View Full Version : Steelers notebook 11.21.06

11-21-2006, 03:52 AM
Steelers notebook: Despite record, Steelers remain hot TV commodity
Another starting time moved
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers are 4-6 but the television networks still love them. For the second time in four weeks, the NFL has moved the kickoff of a Steelers game at Heinz Field to 4:15 p.m.

The Steelers will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dec. 3 at the new time. The game was to start at 1 p.m.

It's not exactly a dream matchup. The Buccaneers are 3-7. The Steelers, though, have been a great draw on television. The Buccaneers-Steelers game will be shown on Fox, the network that moved the Saints-Steelers game Nov. 12 to 4:15 p.m. That game against the Saints drew more viewers than the Sunday night featured game between the Bears and Giants on NBC two weeks ago. It was the most-watched NFL game of the week and the third-most watched TV program overall.

This is the first year of the NFL's new flex schedule that allows the times of games to be switched to suit the whims of the networks broadcasting the game.

Parker nears 1,000

Halfback Willie Parker needs 107 yards Sunday to become only the third player in Steelers history to rush for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

The others are Franco Harris, who did it seven times in a row, and Jerome Bettis, who did it six consecutive times.

Parker has topped 100 yards four times, which includes his 213 yards against New Orleans, second most in team history. All four of those games were played in Heinz Field. Parker runs better at home, where he averages 128 yards per game this season. On the road, he averages 50.6 yards per game.

Turnover trouble

The year of the turnover continues for the Steelers, as Ben Roethlisberger added three interceptions in Cleveland to increase his total to 17 to go with the team's 10 fumbles lost.

Three of Roethlisberger's interceptions were first touched by his teammates: Santonio Holmes leaped high but the ball tipped off his hands on one, Hines Ward had the ball jerked out of his grasp on another and Cedrick Wilson dropped the third.

"It's not like we were trying to turn the ball over," Ward said. "Regardless, we put the first half behind us and played our tails off at the end, and that's what counts."

The Steelers dropped to minus-9 in takeaway margin. That's tied for worst in the league. Baltimore, where they play Sunday, is the best at plus-12.

Quick hits

Jeff Reed made his only field-goal try in Cleveland and is 12 of 17 -- all five misses coming at Heinz Field. He is 6 for 6 on the road. ... Hines Ward caught seven passes in Cleveland, giving him 35 of his 53 receptions in the past five games. ... Defensive end Travis Kirschke was not given credit Sunday for a sack and forced fumble by the home statisticians. Elias, which keeps the NFL's official stats, likely will change that, giving him his second sack of the season and his first forced fumble. ... After recovering one fumble in the first eight games, the Steelers have four in their past two. ... The amount of Steelers' runs continues to fall. They have run in 41.8 percent of their plays this season.


11-21-2006, 04:00 AM
Steelers notebook

By The Tribune-Review
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Steelers' Dec. 3 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field was moved from to 1 to 4:15 p.m. The NFL implemented flexible scheduling this year to give TV networks an opportunity to show better games in their 4:15 and 8:30 p.m. time slots. Flexible scheduling went into effect the 10th week of the season but doesn't apply to the next-to-last weekend in December. The Steelers' 1 p.m. game against the visiting Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 24 won't be moved. The Steelers' Dec. 17 game at Carolina and Dec. 31 game at Cincinnati are still subject to change. Both are scheduled for 1 p.m.

? Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's three interceptions during Sunday's 24-20 win over the Browns gave him 17 for the season. No quarterback in the NFL has more. One of the interceptions occured when a Roethlisberger pass bounced off the facemask of receiver Cedrick Wilson and into the arms of Browns cornerback Daven Holly. Earlier in the second quarter, an apparent Roethlisberger completion turned into an interception after a Browns defender grabbed receiver Hines Ward's hands after a catch. The ball popped in the air and was picked off by Willie McGinest.

"You're going to have to live with those interceptions," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "I didn't think any of the (interceptions) were very poor decisions."


3 - Punts or kickoffs that were returned for at least 50 yards by the Ravens' B.J. Sams in Baltimore's 24-10 win over Atlanta on Sunday.

13 - Times Browns quarterback Charlie Frye has been sacked in two career starts against the Steelers.

50 - Yards Steelers returner Sean Morey averaged on a pair of kickoff returns against the Browns.

- By Scott Brown