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mesaSteeler
09-07-2009, 07:05 AM
Steelers Notebook: Locker room towel talk has two sides
Monday, September 07, 2009
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09250/996176-66.stm

Sure, they noticed.

Perhaps it doesn't mean as much to the players that linebacker Keith Bulluck and running back LenDale White did the Tennessee two-step on a cloth that appeared to be a makeshift facsimile of a Terrible Towel, then Jevon Kearse blew his nose in it. But they were made aware of it.

If nothing else, Steelers right tackle Willie Colon plans to bring it up privately in three days when the Titans and the Terrible Towel's club resume football hostilities at Heinz Field in the NFL regular-season opener.

"We'll talk about it on Thursday," Colon said yesterday. "Talk about it with them."

He shrugged and smiled and declined to elaborate.

"No, it doesn't bother me," said safety Ryan Clark of the cloth-stomping end to a 31-14 Tennessee triumph against the Steelers Dec. 21 in Nashville. "It's funny. I went to my son's game [shortly thereafter], and this guy just walked up to me, and he was like: 'When they stomped on that towel, they were stomping on the late, great Myron Cope.' I think our fans were more agitated than anything.

"I mean, what better payback can you have than holding up the Lombardi? That's in the record books. That towel-stomp incident, people are going to forget about that. Nobody's going to forget Tone [Santonio Holmes] made that catch and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals to win the Super Bowl. We're fine with that."

The towel thing, he added, "It's not going to make us hit them any harder, it's not going to make us play any harder."

"What did the other guys you interviewed say?" halfback Willie Parker kidded. "We don't look at it as disrespect. We've got to bite our tongue right now. It's going to be a good game."

Cornerback Ike Taylor offered the sentiment of the conservative middle.

"We take it in stride," he said. "We kind of don't even pay attention to it. It comes with the territory."
Cuts hurt deep

Colon described some of the roster moves as "shocking" while teammates around the locker room expressed surprise.

Two of the names that kept cropping up: The exits of fullback Carey Davis and cornerback Anthony Madison, both also special-teams contributors.

"There were some cuts that were shocking," Colon said. "But, at the same time, that's a big decision for the organization. Whatever they did, why they did it, I know they had good reasons for it. The guys we have here, this is what we're going to go with. We've got to be able to roll."

"You're always surprised when you lose guys who have done a lot for your team, when you lose guys you have an emotional attachment to and an affection for," Clark said. "I think the thing is the familiarity: I know on Sunday how this guy is going to play. You look at a guy like Carey Davis special teams-wise and at fullback, you know what you're going to get when you go out there. So that was a tough one for me. You look at ... Anthony Madison. You know what you were getting. It is kind of an uncertainty with the new guys."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: "It's tough. It's hard to lose a guy like Carey, who's been around here and you kind of have a special relationship with. It's tough to lose any guy, you should put it like that. But sometimes certain guys hurt a little more."
The nation's focus

Equal parts safety and television critic, Clark opined the only worthwhile viewing Thursday will be Titans-Steelers.

"There's nothing else on TV, you know?" Clark began. "'24' hasn't started yet. 'Prison Break' is over. A lot of shows got canceled, a lot of new shows ... haven't kicked off yet. So we're going to be the only show to watch.

"So it's very exciting. It's kind of like the league telling you, 'You know what, you did something special last year. You won the Super Bowl. You earned the opportunity to showcase what you have this year."
Quick hits

Missing practice yesterday -- the regular game-week Wednesday, midweek workout -- were starters linebacker Lawrence Timmons, due to a high ankle sprain, and receiver Hines Ward, taking his usual off day. ... Captains were named, two of them new: James Harrison joined James Farrior with the defense, and Keyaron Fox joined Jeff Reed with the special teams. The offensive captains remained Roethlisberger and Ward. ... Number changes: Stefan Logan will wear No. 11, Joe Burnett No. 27 and Shaun McDonald No. 81. ... Clark interrupted an interview session with Logan to announce that the electrifying new kick returner would be deactivated for Thursday: "Listen, Tennessee Titans, Stefan Logan is not going to play. Don't need to prepare for him." ... Did it bother Roethlisberger that the so-called experts are picking mostly New England and San Diego as the AFC's representative for the next Super Bowl? "I picked them, too," he said. Of course, this was the guy who said his top fantasy-football quarterback choices would be Tom Brady or Drew Brees. He was joking. "This year I'm the sleeper."
Chuck Finder can be reached at cfinder@post-gazette.com.
First published on September 7, 2009 at 12:00 am

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