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mesaSteeler
05-22-2009, 08:09 AM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AnPb0JtBj.8ZuVK.2ugpWB.T2bYF?slug=teamre ports-2009-nfl-pit&prov=sportsxchange&type=team_report
Steelers Team Report

Inside Slant

The biggest controversy surrounding the Steelers is not which players to sign to a contract extension or what to do about their leaky offensive line, nor which players might not attend organized team activities.

It is linebacker James Harrison’s(notes) refusal to join his teammates for their White House visit Thursday. It became the hottest topic in Pittsburgh even as the Penguins competed in the Eastern Conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Let me ask you a question,” Harrison asked reporters. “Why is it a big issue now that I’m not going if it wasn’t a big issue the last time?”

Harrison also did not attend the team’s White House visit in 2006 after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. But then, he was a little-known backup linebacker three years ago. Today, he’s the reigning NFL defensive player of the year, two-time team MVP and author of the longest play in Super Bowl history, his 100-yard touchdown on an interception return that helped decide the outcome of the game in February.

“Hey, James ain’t changed,” Harrison said. “I guess my profile did but I didn’t change. I’m not going because I don’t want to go.”

Harrison said he was surprised by the national and local reaction to his stance.

“They’re making a big deal out of this: ‘Oh, my, James Harrison is not going to the White House, he must be a devil worshiper!’”

But fellow linebacker James Farrior(notes), the team’s defensive captain, understood why there was that kind of response.

“When you have the defensive player of the year, he’s going to get a lot of attention, so whatever he says people are going to listen,” said fellow linebacker James Farrior, the team’s defensive captain.

It turns out that Harrison has a fear of flying, although he never mentioned that as a reason for not going. And, what he did say added to the controversy.

“If you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl,” Harrison said. “As far as I’m concerned, he would’ve invited Arizona if they had won.”

While it seems foolish, perhaps the White House took note of Harrison’s feelings because they did invite the Pittsburgh Pirates on a tour the day before the Steelers arrived, albeit without greetings from President Obama. The Pirates have not had a winning season since 1992.

Notes, Quotes

• Ben Roethlisberger(notes) has two Super Bowl rings and could be just warming up at age 27. This will be his sixth NFL season and the best might be ahead of him.

“I believe that he can get better,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s still a young guy. He’s got a lot of hardware that some young guys don’t have, but those are the standards that he sets for himself.”

Roethlisberger put himself on another level when he engineered an 88-yard drive and threw the winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes(notes) with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIII. It had John Elway written all over it, including the No. 7 on Big Ben’s back. He idolized Elway as a kid, which is why he wears his number.

They each have two Super Bowl rings, but Roethlisberger has about 10 years on Elway as a head start.

“Like everybody else, Ben is going to be here searching for the ceiling, in terms of what he’s capable of, in terms of what we’re capable of,” Tomlin said. “He’s trying to do it better and smarter and cleaner. That’s what we’re all trying to do.”

Roethlisberger lost one of his receivers, Nate Washington(notes), to Tennessee in free agency but Holmes and Hines Ward(notes) return along with tight end Heath Miller(notes). Limas Sweed(notes), entering his second season, could pick up the slack for Washington.

It’s been a good offseason for Big Ben.

“I feel great actually. I took some time. I don’t think anybody’s worked out until (minicamp) so it’s been good relaxing,” he said. “I haven’t thrown. This is the only time when I throw, is when I come here because there’s no reason to go above and beyond and stretch out the arm because we know during the season there will be a lot of throwing, So I take it easy.”

• OLB Bruce Davis(notes) has taken Larry Foote’s(notes) No. 50. Davis wore No. 53 as a seldom-used rookie last season and No. 44 at UCLA. He said Foote gave him his blessing before he forced his way off the roster.

“I just wanted to switch it up,” Davis explained. “Before Foote left, I asked him if I could take his number. I had extra Super Bowl tickets and I gave them to Foote. He said, what do you want from me? I said if you ever go, I’d like to take your number.”

—Former Steelers RB Najeh Davenport(notes) chased a suspected thief who drove away in Davenport’s antique 1970 Chevrolet Impala before smashing it into four parked vehicles in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Davenport caught the suspect, Rodney Green, 22, and held him until police arrived. Green faces theft and hit-and-run charges.

• SS Troy Polamalu(notes) is training at Marv Marinovich’s Sports Lab in Orange County, Calif. and not participating in OTAs. He did attend the required minicamp early in the month.

Quote To Note: “It’s not a good neighborhood over there either. It’s a bad neighborhood.”—LB James Harrison on the location of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Strategy And Personnel

Medical Watch: WR Hines Ward and FS Ryan Clark(notes) are not practicing in OTAs because of offseason shoulder injuries. Both players are attending meetings.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: OT Max Starks(notes): Tendered at $8.451M; signed tender Feb. 23.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• P Mitch Berger(notes).

• DE Orpheus Roye(notes).

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered)

• TE Jon Dekker(notes) (not tendered as ERFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

• G Jeremy Parquet(notes) was a backup who played little.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• QB Charlie Batch(notes): UFA; $895,000/1 yr, $50,000 SB.

• CB Fernando Bryant(notes): UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• OT Willie Colon(notes): RFA; $2.198M/1 yr.

• FB Carey Davis(notes): ERFA; terms unknown.

• OT Trai Essex(notes): UFA; $1.94M/2 yrs, $500,000 SB.

• LB Keyaron Fox(notes): UFA; $1.8M/2 yrs, $380,000 SB.

• LB Andre Frazier(notes): UFA; $1.375M/2 yrs, $125,000 SB; 2009 cap: $687,500.

• LB Arnold Harrison(notes): Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• OG Chris Kemoeatu(notes): UFA; $20M/5 yrs, $3.885M SB/$6M guaranteed.

• CB Anthony Madison(notes): RFA; $1.01M/1 yr.

• TE/FB Sean McHugh(notes); RFA; (tendered at $1.01M with seventh-round pick as compensation); $2.57M/3 yrs, $390,000 SB.

• OT Max Starks: FFA; $8.451M/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• RB Stefan Logan: FA CFL; terms unknown.

• WR Shaun McDonald(notes): UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• CB Keiwan Ratliff(notes): UFA Colts; terms unknown.

• WR Brandon Williams: FA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• LB Larry Foote (released).

• LB Mike Humpal(notes) (released/failed physical).

• QB Byron Leftwich(notes): UFA Buccaneers; $7.5M/2 yrs; $3.5M RB 2010.

• CB Bryant McFadden(notes): UFA Cardinals; $10M/2 yrs, $1M RB/$5M guaranteed.

• RB Gary Russell(notes) (released).

• OG Kendall Simmons(notes) (released/failed physical).

• S Anthony Smith(notes): Not tendered as RFA/Packers; $1.485M/2 yrs, $100,000 RB.

• OT Marvel Smith(notes): UFA 49ers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• WR Nate Washington: UFA Titans; terms unknown.

The Definiti0n
05-22-2009, 08:16 AM
I remember Brandon Williams in college at Wisc. He was an explosive player. He played behind Lee Evans and Jonathan Orr. He took snaps a WR and RB.

PeckerWood
05-22-2009, 09:07 PM
if harrison doesn't want to go to the white house thats fine with me. its all bullcrap just another way the NFL gets to mke the headlines and promote it self.

its all bullcrap

RavensFan52
05-22-2009, 11:36 PM
if harrison doesn't want to go to the white house thats fine with me. its all bullcrap just another way the NFL gets to mke the headlines and promote it self.

its all bullcrap

The media makes big deals out of nothing. Just look at the whole thing with Harisons dog biting his son. If he does not want to go to see Obama so be it. I dont know why it needs to be national news.

The same thing as the news of Ryan Leaf getting arrested for drugs. Who cares about him??

paw-n-maul-u
05-23-2009, 12:59 AM
god, imgaine how slow the car-jacker was if dookie ran him down

paw-n-maul-u
05-23-2009, 01:02 AM
haha, that's great about the pirates too ... silly politics and silly james harrison, oh well, I'd rather have debo gettin more diesel anyways

Galax Steeler
05-23-2009, 06:58 AM
god, imgaine how slow the car-jacker was if dookie ran him down

That might be true but I bet Dookie had more stamina then the other guy.:rofl:

Vincent
05-23-2009, 07:21 AM
“Hey, James ain’t changed,” Harrison said. “I guess my profile did but I didn’t change. I’m not going because I don’t want to go.”

“They’re making a big deal out of this: ‘Oh, my, James Harrison is not going to the White House, he must be a devil worshiper!’”

“Hey, James ain’t changed,” This kid is one of a kind.

"he must be a devil worshiper!’ :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl: