Friday, May 30, 2008

Steelers sign special rookie

What are you doing with your summer vacation?

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have done one very good deed. Together with the Make-A-Wish Foundation they made 14-year-old Akeem Havens' day, fulfilling Havens' wish to become a Pittsburgh Steeler.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert opened a news conference by saying negotiations with Havens' agent (his seven-year-old brother James), had been tough, but that the two sides had agreed to a deal. The day began with Dan Rooney presenting Havens with a Steelers jersey (his name embroidered on the back), and included a videogame session with Roethlisberger, as well as lunch with Big Ben's teammates.

Pittsburgh station KDKA has video of Havens' day:

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Patriots cheating more than Spygate suggests?

A recent article in The New York Times entitled In Cat and Mouse Game, Patriots Are Central Players hints strongly that the New England Patriots are cheating in many more ways than the Spygate scandal would suggest. It reports that the NFL's Competition Committee has not only heard accusations that the Patriots' coaches videotaped opposing coaches' signals, but also that New England "placed microphones on defensive players to steal quarterbacks' audible signals and manipulated clocks and coach-to-quarterback radio systems."

Yet, unlike the New York Jets, none of the 30 other NFL teams complained publicly about these other violations, and as a result there has been little media coverage about these additional allegations. But it's significant that league officials have been re-writing the league's confidential Game Operations Manual and that the changes concern rules that the Patriots have specifically and repeatedly been accused of violating. Note that the NFL re-worked many sections of the manual before the 2007 season, addressing video technology and stadium video locations, among other things. No doubt teams other than the Jets (Buffalo and Green Bay appear to have been among them) have in past years caught the Patriots engaging in illegal activities; it's just that the Jets were the first team to make their complaints public.

Even more tellingly, the 2007 edition of the Game Operations Manual included significant changes involving coach-to-QB radio systems, game clock operations and the placement of microphones. All of these changes appear to have been in response to complaints lodged by other teams against the Patriots.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Steelers: 12-1 odds to reach Super Bowl 2009

Per the MGM Mirage, oddsmakers currently have the Steelers as a 12-1 shot to reach next year's Super Bowl. The New England Patriots are the favorite, listed at 3-1 odds.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Steelers' Mendenhall robbed at gunpoint

The incident occurred early Monday morning in Chicago. There's no indication the robbers knew Rashard is an NFL player. Click here to read the article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Steelers' Mendenhall strains hamstring

As was the case with Lawrence Timmons last year, this year's first-round pick, Rashard Mendenhall, suffered an injury during his first minicamp practice and will sit out the remainder of the camp.

In other news, Ben Roethlisberger will miss at least one practice, excused by head coach Mike Tomlin for undisclosed personal reasons.

Finally, the Steelers have signed a rookie free-agent wide receiver Kevin Marion, who caught 44 passes for 485 yards and one touchdown during his college career at Wake Forest.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Steelers release KR Bryant

Pittsburgh has already cut ties with one of its rookie free-agents, releasing KR/WR Dorien Bryant (Purdue) after the diminutive return man failed his physical yesterday. Bryant is best-known for breaking the Big Ten season-record for kickoff return yards with 1,007, surpassing the old record of 994 yards (Earl Douthitt, Iowa, 1973) and the old Purdue mark of 735 yards (Rod Woodson, 1986).

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