yard punt by Kyle Larson,
crowd?                                                          half and cut the Steelers’ lead from 10-0 to 10-7.        but it didn’t end as well as it
TURNING POINT:                                                                                                            began. During the eight-play
                                                                         Yards of total offense for the Bengals on
   The Steelers were dominating until three incom-
plete passes after a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line
                                                                28:      those five possessions before their 92-
                                                                yard TD drive.
                                                                                                                          drive that netted only a field
                                                                                                                          goal, Ben Roethlisberger
had them settle for a field goal and a 10-0 lead. The                                                                     missed an open Nate Washing-
game became competitive at that point.                                                                                    ton in the end zone, the officials
                                                                             Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passer rating on that
IT WAS OVER WHEN …                                              135:         touchdown drive, based on 9-of-10 for
                                                                84 yards and a touchdown. In the rest of the half, he
                                                                                                                          missed a pass interference
                                                                                                                          penalty on Leon Hall at the goal
  Off a play-action fake, Ben Roethlisberger threw a                                                                      line, and the Steelers missed a
perfect 50-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington               was 3-of-9 for 15 yards, which is a rating of 42.36.
                                                                                                                          chance to take a 14-0 lead de-
that gave the Steelers a 24-10 lead with 8:17 to play.                                                                    spite having a first-and-goal at
                                                                                                                          the 3-yard line.
                                      REPORT CARD                                                 By BOB LABRIOLA            • Two pre-snap penalties —
                                                                                                                          a false start and a delay of
                                                                                                                          game — turned a third-and-3
QUARTERBACK: B                                                                                                            into a third-and-13 and led to a
Roethlisberger made plays, but he left some on the field, too
                                                                                                                          Steelers punt.
RUNNING BACKS: A                                                                                                             • A 36-yard kickoff return
Moore did it all — run, catch, block, score TDs
                                                                                                                          jump-started the Bengals on a
RECEIVERS: B+                                                                                                             field goal drive that cut the
Limas Sweed played, and caught his first NFL pass                                                                         Steelers lead to 17-10 late in
                                                                                                                          the third quarter.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A-
Zero sacks, 4.6 per rush, but two false start penalties
DEFENSIVE LINE: B+
Doing their job allowed the LBs to wreak havoc                                                                            THEY SAID IT …
LINEBACKERS: A+                                                                                                              “I signed here to do a job, and
7 sacks, 9 pressures, 1 takeaway. What, no TDs?                                                                           that’s an ‘in-case-of’ (in case
                                                                                                                          Willie Parker was hurt). Right
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B+                                                                                                       now, we are in a ‘in-case-of’
Bengals completed passes, but the longest gain was 19 yards
                                                                                                                          type of situation.”
SPECIAL TEAMS: B                                                                                                                        — Mewelde Moore
Still looking for that first big kick return                                   BEN ROETHLISBERGER

                                                                                                                           October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 11
STEELERS DIGEST                             PLAYER OF THE WEEK




 JAMES HARRISON
                                 LINEBACKER
   As Coach Mike Tomlin explained, the
linebackers compete against each other to
see who can be most destructive to the op-
ponent, and against the Bengals it was
James Harrison who got things started.
   Harrison had five tackles, two more
sacks, three pressures and a pass batted
down. He is the Steelers Digest Player of
the Week.
   Also considered were Mewelde Moore,
who had 120 yards rushing and three total
touchdowns; Lawrence Timmons, who had
nine tackles and two sacks in the fourth
quarter; LaMarr Woodley, who had two
sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recov-
ery; and the offensive line, which allowed
no sacks and allowed the Steelers to aver-
age 4.6 yards per rush.
                               Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS




X Steelers Digest Month 2008                                     Month 2008 Steelers Digest X
Starks, Harrison and Big Ben
   From the notebook of a sports-                                                                                                   was whether Mike Tomlin
writer who can’t think of a stadium                                                                                                 would blow Jeremy Par-
that has a more apt them song than                                                                                                  quet’s redshirt. According
Cincinnati’s:                                                                                                                       to the play-by-play sheet,
   • Welcome to the jungle, it gets                                                                                                 Tomlin did.
worse here every day.                                                                                                                  • After James Harrison
                                                                                                                                    nearly picked off Ryan
…just my opinion                                                                                                                    Fitzpatrick’s      lateral,
       by JIM WEXELL                                                                                                                which ended up a 15-
                                                                                                                                    yard loss, Harrison had a
   • But really, the score wasn’t in-                                                                                               nice chat with the Har-
dicative of the tight game that was                                                                                                 vard-educated Bengals
played between the Steelers and                                                                                                     quarterback. I’ll assume
Bengals. For 31Ú2 quarters I was won-                                                                                               they weren’t discussing
dering whether the Steelers were                                                                                                    abstract law theories.
ruthless enough to really be consid-                                                                                                   • Torn between call-
ered contenders.                                                                                                                    ing Harrison “Silverback”
   • The offense let the Bengals                                                                                                    or “Deebo,” I’ve opted
back into the game by throwing                                                                                                      for “Nueve Dos.” It fits
three incomplete passes from the 3-                                                                                                 his star persona a little
yard line and kicking a field goal. A                                                                                               better.
truly ruthless team would have                                                                                                         • Harrison was ruth-
bludgeoned the Bengals right there                                                                                                  less. So were LaMarr
with the running game and gone up                                                                                                   Woodley and Lawrence
14-0.                                                                                                                               Timmons. And Troy Pola-
   • Not to include Hines Ward                                                                                                      malu ruthless-ed himself
there. He was a ruthless man. Ask                                                                                                   off the field.
Keith Rivers, who did a great imita-                                                                                                   • Ryan Clark had the
tion of Bart Scott on the comeback                                                                                                  hit of the game against
block by Ward.                                                                                                                      Chris Henry, bringing to
   • Expect that hit to cost Ward                                                                                                   mind Clark’s kill shot on
some money, as the pansification of                                                                                                 the same player a couple
the NFL continues.                                                                                                                  of years ago.
   • Guess we can also expect a            Ben Roethlisberger took the short passes when he had to, but he also fired a                • After watching the
feud to commence between Ward              beautiful deep ball to Nate Washington in the fourth quarter. Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS    Bengals’ backs plod their
and Rivers. It should at least spark a                                                                                              way to 69 rushing yards, I
rivalry that’s in need of some fresh     where I was from, and I told him it’s difficult to assess any real progress couldn’t help but wonder what Rudi
spice.                                   Irwin, Pa. He told me he was in in the protection department.                    Johnson was thinking.
   • The winless Bengals still have      town with his idiot friends, and I         • Along those lines, Max Starks          • In case you have to ask, Dick
plenty of fan support. Even though       agreed. He asked me if anyone in — on Mewelde Moore’s 13-yard LeBeau didn’t think QB Fitzpatrick
pregame stories predicted a Steeler      the locker room gives me the cold touchdown run — collapsed the en- could dink his team down the field
Nation takeover of Paul Brown Sta-       shoulder, and I told him only Ike tire right side of the Bengals’ defen- without making a mistake. That’s
dium, it never really materialized. I    Taylor. So the rest of the night, the sive line. The big guy hasn’t grown why the corners gave such large
never expected to see that much or-      guy kept saying “Irwin, Idiots, soft from those big paydays.                     cushions.
ange here. And I wasn’t the only re-     Ike.” I couldn’t figure it out, until      • Ben Roethlisberger’s arm               • On a second-down play near
porter who felt that way, even           he said he reads this column and seemed to have grown a bit soft the goal line, the Steelers’ corners
though some reporters repeatedly         was only helping with my next over the bye week. Santonio played back on the goal line and
asked the Steelers how it felt to have   headline.                               Holmes had a step on his man but were content to give up the first
so much support. But really, it was         • The passing game remained Ben underthrew him.                               down at the 3-yard line. But Fitz-
tame by comparison to other hostile      quick, short and sharp for the most        • Those worries lasted until the patrick ran an ugly bootleg and fell
takeovers over the years.                part, which sustained the hope that fourth quarter when Roethlisberger down for a loss. It was the worst
   • I ran into one of the Steelers      the offense would build off its perfor- threw 60 yards in the air, on the play call I’ve seen in a long time.
fans the night before the game.          mance in Jacksonville. But again, the button, to Nate Washington.                   • Yes, the other team has
We chit-chatted a bit; he asked me       Bengals’ pass rush was so feeble that      • My only worry after that play coaches, too.
INSIDE THE GAME                           TUNCH’S TAKE                                                                    By TUNCH ILKIN • Steelers Radio Network




Great game by offensive line
   CINCINNATI — There are so              the A-gap blitzes and the twists on        seemed the Steelers were close to            really, really nice.
many facets of the Steelers’ 38-10        the inside between the defensive           making a lot of good things happen,             It was nice to see Mewelde get
win over the Bengals that were in-        tackles and ends, were not a prob-         but they always seemed to be one             his 100 yards. I know the one thing
teresting, but being a former offen-      lem against the Bengals. The Steel-        mistake away, whether a missed               the Steelers wanted to take advan-
sive lineman I have to go with the        ers interior offensive linemen did a       block here or an overthrow there.            tage of was that on first downs they
offensive line first, because that was    great job of squeezing on the A-gap        They were close, but they couldn’t           wanted to run play-action passes
the best pass protection we have          blitzes, and they were picking them        put Cincinnati away.                         and go deep. They finally hit it with
seen all season long.                     up consistently.                              In the third quarter they really          Nate Washington, for a 50-yard
   Ben Roethlisberger not only               That started early on the first         took control of the game, and they           touchdown that gave them a 24-10
wasn’t sacked even once — and             drive of the game, when the Bengals        really started running the ball well.        lead.
that was the first time that had hap-     brought pressure and the offensive         Darnell Stapleton is getting better             Max Starks made his first start of
pened since last December when            line picked it up and Roethlisberger       and better.                                  the season for Marvel Smith, and he
the Steelers hosted the Bengals at        hurt the Bengals with pass plays              On the touchdown run by                   was just outstanding. He just looked
Heinz Field — but he also had             down the field. When you do that to        Mewelde Moore, on the Steelers’              very natural out there.
plenty of time in the pocket to sur-      a defense, you make it not so ag-          first possession in the third quarter           Antwan Odom is not a bad pass
vey the field.                            gressive, and then as the game con-        where Mewelde bounced it outside,            rusher, and he got pressure last
   And not only did Roethlisberger        tinued and the Bengals kept trying         Stapleton did a great job adjusting          week on the Jets vs. a pretty darn
have plenty of time, but the offen-       to bring pressure, the Steelers did a      on the counter-trap where he pulls.          good offensive lineman in D’Brick-
sive line came off the ball, which al-    great job of picking it up.                Normally, you kick the outside guy           ashaw Ferguson. Max did an out-
lowed the running game to get                I thought the other thing that was      out, but this time the outside guy,          standing job, not only in pass block-
going.                                    really exciting was in the second          Antwan Odom, closed and so Sta-              ing but also in coming off the ball.
   You always are looking for im-         half with the way the Steelers took        pleton hooked him and took him to               Whenever you rush for 125 yards
provement, and the things that this       control of the game.                       the inside, which enabled Mewelde            and don’t give up any sacks, that’s a
offensive line struggled with early,         Throughout the second quarter, it       to bounce the ball outside. It was           win for the offensive linemen.


INSIDE THE GAME                                                                                                                 By JIM WEXELL • Digest Correspondent




Linebackers put on a show
   CINCINNATI — The competition                                                                       Timmons first came             “I kept telling people that he’s fast
between the Steelers and Bengals                                                                  clean on a third-and-8          and he’s good,” said Woodley. “If
ended about midway through the                                                                    play early in the second        you watched him practice, you saw
fourth quarter. The competition                                                                   quarter. Like a lightning       that every day. He really practices
among Steelers linebackers went                                                                   bolt, he swooped off the        hard. The only question was
right up to the final whistle.                                                                    edge, but Farrior “stole”       whether he’d transfer it to the field,
   The Steelers piled up seven sacks                                                              the sack to force a Ben-        and now that he has that under-
in the 38-10 win last Sunday, and all                                                             gals punt.                      standing of the game he’s even
of them came from their linebackers.                                                                  Timmons’ first true         faster.”
   “James Harrison is the bus driver,”                                                            sack, and second of the            Timmons remains a backup to
said Coach Mike Tomlin. “And if he                                                                season, occurred early in       Larry Foote, but the Bengals used
gets a play, he’s going to let No. 56                                                             the fourth quarter. With        their three-receiver sets so often the
(LaMarr Woodley) hear about it, or                                                                the Steelers leading by         Steelers used plenty of nickel de-
No. 94 (Lawrence Timmons) hear                                                                    only seven, Timmons             fense. It gave them three explosive
about it, or No. 51 (James Farrior).                                                              sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick         pass rushers to go along with Farrior,
The biggest competition is in your                                                                on third-and-10 to force a      the captain, inside.
backyard, and that’s how they ap-                                                                 punt. The Steelers scored          “I don’t know if we really blitzed
proach it. They’re not a selfish                                                                  the game-clinching touch-       any more than we usually do,” Far-
group. They work, but they drive                                                                  down six plays later.           rior said. “Guys were just getting
each other, and that’s awesome.”                                                                     Timmons came up big          home more often.”
   Harrison and Woodley each had                                                                  on the Bengals’ next third         Of course, the defensive line
two sacks to extend their team-lead-        Lawrence Timmons joined in the pass-                  down as well. His sack          made it all happen by stuffing the
ing totals to 8.5 and 7.5, respec-          rushing fun against Cincinnati with a pair            on third-and-12 sent Ben-       run and not allowing Fitzpatrick to
tively. But a new contender emerged         of sacks.                 Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS     gals fans to the parking        scramble up the middle. But Aaron
— Timmons also had two sacks, and                                                                 lot. After the game, Tim-       Smith gave the verbal game ball to
he could have had three.                     The outside linebackers say teams mons was his typically humble self.                the linebackers.
   “I stole one from Timmons,” said       must “pick your poison” in deciding             “I had an all right game,” he said.        “I think we’ve had more talented
Farrior with a paternalistic chuckle.     which rusher on whom to focus. But “I think I did well.”                                linebackers before,” Smith said.
“We love the competition that’s be-       the emergence of Timmons, who                   Timmons was anything but pro-           “But collectively, this group by far
tween us linebackers. We try to thrive    played inside, outside and even ductive last season, when some fans                     is overall the best I’ve played with.
off each other, support each other,       lined up over wide receiver Chad and media wondered whether he                          Play in and play out, there’s never a
and when we have good days like           Johnson at times, throws another ex- was a first-round bust. But his team-              drop-off. Teams have to pick their
this we’re really proud of each other.”   plosive blitzer into the mix.                mates never thought that way.              poison.”
                                                                                                                                     October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 15
                                                                                                                                           with GEOFF JENKINS
                                             s Major League Baseball was completing the task of determining                Q. You grew up in California, so                         when you need the first down to


                                    A        the participants in the 2008 World Series, a couple of guys in-
                                             volved in the National League Championship Series probably were
                                             spending some of their free time checking out the doings of their
                                    favorite NFL team.
                                       Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Geoff Jenkins grew up in California, but
                                                                                                                       how did you become a Steelers fan?
                                                                                                                           My older brother Brett is 38, four
                                                                                                                       years older than me, and he was al-
                                                                                                                       ways a big Steelers fan, and I just kind
                                                                                                                       of followed his footsteps. I just kept
                                                                                                                                                                                    move the chains, and he’s the guy
                                                                                                                                                                                    when you need that big touchdown.
                                                                                                                                                                                       Q. Which current Steelers player
                                                                                                                                                                                    would you have batting cleanup in
                                                                                                                                                                                    your lineup?
                                    he was drawn to the Steelers at a young age because he was captivated by           with it. Last year when we were in
                                                                                                                                                                                       He would have to be athletic, so
                                    Lynn Swann’s acrobatic catches. Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Cory            town to play the Pirates, I got to meet                      it can’t just be a big, strong line-
                                    Wade grew up in Indianapolis and now lives in Utah during the offseason,           Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward,                           man. I would want Willie Parker
                                    but he made it a point to attend a Steelers practice and was thrilled to meet      and I have been to a few practices.                          leading off. I would put Santonio
                                    some players during a late-season series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates.        It’s something I definitely follow.                          Holmes in center field. Go with
                                       Jenkins and Wade talked about their passion for the Steelers with Teresa
                                                                                                                         Q. What are some of your fa-                               Heath Miller at cleanup.
                                    Varley.
                                                                                                                       vorite Steelers memories?                                       Q. Would Willie Parker’s speed
                                                                                                                         I went to USC and so I’ve always                           translate to him being a great base
                                                                                                                       been a Lynn Swann fan, and the                               stealer?
                                                                                                                       catches he made were awesome. I                                 Football and baseball are two dif-
                                                                                                                       was a big fan of The Bus and loved                           ferent gears. Football is a combina-
                                                                                                                       watching him roll over people.                               tion of power and speed; in baseball
                                                                                                                       There are a lot of great memories,                           there are a lot of guys who are fast but
                                                                                                                       and it’s hard to pick just one.                              can’t steal bases. There are guys who
                                                                                                                          Q. Is there a current Steelers                            don’t have that top-end speed but
                                                                                                                                                                                    they know how to get a good jump so
Photo/DREW HALLOWELL/Getty Images




                                                                                                                       player you enjoy watching, a guy
                                                                                                                       whose game you respect?                                      they are good base stealers. He would
                                                                                                                          Hines Ward. He epitomizes what                            have to learn to read a pitcher, but I
                                                                                                                       the Steelers are. He’s always out there                      think Willie would be good at it.
                                                                                                                       having fun and has that smile on his                            Q. What would be the best way
                                                                                                                       face. He’s a rough, tough guy but at                         to utilize Ben Roethlisberger’s arm
                                                                                                                       the same time he’s very professional.                        in baseball?
                                                                                                                       You can tell he’s smooth by the way                             I would put him in as a catcher
                                                                                                                       he runs his routes, and he’ll go into                        throwing people out. Either that or
                                                                                                                       traffic to make a catch. He is the guy                         as a closer.


                                                                                                                                                                                &        CORY WADE
                                       Q. What are some of your favorite                 Yes. We have a trainer who is a big-
                                    Steelers memories?                                time fan, too. You don’t run into too
                                       The main one is Super Bowl XL                  many Steelers fans where we are. Having
                                    against the Seahawks, the one for the             Joe and our trainer Todd (Tomczyk) both
                                    thumb. I was in Nevada watching the               being Steelers fans is a lot of fun.
                                    game and being out there, there were a
                                                                                        Q. What are your thoughts on what
                                    lot of Seahawks fans. I was wearing all
                                                                                      Mike Tomlin has brought to this team?
                                    my Steelers stuff, and everybody else
                                                                                        They haven’t missed a beat since Bill
                                    were Seahawks fans. It was fun.
                                                                                      Cowher left. A lot of people were con-
                                       Q. How closely are you able to follow          cerned when Cowher left about what
                                    the Steelers?                                     was going to happen, who they were
                                       This is my first year of big-league ball, so   going to bring in to coach the team. The
                                    in previous years it wasn’t hard to follow        Rooneys brought in a great guy to re-
                                    the games. Right now you watch what you           place Cowher. Mike Tomlin has been
                                                                                                                                            Photo/DOUG PENSINGER/Getty Images




                                    can while the season is going on. I have          awesome.
                                    the SundayTicket package, so I can get all
                                                                                         Q. What current Steelers player would
                                    of the games. If I get a chance to watch a
                                                                                      you like to have batting cleanup in your
                                    full game, I’m going to do it and wave my
                                                                                      lineup?
                                    Terrible Towel and have a good time.
                                                                                         I would say Mike Tomlin. That man
                                       Q. Your Dodgers teammate Joe Beimel            is massive. He is a big man. And be-
                                    is a Steelers fan as well. Is that fun having     cause of the attitude he projects, I
                                    someone else in the clubhouse be a Steel-         would like to have him in my cleanup
                                    ers fan?                                          spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                       October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 17
Stapleton making most of chance
By TERESA VARLEY
Assistant Editor
   At some point during the game in Jacksonville          “I want to win games.
against the Jaguars, maybe even when the Steel-
ers offense was on the field, Darnell Stapleton’s
                                                             If we win with me in
phone rang. It was his mother. He didn’t an-             the lineup or someone
swer, naturally, and she didn’t leave a message.
   “She called, I don’t know why,” said a smiling        who is better than me,
Stapleton. “I guess she thought I was going to
pick up. That’s just the way my family is. But I               I’ll accept the fact.
missed the call. I had quite a few missed text
messages. Everybody was proud of me.”                                But I will come
   Chances are that is the exact message she was
going to convey to her son, how proud she was                    to work every day
of the way he performed in his first NFL start.
   Stapleton is the starting right guard because                     and compete.”
Kendall Simmons tore an Achilles during the
game against the Baltimore Ravens and he
played well in the second half of that game and
then again in Jacksonville.
   “My heart was beating a million miles an
hour,” said Stapleton of being thrown in against
the Ravens. “They always say to be ready be-
cause you never know who might go down. Un-
fortunately, Kendall went down with a season-
ending injury and I was called upon to step in. I
was nervous for the first play but after that it’s
football, it’s something I love to do and it was
time to go to work.”
   It’s not the easiest thing to do, though, espe-
cially against the Ravens defense and on a Mon-
day night to boot.
   “My teammates did a good job of keeping me
cool, calm and collected,” said Stapleton. “I felt
like they had confidence in me. That’s all you
really need. I felt like I was more than capable                                                   Darnell Stapleton made the Steelers roster as a rookie
of getting the job done. It was just keeping my                                                    free agent, then found himself in the starting lineup a year
composure and getting the job done.”                                                               later after Kendall Simmons was injured.
   That confidence paid off, because after play-                                                                         Digest Photos/MIKE FABUS and DANIELLE HUDAK
ing well against the Ravens, Stapleton held onto
the job during a head-to-head competition with
Trai Essex during the week before the Jaguars
game.
   “It was a dream come true,” said Stapleton              “It’s still Kendall’s job,” said Stapleton. “I’m a   rookie even though I got injured. I thought I
about starting in a nationally televised prime-         backup doing my job, which is to fill the ranks         showed I’m capable of playing at this level.”
time game. “You dream about being on televi-            until he is healthy.                                       Stapleton was inactive for the entire 2007 reg-
sion saying, ‘Darnell Stapleton, Rutgers Univer-           “I’m just coming out here to compete. I’m a          ular season, forced to watch each week from the
sity.’ It was big to get my first start, and to be on   competitor. I want to win games. If we win with         sidelines in street clothes. That wasn’t easy for
Sunday Night Football — prime-time television           me in the lineup or someone who is better than          him.
— it was even bigger. We came out with a vic-           me, I’ll accept the fact. But I will come to work          “Everybody on this team is a competitor,” he
tory, and that is always big.”                          every day and compete.”                                 said. “That’s why they’re here. To sit back and
   And because of his role in it, Stapleton got to         Quite possibly the reason he has made it this        watch is hard, especially if you love the game as
make his second career start, in Cincinnati.            far in the first place is that competitive spirit. He   much as we do.”
   “When you think about the six quarters of            came to the Steelers as an undrafted rookie after          Wanting to play is one thing, but preparing as
football that he played (against the Ravens and         being passed over in a draft in which his college       though you are going to play, and then doing
Jaguars), we were effective on offense,” said           teammate, guard Cameron Stephenson, was                 well if called upon is the way a backup gets
Coach Mike Tomlin. “We played a half of win-            picked by the Steelers in the fifth round.              himself onto the field. Seizing these moments is
ning football vs. the Ravens when he was in                Stephenson was waived on the final roster cut        the way to keep himself on the field.
there, and we played a game of winning football         prior to the 2007 season, he was waived by the             “Before every game, Ben (Roethlisberger) al-
in Jacksonville when he was in there. He has            Eagles last summer and is currently out of foot-        ways came up to me and said to be ready just in
more than held his own. He’s a pretty good              ball.                                                   case,” said Stapleton. “That Baltimore game was
communicator, and the guys appear to have a                Stapleton, who could have been considered a          that ‘just in case’ moment. I always prepare as if
good level of comfort with him. He is doing a           long shot even for the practice squad after being       I am playing in the game. It just happened that
nice job. Of course he is going to continue to          injured during much of his rookie preseason,            week I was called upon.
grow and get better, but he is OK right now.”           made the final roster.                                     “If you prepare for the game like we do as a
   Stapleton knows he can improve, but the ef-             “It was big making it. It’s tough to make it as a    unit, you should be ready all of the time. But
fort he showed when given an opportunity is             free agent,” said Stapleton, who still talks to         now, to actually get the reps and grow that co-
keeping him in the starting lineup for the fore-        Stephenson a few times a week. “I think it shows        hesion with Willie (Colon) and Justin (Hartwig)
seeable future, even though he doesn’t consider         my hard work. I always expect the best things to        is big. I think we can only grow further with the
the job to be his.                                      happen. I came out and had a good camp as a             reps I get the rest of the season.”

                                                                                                                                October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 19
         Two-Minute Drill
   2:00•1:59•1:58•1:57•1:56•1:55•1:54
Just what is ‘unnecessary’?
   Bob Labriola, a Pittsburgh native,    football fans, that bloodlust                                                   specific incidents for which Ward
has been editor of Steelers Digest       would become boredom                                                            was fined, those should have been
since its inception in 1988. This        once too many of the                                                            cited when he was notified the first
page offers him an opportunity to        league’s stars had been in-                                                     time. Having to ask for clarification,
provide additional insights into the     capacitated. In other                                                           and then having it provided after the
Steelers, the NFL and the events that    words, violence is good                                                         fact smacks of manufacturing evi-
are making news.                         but only if everybody gets                                                      dence.
                                         up and walks back to the
                                         huddle, and this is the fine                                                        LAUGHABLE HYPE
        Opinion                          line the league office con-
                                                                                                                            Sure, the ESPN announcing team
                                         stantly is trying to walk.
                                                                                                                         is going to do whatever is necessary
   It was one of those roundtable           It’s an honorable pursuit,
                                                                                                                         to hype its Monday Night Football
discussions that probably first aired    but things are going too far
                                                                                                                         game each week, but maintaining a
in the late 1990s, and the panel         in the wrong direction.
                                                                                                                         level of credibility should be impor-
brought together to talk about the          During two games in
                                                                                                                         tant, too.
state of professional football in-       late September and early
                                                                                                                            Before the Browns hosted the
cluded a couple of different genera-     October, Hines Ward was
tions of former players. Inevitably,     fined for what was deter-                                                       New York Giants on Oct. 13, in an
the conversation veered toward rule      mined to be unnecessary                                                         effort to pump up Eli Manning, the
changes that benefited the offense.      rough play. It cost him                                                         announcers made some ridiculous
   “Fans pay money to see offense,       $5,000 against the Ravens                                                       assertions, one of which was how
to see a lot of points being scored,”    — the same game in which                                                        Peyton now was relegated to the
said wide receiver Tim Brown, still      Ray Lewis broke Rashard                                                         role of “the other Manning,” with
an active player at the time.            Mendenhall’s shoulder                                                           another being that Eli Manning
   “Fans would pay money to see          with a tackle — and                                                             clearly was the best of the quarter-
me put you in the hospital, too,”        $10,000 against the                                                             backs drafted in 2004.
                                                                         Hines Ward wasn’t terribly excited about
snarled Hall of Fame defensive end       Jaguars. No penalties were      getting fined for two separate incidents           By what criteria is Eli Manning
Deacon Jones.                            called on Ward in either        for which he didn’t get a penalty.              clearly better than Ben Roethlis-
   Such is the brilliant dichotomy of    game, and Ward actually                               Digest Photo/MIKE FABUS   berger and Philip Rivers?
football, a sport often balletic and     left with the respect of the                                                       Rivers can be eliminated because
brutal from one play to the next,        Jaguars coaching staff for the way         “Don’t get me wrong, I under-        he’s the one without a Super Bowl
and it always has been this mixture      he played against their team.          stand what the league is trying to do    ring, but in Manning vs. Roethlis-
that has made it so popular, that has       Unnecessary rough play? What is from a safety standpoint, and I am           berger, the Steelers quarterback has
made it a part of contemporary           this, the National Football League for that. We’ve got to be competi-           an edge in regular season winning
American culture.                        regular season, or recess at the tive, we’ve got to be professional,            percentage, career regular season
   The league always has had rules       neighborhood pre-school? Sorry, we’ve got to put a good product out             passer rating, career playoff passer
governing the violence, and even as      Hines, you’re going to have to get there for our fans. But, boy, it is          rating and career playoff wins.
those rules have become more de-         out of the sand box. You’re playing starting to cost a little too much             The truth is that when talking
tailed and grown in number, injuries     too rough. What in the name of money to come to work for some of                heads make those statements,
to players have more of an impact        Dick Butkus is going on here?          these guys. We have to get a little      they’re much more interested in the
than ever on the outcome of individ-        “That’s how this guy has played clarity in regards to that, and I just       hype than facts. When the Steelers
ual games and entire seasons.            football in this league for a long think that is something we are work-         travel to Washington, D.C., to play
   While Deacon Jones is correct in      time now,” Coach Mike Tomlin said ing on as a league.”                          the Redskins on a Monday night,
his assumption regarding the blood-      about Ward, who is regarded uni-           By the end of last week, the         the same guys will be drooling all
lust of a large segment of the ticket-   versally as the toughest, most physi- league had “clarified” its reasons for    over Roethlisberger, the way they
buying and television-watching           cal receiver in football.              issuing the fines, but if there were     were drooling all over Eli.
                PITTSBURGH STEELERS                                                                                     NEW YORK GIANTS
No.   Name                     Pos.      Hgt.         Wgt.   Exp.         College                   No.    Name                Pos.         Hgt.          Wgt.        Exp.          College
 2    Dennis Dixon               QB       6-3          206      R         Oregon                    5      John Carney           K          5-11           185          20          Notre Dame
 3    Jeff Reed                  PK      5-11          225      7         North Carolina            8      David Carr          QB            6-3           216           7          Fresno State
 4    Byron Leftwich            QB        6-5          250      6         Marshall                  9      Lawrence Tynes        K           6-1           202           5          Troy State
 7    Ben Roethlisberger        QB        6-5          241      5         Miami (Ohio)              10     Eli Manning         QB            6-4           225           5          Mississippi
10    Santonio Holmes           WR       5-11          189      3         Ohio State                12     Steve Smith         WR           5-11           195           2          USC
14    Limas Sweed               WR        6-4          212      R         Texas                     17     Plaxico Burress     WR            6-5           232           9          Michigan State
17    Mitch Berger                P       6-4          228     13         Colorado                  18     Jeff Feagles          P           6-1           215          21          Miami (Fla.)
20    Bryant McFadden          RCB        6-0          190      4         Florida State             20     Michael Johnson       S           6-2           207           2          Arizona
21    Mewelde Moore              RB      5-11          209      5         Tulane                    21     Kenny Phillips        S           6-2           210           R          Miami (Fla.)
22    William Gay               LCB      5-10          190      2         Louisville                22     Reuben Droughns      RB          5-11           220           9          Oregon
23    Tyrone Carter              SS       5-9          195      9         Minnesota                 23     Corey Webster        CB           6-0           202           4          LSU
24    Ike Taylor                LCB       6-2          191      6         La.-Lafayette             24     Terrell Thomas       CB           6-0           199           R          USC
25    Ryan Clark                 FS      5-11          205      7         Louisiana State           25     R.W. McQuarters      CB          5-10           194          11          Oklahoma State
26    Deshea Townsend           RCB      5-10          190     11         Alabama                   26     Sammy Knight          S           6-1           215          12          USC
27    Anthony Smith              FS      5-11          192      3         Syracuse                  27     Brandon Jacobs       RB           6-4           264           4          Southern Illinois
33    Gary Russell               RB      5-11          215      2         Minnesota                 28     Danny Ware           RB           6-0           234           2          Georgia
37    Anthony Madison           LCB       5-9          180      3         Alabama                   29     Sam Madison          CB          5-11           180          12          Louisville
38    Carey Davis                FB      5-10          225      2         Illinois                  31     Aaron Ross           CB           6-0           197           2          Texas
39    Willie Parker              RB      5-10          209      5         North Carolina            34     Derrick Ward         RB          5-11           228           5          Ottawa
43    Troy Polamalu              SS      5-10          207      6         Southern California       35     Kevin Dockery        CB           5-8           188           3          Mississippi State
44    Najeh Davenport            RB       6-1          247      7         Miami (Fla.)              37     James Butler          S           6-3           215           4          Georgia Tech
49    Sean McHugh                TE       6-5          265      3         Penn State                39     Madison Hedgecock    FB           6-3           266           4          North Carolina
50    Larry Foote              RILB       6-1          239      7         Michigan                  44     Ahmad Bradshaw       RB           5-9           198           2          Marshall
51    James Farrior            LILB       6-2          243     12         Virginia                  51     DeOssie, Zak         LB           6-4           249           2          Brown
53    Bruce Davis              LOLB       6-2          252      R         UCLA                      53     Bryan Kehl           LB           6-2           237           R          BYU
54    Andre Frazier            ROLB       6-5          255      4         Cincinnati                54     Jonathan Goff        LB           6-2           236           R          Vanderbilt
56    LaMarr Woodley           LOLB       6-2          265      2         Michigan                  55     Danny Clark          LB           6-2           245           9          Illinois
57    Keyaron Fox              LILB       6-3          235      5         Georgia Tech              57     Chase Blackburn      LB           6-3           247           4          Akron
60    Greg Warren                LS       6-3          252      4         North Carolina            58     Antonio Pierce       LB           6-1           238           8          Arizona
62    Justin Hartwig              C       6-4          312      7         Kansas                    59     Gerris Wilkinson     LB           6-3           231           3          Georgia Tech
65    Jeremy Parquet              G       6-6          321      4         Southern Mississippi      60     Shaun O’Hara         C            6-3           303           9          Rutgers
66    Tony Hills                 LT       6-6          305      R         Texas                     61     Adam Koets            T           6-5           300           2          Oregon State
68    Chris Kemoeatu             LG       6-3          344      4         Utah                      65     Grey Ruegamer        G            6-4           299          10          Arizona State
72    Darnell Stapleton         RG        6-3          285      2         Rutgers                   66     David Diehl           T           6-5           319           6          Illinois
74    Willie Colon               RT       6-3          315      3         Hofstra                   67     Kareem McKenzie       T           6-6           327           8          Penn State
76    Chris Hoke                 NT       6-2          305      8         Brigham Young             69     Rich Seubert         G            6-3           310           8          Western Illinois
77    Marvel Smith               LT       6-5          321      9         Arizona State             71     Dave Tollefson       DE           6-4           255           2          NW Missouri State
78    Max Starks                 RT       6-8          337      5         Florida                   76     Chris Snee           G            6-3           317           5          Boston College
79    Trai Essex                 LT       6-4          324      4         Northwestern              77     Kevin Boothe         G            6-5           315           3          Cornell
81    Dallas Baker              WR        6-3          206      1         Florida                   81     Amani Toomer        WR            6-3           203          13          Michigan
83    Heath Miller               TE       6-5          256      4         Virginia                  82     Mario Manningham    WR           5-11           183           R          Michigan
85    Nate Washington           WR        6-1          185      4         Tiffin                    83     Sinorice Moss       WR            5-8           185           3          Miami (Fla.)
86    Hines Ward                WR        6-0          205     11         Georgia                   84     Darcy Johnson        TE           6-5           267           2          Central Florida
89    Matt Spaeth                TE       6-7          270      2         Minnesota                 87     Domenik Hixon       WR            6-2           182           3          Akron
90    Travis Kirschke           LDE       6-3          298     12         UCLA                      88     Michael Matthews     TE           6-4           270           2          Georgia Tech
91    Aaron Smith               LDE       6-5          298     10         Northern Colorado         89     Kevin Boss           TE           6-6           253           2          Western Oregon
92    James Harrison           ROLB       6-0          242      5         Kent State                91     Justin Tuck          DE           6-5           274           4          Notre Dame
93    Nick Eason                RDE       6-3          305      6         Clemson                   93     Jay Alford           DT           6-3           304           2          Penn State
94    Lawrence Timmons         RILB       6-1          234      2         Florida State             95     Jerome McDougle      DE           6-2           264           6          Miami (Fla.)
95    Donovan Woods            ROLB       6-2          230      R         Oklahoma State            96     Barry Cofield        DT           6-4           306           3          Northwestern
96    Orpheus Roye              LDE       6-4          330     13         Florida State             97     Mathias Kiwanuka     DE           6-5           265           3          Boston College
98    Casey Hampton              NT       6-1          325      8         Texas                     98     Fred Robbins         DT           6-4           317           9          Wake Forest
99    Brett Keisel              RDE       6-5          285      7         Brigham Young             99     Renaldo Wynn         DE           6-3           296          12          Notre Dame



           STEELERS DEPTH CHART                                                    GIANTS DEPTH CHART                                         STEELERS COACHING STAFF
                          OFFENSE                                                             OFFENSE                            Mike Tomlin ........................................................Head coach
                                                                                                                                 John Mitchell ......................Ass’t head coach/Defensive line
QB      7-Ben Roethlisberger      4-Byron Leftwich                  QB       10-Eli Manning          8-David Carr
                                                                                                                                 Bruce Arians ........................................Offensive coordinator
HB     39-Willie Parker          21-Mewelde Moore                   HB       27-Brandon Jacobs      34-Derrick Ward              Dick LeBeau........................................Defensive coordinator
FB     38-Carey Davis                                               FB       39-Madison Hedgecock                                Ken Anderson ..................................................Quarterbacks
WR     10-Santonio Holmes        14-Limas Sweed                     WR       17-Plaxico Burress     87-Domenik Hixon             Keith Butler..........................................................Linebackers
WR     86-Hines Ward             85-Nate Washington                 WR       81-Amani Toomer        12-Steve Smith               James Daniel ........................................................Tight ends
                                                                                                                                 Randy Fichtner................................................Wide receivers
TE     83-Heath Miller           89-Matt Spaeth                     TE       89-Kevin Boss          88-Michael Matthews
                                                                                                                                 Harold Goodwin ......................................Offensive assistant
LT     77-Marvel Smith           78-Max Starks                      LT       66-David Diehl         77-Kevin Boothe
                                                                                                                                 Ray Horton ..................................................Defensive backs
LG     68-Chris Kemoeatu         72-Darnell Stapleton               LG       69-Rich Seubert        65-Grey Ruegamer             Amos Jones......................................Assistant special teams
C      62-Justin Hartwig         72-Darnell Stapleton               C        60-Shaun O’Hara        65-Grey Ruegamer             Bob Ligashesky ..............................................Special teams
RG     72-Darnell Stapleton      79-Trai Essex                      RG       76-Chris Snee          77-Kevin Boothe              Lou Spanos ............................................Defensive assistant
RT     74-Willie Colon           78-Max Starks                      RT       67-Kareem McKenzie     61-Adam Koets                Kirby Wilson....................................................Running backs
                                                                                                                                 Larry Zierlein ....................................................Offensive line
                          DEFENSE                                                             DEFENSE                            Ray Jackson ..........................................Player development
DE     91-Aaron Smith            90-Travis Kirschke                 LE       91-Justin Tuck         99-Renaldo Wynn
                                                                                                                                 Garrett Giemont ..........................Strength and conditioning
                                                                                                                                 Marcel Pastoor ..................................Conditioning assistant
NT     98-Casey Hampton          76-Chris Hoke                      NT       96-Barry Cofield
DE     99-Brett Keisel           93-Nick Eason                      DT       98-Fred Robbins        93-Jay Alford
OLB    56-LaMarr Woodley         53-Bruce Davis                     RE       97-Mathias Kiwanuka    71-Dave Tollefson
                                                                                                                                                GIANTS COACHING STAFF
ILB    51-James Farrior          57-Keyaron Fox                     SLB      55-Danny Clark         51-Zak DeOssie               Tom Coughlin......................................................Head coach
ILB    50-Larry Foote            94-Lawrence Timmons                MLB      58-Antonio Pierce      57-Chase Blackburn           Kevin Gilbride ......................................Offensive coordinator
                                                                                                                                 Steve Spagnuolo ................................Defensive coordinator
OLB    92-James Harrison         54-Andre Frazier                   WLB      59-Gerris Wilkinson    53-Bryan Kehl
                                                                                                                                 Tom Quinn ..................................Special teams coordinator
CB     24-Ike Taylor             22-William Gay                     LCB      31-Aaron Ross          35-Kevin Dockery
                                                                                                                                 Andre Curtis....................................Defensive quality control
FS     25-Ryan Clark             27-Anthony Smith                   RCB      23-Corey Webster       29-Sam Madison               Dave DeGuglielmo ..................................Ass’t offensive line
SS     43-Troy Polamalu          23-Tyrone Carter                   SS       37-James Butler        26-Sammy Knight              Pat Flaherty ......................................................Offensive line
CB     20-Bryant McFadden        26-Deshea Townsend                 FS       20-Michael Johnson     21-Kenny Phillips            Peter Giunta ............................................Secondary/corners
                                                                                                                                 Jerald Ingram..................................................Running backs
                   SPECIALISTS                                                           SPECIALISTS                             Thomas McGaughey ..............................Ass’t special teams
P      17-Mitch Berger                                              P        18-Jeff Feagles                                     David Merritt ............................................Secondary/safeties
K       3-Jeff Reed                                                 K         5-John Carney          9-Lawrence Tynes            Mike Pope..............................................................Tight ends
LS     60-Greg Warren                                               LS       93-Jay Alford          51-Zak DeOssie               Bill Sheridan ........................................................Linebackers
H      17-Mitch Berger                                              H        18-Jeff Feagles                                     Mike Sullivan ..................................................Wide receivers
KR     21-Mewelde Moore                                             KR       87-Domenik Hixon       28-Danny Ware                Chris Palmer ....................................................Quarterbacks
PR     21-Mewelde Moore          10-Santonio Holmes                 PR       25-R.W. McQuarters     87-Domenik Hixon
                                                                                                                                 Sean Ryan ......................................Offensive quality control
                                                                                                                                 Mike Waufle......................................................Defensive line

22 Steelers Digest October 25, 2008
 COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Giants
                                                                                                                          Heinz Field • 4:15 p.m. • FOX

 ABOUT THE GIANTS                                         PLAYERS TO STOP
OVERVIEW
  Some teams use a Super Bowl title as a
springboard to a lengthy run of success, while
others suffer a hangover and miss the playoffs
the following season. After each of their previ-
ous Super Bowl championships — in 1986 and
1990 — the Giants came back the next season
and missed the playoffs. Can Tom Coughlin do
that better than Bill Parcells?

THE GIANTS OFFENSE
   Because his surname is Manning, an inordi-
nate amount of attention is paid to Eli, the quar-
terback, but the Giants offense is built on the
foundation of a bruising running attack. After
five games, Brandon Jacobs (6-4, 264) and
Derrick Ward (5-11, 228) both were ranked in
the top 15 in the NFC in rushing.

THE GIANTS DEFENSE
   What allowed the Giants to beat the Patriots
was their ability to put pressure on the passer
by rushing only four players, and the team’s de-
fensive line remains a strength despite Michael
Strahan retiring and Osi Umenyiora being on in-
jured reserve. In addition to Justin Tuck, DT
Fred Robbins has been a force.
                                                                      DE JUSTIN TUCK                                  WR PLAXICO BURRESS
THE GIANTS SPECIAL TEAMS                                Two sacks in Super Bowl XLII thrust him into        Former Steelers players usually don’t get a
  As a fill-in for the injured Lawrence Tynes, John     the spotlight, and Tuck had three sacks in the      warm welcome when returning to Heinz
Carney hadn’t missed a field goal (12-for-12) or        first five games of 2008. He finished second        Field, but Burress caught the touchdown
an extra point (15-for-15) through five games.          on the team in 2007 with 10 sacks.                  pass that beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.



 THE SERIES
                                                              SERIES RECORD: Giants lead 45-29-3
    STEELERS




                                                            CURRENT STREAK: Steelers and Giants have split
                                                                                the last six games

                                                               LAST MEETING: Dec. 18, 2004
                                                                                Steelers 33, Giants 30

                                                       LAST STEELERS VICTORY: Dec. 18, 2004
                                                                                                                                              GIANTS
                                                                                Steelers 33, Giants 30

                                                        LAST GIANTS VICTORY: Dec. 10, 2000
                                                                                Giants 30, Steelers 10

                                         STEELERS’ BIGGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY:    56 (63-7 in 1952)

                                          STEELERS’ BIGGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT:    35 (42-7 in 1935; 35-0 in 1957)

                                                         MEMORABLE GAME(S): In 1963, the Steelers went into the regular season
                                                                                finale at 7-3-3 and needing to beat the Giants at
                                                                                Yankee Stadium to win the Eastern Conference title,
                   STAT WORTH NOTING:                                           and they already had won in Pittsburgh, 31-0. But with
                   These teams played a home-and-home series 33 times;          QB Ed Brown completing only 13 of 33 passes with
                   the Steelers have six season sweeps, while the Giants        three interceptions, the Steelers lost, 33-13.
                   have 14.




                                                                                                                           October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 23
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            o Aaron Smith, the time spent talking with


T           Baron Berg about football and life was a
            chance to get to know another person and
            thank him for his service in the military. To
Berg, it was a morale boost that will fuel him through
a difficult time in his life.
    “It definitely boosted my morale,” said Berg, who is
from Clearfield, Pa. “It makes me realize that these
guys care about me and the other veterans, and they
appreciate our service to our country.
    “Aaron offered me a lot of good advice. He told me
                                                                                 Photos by DANIELLE HUDAK
to believe in myself, keep the tempo, work hard and
challenge myself. And he said thanks.”
    Berg was among those who attended Heroes at
Heinz Field, an event hosted by the Steelers and VA
Healthcare to honor wounded veterans from Opera-
tion Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The event included on-field drills, autographs, dinner
and a welcome by Steelers president Art Rooney II.
     “Some of these men and women have very traumatic
injuries,” said Michael Moreland, director of the VA
Pittsburgh Healthcare System. “To let them have the
ability to get out and do something like this picks their
spirits up, lets them feel good about things and their
families, too. They need a break every once in a while.”
    The veterans didn’t let their injuries get in the way of
getting on the field and taking part in the football drills.
    “They are full of life,” said Smith. “They’re smiling
and talking. To see that throws me back the most. De-
spite what they have been through, they still have an
upbeat attitude.”
    There were those without limbs throwing passes,
some with prosthetic legs kicking field goals, and U.S.
Army Sgt. Jeremy Feldbusch took part even though he
lost his sight.
    Jessica Lynch, the Army PFC who was held hostage
when the conflict in Iraq began, tossed the football
around and enjoyed an experience that included auto-
graphs for herself and a few others back home as well.
    “It’s an honor to have been invited here and be a
part of it,” said Lynch. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s nice to do
events like this where we are appreciated.”
    Smith was one of 10 players who attended the
event, along with Patrick Bailey, Chris Hoke, Roy
Lewis, Mewelde Moore, Jeff Reed, Daniel Sepulveda,
Dezmond Sherrod, Matt Spaeth and Greg Warren.
    “As an American citizen, father and husband, this is
the most honorable thing I can do,” said Smith. “They             The Steelers showed their
fight for my freedom, so I can come out here and play              gratitude to veterans of
football. To give something back to them with the sac-
rifice they made is the ultimate thing for me.”
                                                                Operation Enduring Freedom
    Moore, who has family and friends who have served          and Operation Iraqi Freedom by
in the military, considered it an honor to take part in the    hosting an event at Heinz Field
event and was amazed at the attitude the veterans had.
    “It’s unbelievable to see their strength,” said Moore.       that included on-field drills,
“It’s one of those things you get stronger from. You see          autographs, dinner and a
how strong they are, their will power. It’s inspira-           welcome by Steelers president
tional. You want to continue to do better in everything
you do because you see such great things coming                          Art Rooney II.
from them.”

                                                                        October 25, 2008 Steelers Digest 25
M A I L A L L L E T T E R S T O : O V E R V I E W , 3 4 0 0 S O U T H W A T E R S T. , P I T T S B U R G H , P A 1 5 2 0 3

Dear Overview,                                                                                                                 Stapleton, though. I hope that continues
   I’m really impressed with Ben Roeth-
                                                                2008 FAN PHOTOS                                                to be the case.
                                                                                                                                  We all know that injuries are going to
lisberger this season. He has gotten the                                                                                       happen, and it’s a comforting feeling to
heck beat out of him but he hasn’t fal-                                                                                        know the Steelers have such great
tered one bit and had one of the best                                                                                          depth, so many capable backups. I hope
games of his career in Jacksonville.                                                                                           no one else gets hurt the rest of the sea-
   I have gotten frustrated with him in                                                                                        son, but if they do at least I won’t have
the past for not getting rid of the ball                                                                                       to hold my breath hoping that all goes
quickly and things like that, but the guy                                                                                      well.
definitely makes up for it. The best part                                                                                        I know they will get the job done.
of it is that he is such a young quarter-
back, which means there is so much                                                                                                                         George Lowery
more to come. I can’t wait to see how                                                                                                                     Sarasota, Florida
he keeps on developing.
                                                                                                                                                    ***
                            Barry Joseph                                                                                       Dear Overview,
                 Lancaster, Pennsylvania
                                                                                                                                   What is up with Limas Sweed being
                   ***                                                                                                         inactive so much this season? Is this a
Dear Overview,                                                                                                                 case of a rookie not being familiar with
                                                                                                                               the offense and therefore not ready to
   Steelers fans have been hard on Ben                                                                                         play, or is Dallas Baker just doing a
Roethlisberger, but they should be William Thomas and sons Craig and Daryl from California had a great time at the Steel-      much better job than Sweed?
                                             ers-Ravens game at Heinz Field.
singing his praises after his amazing per-                                                                                        I am a little disappointed that he isn’t
formance against the Jaguars. I have                                                                                           out there more. The Steelers have a cou-
                                               Overview plans on featuring Steelers fans decked out in their black and gold in the
never seen Ben play so well. It’s great to Overview section this season. We invite you to send us your photos or e-mail a jpeg ple of great starters in Hines Ward and
actually have a franchise quarterback, a to us for consideration.                                                              Santonio Holmes, but it would be nice
guy you know you can depend on week            No photos will be returned, and not all submissions will be selected to appear.
                                                                                                                               to add Sweed to the mix as a weapon.
in and week out.                               E-mail your photos to: Steelers_Digest@yahoo.com (put “Steelers Digest” in the e-
   Ben is the first true franchise quarter-  mail subject line), or mail them to: Steelers Digest, 3400 S. Water St., Pittsburgh, PA                          Lance Grogan
                                             15203.
back we have had since Terry Brad-                                                                                                                          Vienna, Virginia
shaw.
   I know people will still get on Roethlisberger        trying to protect the quarterback, but I think this                          Editor’s note: Nate Washington has
for every little thing, like he holds the ball too       time the referee went too far.                                      been doing a nice job as the team’s No. 3 re-
long or whatever, but I will take that any day with          That was not a penalty and thankfully it didn’t                 ceiver, and the team has confidence in him
the way he is playing. He is the best quarterback        cost the Steelers a game. The officiating this year                 there, and Limas Sweed doesn’t really have a
in the AFC, and the Steelers are lucky to have           around the league has been disappointing, and                       role on special teams, which then impacts him
him.                                                     this was just another example of that.                              when the game day roster is put together. With
                                                                                                     Jay Vogel       Dallas Baker rehabilitating a shoulder injury,
                                    Linda Jenkins                                                                    Sweed will get an opportunity, and then it will
                          Wheeling, West Virginia                                           Erie, Pennsylvania
                                                                                                                     be up to him. But even if Sweed finishes this
                         ***                                                       ***                               season without contributing much, it still
Dear Overview,                                            Dear Overview,                                             would be too early to label him a bust.
   I was absolutely sick when Rashard Menden-                A big pat on the back goes out to the guys who                                   ***
hall went down with a season-ending injury. It re-        have gotten the job done while starters have been          Dear Overview,
ally was a punch in the stomach to lose him, but          injured.
                                                             Chris Hoke has been absolutely amazing. As                 I like Nate Washington as a player, and I was
then I watched the Jaguars game and saw
                                                          much as I hate to say this, I didn’t even miss             somebody who was always screaming at the TV
Mewelde Moore.
                                                          Casey Hampton while watching the Steelers de-              for Ben Roethlisberger to throw him the ball
   That guy is a heck of a back, and while I hate
                                                          fense. I know Hampton is an important part of the          more. But that taunting penalty against the
to see Mendenhall on the injured reserve list, it’s
                                                          team, but Hoke is talented and makes plays when            Jaguars was inexcusable. As a Steelers fan, it
a relief to have Moore on the roster. Gary Russell
                                                          given the opportunity to play. Also on the defen-          makes me angry to see players do selfish things
also is a good back.
                                                          sive line, Travis Kirschke and Orpheus Roye have           that hurt the team.
   With a healthy Willie Parker, plus Moore and
Russell, the Steelers are in good shape in the run-       been phenomenal.                                                                          William Washington
ning game.                                                   At running back, Mewelde Moore blew me                                             Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
                                                          away with his performance against the Jaguars.
                                Andrew McCarthy           Talk about doing what you were asked to do and
                               Louisville, Kentucky       doing it well. That was one of the best perfor-                            E-MAIL LETTERS
                                                          mances I have seen by a guy stepping in for an                  Letters may be submitted to Overview
                         ***                                                                                           quickly via e-mail. Just e-mail your letter to
                                                          injured teammate.
Dear Overview,                                                                                                         steelers_digest@yahoo.com. Be sure to include
                                                             It appears guys have done a good job on the
   I don’t get why James Harrison was penalized           offensive line, too, but I haven’t had a chance to           your name, city and state.
for his hit on David Garrard. I know the league is        see that as close. I was impressed with Darnell

26 Steelers Digest October 25, 2008

				
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