Monday, July 31, 2006

Hines Ward gets own TV show

Following in Jerome Bettis' footsteps, WR Hines Ward will soon have his own weekly TV program. The show will air on Saturday nights at 11:35pm on KDKA in Pittsburgh.

KDKA's Bob Pompeani will co-host the show, which will be taped before a live audience in the Coca-Cola Great Hall at Heinz Field.

The first taping will be on September 13; the Hines Ward Show will debut on September 14.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Best and Worst Run Test Performances

According to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporters the best performances at yesterday's run test were turned in by second-year WR Nate Washington; rookie TE Charles Davis, OG Kendall Simmons; and DE Brett Keisel.

OT Barrett Brooks, OG Chris Kemoeatu, OT Trai Essex and DE Travis Kirschke all struggled to complete the required 14 segments.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Roethlisberger passes run test

The early word out of Pittsburgh's training camp is that QB Ben Roethlisberger successfully completed today's run test (14 40-yard dashes). However, it's worth noting that Ben ran in a group with two linemen (LT Marvel Smith and DL Orien Harris) instead of players his own size, as linemen are afforded more time to complete the test. Meanwhile, NT Casey Hampton was excused from the run test, but reportedly fared poorly in less taxing running exercises. Same old Casey.

In other news, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that first-round draft choice Santonio Holmes agreed to a five-year deal valued at $8.11 million, including $4.52 million in bonuses. According to Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert, the contract does not include additional clauses pertaining to off-the-field conduct.

Finally, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that third-round pick Willie Reid agreed to a three-year contract worth $1.08 million that calls for salaries of $275,000, $360,000 and $445,000, with a signing bonus of $453,000.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Santonio Holmes agrees to terms

Late Friday afternoon the Steelers concluded negotiations with first-round draft choice Santonio Holmes. As a result, all players on the team's roster reported to camp on time. Saturday, the first full day of camp, will feature the infamous run test.

Willie Reid agrees to terms

Today, the Steelers announced that they have agreed to terms with the second of their two third-round draft picks, wide receiver Willie Reid (Florida State). First-round selection Santonio Holmes (Ohio State) is now the team's lone unsigned draft choice.

Today, the Steelers also announced that they have released first-year quarterback Rod Rutherford (Pittsburgh).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Omar Jacobs signs

Today, the Steelers announced that they have reached a multi-year contract agreement with rookie quarterback Omar Jacobs (Bowling Green). Jacobs is expected to be the team's third-string quarterback this year. Obviously, it was important to get Jacobs into camp on time; the Steelers' third-string QB has been called upon to start games in each of the past two seasons.

Kevin Colbert signs four-year contract extension

The Steelers have rewarded Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert with a four-year contract extension. Click here to read the team's press release.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Six Down, Three to Go

The Steelers signed rookie safety Anthony Smith (Syracuse) to a three-year contract today. The Steelers have now signed six of their nine draft picks. Just two more days until training camp.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Steelers sign sixth and seventh round draft choices

Sixth-round pick Marvin Philip (center, Univ. of California) and seventh-round pick Cedric Humes (RB, VA Tech) became the fourth and fifth of the Steelers' nine draft choices to agree to contract terms.

Philip received a signing bonus of $59,150 and NFL-minimum salaries of $275,000, $360,000 and $445,000 on a three-year deal. Humes received a signing bonus of $30,000 and the NFL-minimum salaries on his three-year deal.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

DL Orien Harris signs

The Steelers have reached an agreement on a contract with No. 4b draft choice Orien Harris, a defensive lineman from the University of Miami (Fla.). Harris is the third of the Steelers' nine draft picks to come to terms. He received a three-year deal, with a signing bonus of $278,000 and base salaries of $275,000, $360,000 and $445,000.

The Onion Lampoons the Pirates

TE Charles Davis signs

Expect most of the Steelers' draft choices to sign their rookie contracts within the next week. Yesterday, No. 5b selection Charles Davis, a tight end out of Purdue, signed a three-year deal. Davis received a signing bonus of $104,000 and will earn base salaries of $275,000, $350,000 and $445,000. As of this moment, seven of the team's nine draft choices remain unsigned.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

American Century Championship results

Jack Wagner won the 2006 tournament with Billy Joe Tolliver coming in second and Dan Quinn third. Former Steelers QB Tommy Maddox finished seventh. Congrats to Tommy.

Final Round of the American Century Championship

Today is the final round of the American Century Championship (televised on NBC). Ben Roethlisberger will be paired with Paul O'Neill and Donald Trump, while former Steelers QB Tommy Maddox will be playing with Marshall Faulk and Vince Coleman. As of Sunday morning, Maddox is on the leaderboard and has a legitimate chance of winning the event.

Ex-Steelers QB/WR/RB Kordell Stewart is also playing in the ACC and will navigate the final round with Bruce Smith and C. Thomas Howell. Meanwhile, Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer will be paired with Baltimore Ravens QB Kyle Boller and Ahmad Rashad.

Click here for a complete list of final round pairings. Go Tommy!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ben Won't Do Helmet Safety Ads

During an interview that aired this morning on Good Morning America Ben Roethlisberger was asked whether he would do public service ads for helmet safety: "I don't think that's my place," said Roethlisberger. "Some people feel that, you know, I probably should be doing that and being a big advocate. But I'm going to let people make their own decisions ... So I don't think you'll see me doing any kind of billboards or advertisements." That's a shame, but maybe he'll change his mind.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pittsburgh Paramedics Recognized

The Friday July 14 edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review features an article recognizing the work of the four paramedics who saved Ben Roethlisberger's life in the immediate aftermath of his horrific motorcycle accident. "We all had a hand in saving him," said paramedic Danny Capatolla. "I'm just glad we could help him." The other three heroic paramedics were Scott Everitt, Brian Markovich and John Archer. Those four certainly deserve recognition...maybe even a luxury box (courtesy of Roethlisberger) at Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger, Cowher at the ESPY's

The Pittsburgh Steelers were honored twice at this year's ESPY awards, winning the award for "best team," while Bill Cowher was honored as "best coach/manager." Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joined his teammates and Cowher onstage to accept the team award, making his first public appearance since his motorcycle crash. The ESPY's will be broadcast on Sunday July 16 at 9pm EST.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Roethlisberger's ESPN SportsCenter interview

On Thursday, ESPN will air an interview with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in which he tells Jim Rome that a paramedic saved his life at the scene by stemming blood loss from a severed vein or artery. He also tells Rome that he "forgot" his motorcycle helmet on that particular day.

Roethlisberger re-appears

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review just posted a photo of Ben Roethlisberger (a screen shot taken from an interview with Good Morning America, which will air on Friday morning). My first reaction to the photo is that Roethlisberger now bears an uncanny resemblance to Bill Cowher.

Jerome Bettis' Grille 36

What a surprise: Jerome Bettis ( in conjunction with Celebrity Ventures Inc.) is planning to open a new restuarant, either in downtown Pittsburgh or adjacent to Heinz Field. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Woodson's All-Star Grille didn't fare too well after Rod Woodson left the Steelers via free agency. It remains to be seen whether The Bus' popularity is enduring enough to carry a restaurant in his post-playing days. Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 isn't exactly an inspiring name, either. Any Pittsburgher's want to comment on this?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Roethlisberger to Receive QB-of-the-Year Award

On July 22 Ben Roethlisberger will receive the NFL Quarterback of the Year award at the 21st annual National Quarterback Club Awards dinner, held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, D.C., the YMCA, The Rock Foundation, and the Washington Post Newspaper in Education program.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pittsburgh Legal

A court date (August 15) has been set in the domestic violence case against the Steelers' first round draft choice Santonio Holmes, although Holmes' attorney (Samuel Shamansky) believes the case is likely to be resolved without a trial. Holmes has been charged with one count of domestic violence and one count of assault.

Two days ago, Holmes pleaded no contest to a traffic citation stemming from an auto accident that took place in October 2005. He agreed to pay court costs and $700 in damages. To date the NFL hasn't punished Holmes for his behavior. But they will.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Roethlisberger to play golf, shoot music video

Ben Roethlisberger must be looking and feeling a lot better, as he's committed to play in the American Century Championship (a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada), on July 14-16. Meanwhile, the PovertyNeck Hillbillies, a country music group based in Pittsburgh, announced that Roethlisberger will be shooting a music video with the group on Tuesday July 11 at Heinz Field.

I'm sure the Steelers are thrilled that Big Ben is recovering so quickly, but they can't be too happy about the golf tournament. My advice for Ben would be: Stay home and make sure you are as healthy as possible for training camp. Show the organization and the team's fans that you can play football again before making public appearances. Can you imagine if Roethlisberger suffered a setback caused by swining golf club?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Roethlisberger Visits Steelers' Practice Facility Again

Ben Roethlisberger made another appearance at the Steelers' offices this week - just the second time he's been there since his motorcycle accident on June 12. By all accounts, Big Ben seems to be making a quick recovery. Roethlisberger is expected to throw some light passes next week to test his strength, awareness and stability. "Stability" may be the key word in that sentence. There is no way for us to confirm this but an insider tells us that Roethlisberger has suffered some problems with his equilibrium and balance since the accident.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cowher, Roethlisberger nominated for ESPY's

Ben Roethlisberger has been nominated for "Best record-breaking performance" and Bill Cowher for "Best Coach/Manager." The ceremony will be televised by ESPN on July 16 at 9 pm. Click here to read the press release from the Steelers.