View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: 12/28/06

12-28-2006, 06:51 AM
Steelers Notebook: Farrior's resume full of tackles
Thursday, December 28, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No Steelers linebacker made the Pro Bowl this season for only the second time in the past seven years. Not that James Farrior did not try.

With one game left, Farrior's 145 tackles are the most by a Steelers player since Jack Lambert had 159 in 1983.

Tackles are an unofficial statistic in the NFL, and teams record them in different ways. Coach Bill Cowher's staff keeps track of them as they watch film, and that's what the Steelers use for their records.

A tackle is the combined number of solo and assisted tackles. Farrior's 97 solo tackles are the most since he had 106 in 2003. Earl Holmes was credited with the most solo tackles on the team in the past 25 seasons, including this one, with 109 in 1999.

"As a linebacker, you're supposed to be making tackles all the time. That's your main job," Farrior said.

Making tackles is good, of course, but too many of them can reflect the fact that the defense is on the field more often. Last season, for example, Larry Foote led the Steelers with 123 tackles, and Farrior led them the year before that when he had 119 in their 15-1 season.

The Steelers' defense has been on the field 76 seconds fewer than its offense this season. Last season, its defense was on the field 2 minutes, 32 seconds fewer and in 2004 it was eight minutes fewer.

Farrior finished second to Foote last season, when he missed two games with an injury and recorded 113. It stands as the only time in the past four years he has not finished as the Steelers' top tackler.

"We need to talk about that," Farrior said of his fellow inside linebacker. "We had a little bet going in the beginning of the season."

Big Ben takes blame

Ben Roethlisberger put much of the blame for the Steelers' 6-7 season on his shoulders yesterday.

"It's disappointing because I feel a lot of it is my fault, and I feel we could have played better if I would have played better," Roethlisberger said. "It's one of those things where I have to get better and, hopefully, we can improve next year."

Roethlisberger set a rookie NFL record with a 98.6 passer rating when he went 13-0 as a starter in 2004. He was third in the NFL last season with a 98.6 rating. He is 23rd in the league this season with a 74.0 passer rating and his 22 interceptions are more than any quarterback.

He also is 6-8 as a starter this season, guaranteeing his first losing record in his three as the Steelers' quarterback. He acknowledged that his appendectomy the week before the regular-season opener hindered him early.

"Yeah, at times it was just frustrating. I couldn't really get out there and get it going. That's the way it goes sometimes. Every year is not going to be a perfect year and a storybook season. We'll just have to try to improve and get better."

Bengals coach admires Cowher

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, hired by Cowher to be his first linebackers coach in 1992, could be the last one to coach against him with the Steelers.

"It is going to be special," Lewis said. "And, if it is his last game, it will be a doggone shame.

"What he has done is unparalleled, to be the head coach there for 15 seasons like that and to have the success right from the start -- and all the fine players and teams and how hard they play for him.

"I would be very honored."

Good motivation

Cowher noted on Tuesday that he would love to see his Steelers beat the Bengals and knock them from playoff contention because "misery loves company." Linebacker Joey Porter added to that theme yesterday.

"What better way than to knock them out? If we can't go, they can't go.

"That would make me feel a little better about my offseason if I knock them out. I don't want them to find a way in by beating us twice. That wouldn't sit well with me or anybody in here. If we can play the spoiler, than that's what we want to do."

Quick hits

The Steelers signed wide receiver Walter Young to the practice squad. He was released from their 53-man roster Saturday. ... Hines Ward needs 76 yards receiving to have 1,000 for the fifth time in the past six seasons and 46 yards to hit 8,000 for his career. He had 975 last season. ... Ward needs 4 yards rushing to become the Steelers' career rushing leader among receivers. Louis Lipps had 388 yards. Ward, though, does not have a carry from scrimmage this season. ... Linebacker Clark Haggans and center Jeff Hartings did not practice yesterday. Linebacker James Harrison did, even though he is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. ... Bengals center Rich Braham, listed as doubtful with a knee injury, retired yesterday.


12-28-2006, 06:52 AM
Steelers notebook

By Scott Brown
Thursday, December 28, 2006

If Sunday is Bill Cowher's final game as the Steelers' head coach, he will go out against a counterpart he knows well. Cowher's association with Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis goes back to the 1970s when the two played football for rival high schools (Cowher for Carlynton and Lewis for Fort Cherry). Lewis coached under Cowher from 1992-95 and served as the defensive coordinator for the Ravens and Redskins before becoming the Bengals coach in 2003. Because of his close friendship with Cowher, Lewis declined to comment about the uncertain situation with the Steelers' coach. Lewis did say "it would be a doggone shame" if Cowher does not return next season. "What he has done is unparalleled, to be the head coach there for 15 seasons and to have the success from the start and all the fine players and teams and how hard they play for him," said Lewis, a former Steelers linebackers coach.

? Starting outside linebacker Clark Haggans said he will play Sunday if he gets medical clearance. Haggans sprained a medial collateral ligament in his knee in the Steelers' 31-7 loss to the Ravens, and he is listed as doubtful for the regular-season finale against the Bengals. Because the Steelers have no chance of making the playoffs, the safe decision would be to sit Haggans -- not that the fifth-year pro is looking at it that way. "I always want to play. I don't care if it's a backyard game that's not on TV, that's a pick up," Haggans said. "I love playing this game." If Haggans, who didn't practice Wednesday, is unable to play, James Harrison will start in his place. That is assuming that Harrison's shoulder allows him to play. He hurt it against the Ravens and is listed as questionable.

Harrison practiced yesterday and said of the game against the Bengals, "I want to play."

? Jeff Hartings (knee) did not practice yesterday. The Steelers' starting center is listed as probable for Sunday's game. A handful of Bengals didn't practice yesterday, including defensive tackle Sam Adams (illness), offensive tackle Willie Anderson (foot), defensive end Bryan Robinson (toe), guard Eric Steinbach (illness) and safety Madieu Williams (thigh). All are listed as probable for the game the 8-7 Bengals have to win to give themselves a chance of making the playoffs.

? The Steelers will announce their team MVP today. Voting is done by the players for the award, which was shared by wide receiver Hines Ward and nose tackle Casey Hampton. ... The Steelers signed wide receiver Walter Young to their practice squad. Young, who was released last Sunday, caught his first NFL pass in the Steelers' 27-7 win over the Browns on Dec. 7. ... The Bengals listed center Rich Braham as doubtful on their injury report. He definitely won't play Sunday; he retired yesterday.


1 Player in Steelers history (John Stallworth) that has at least 8,000 career receiving yards.

46 Receiving yards Hines Ward needs Sunday to reach 8,000 for his career.

4 Touchdown passes Carson Palmer had in the Bengals' 38-31 win over the Steelers earlier this season.


12-28-2006, 08:31 AM
Beat the Bengals!

Lets finish the season off on a high note!!!

Lets Go Steelers!