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83-Steelers-43
06-11-2006, 08:04 AM
Hartings: Steelers must ignore distractions
By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, June 11, 2006


On a steamy afternoon on the South Side, veteran Steelers center Jeff Hartings ambled from the practice field, beads of sweat dripping from his forehead.
He could probably think of better things to do in the heat, like sitting poolside with his family or lounging in an air conditioned clubhouse or catching a few rays at a white-sand beach.

Truth is, Hartings doesn't have to be here; he wants to be here.

And, in many ways, he is a symbol of what is going right with the Steelers organization, despite several off-field issues that have cropped up and made headlines in recent months.

Hartings, who turns 34 at the outset of the regular season, took a pay cut to return to the Steelers -- despite playing in the Pro Bowl in February. And even though he is a wealthy man, Hartings could have shopped his experience and leadership skills on the open market when discussions opened to restructure a deal that was to count $8.1 million against the salary cap next season.

But Hartings thought better of it.

"To be able to play for this team, this coach, this organization, I think players would be crazy not to take a little bit less than what they could get in the open market and be able to play for a winning team, a winning organization, a great city," said Hartings, who agreed to a two-year, $5.8 million deal that included a $1.75 million signing bonus and saved the Steelers $2.1 million under the cap. "The only negative I can think of on this team is having to play in the cold weather in December. And, sometimes, that can be a positive, too."

Guard Kendall Simmons, who lines up to the right of Hartings, said the veteran center's decision to rework his deal sent a strong message around the locker room.

"It told us that he wasn't selfish, that he was loyal and wanted to be a part of this," Simmons said. "It's important to know this is where he wants to be. He wants to be out there fighting with us."

Added backup quarterback Charlie Batch, who played with Hartings in Detroit: "This was a win-win for everybody. You want guys like that around."

Hartings is about to enter his 11th season, which could potentially be his last (though rumors of his retirement have been greatly exaggerated in the past).

"I still love being out here," Hartings said, despite 90-plus degree temperatures baking the grass last week after a voluntary workout.

He still wants to win another Super Bowl.

He wants to be a Pro Bowler again.

And most important, he still wants to be a Steeler -- a message he proudly proclaims.

"I make it known to young guys, when they become free agents, that this is a great place to be," said Hartings, who spent the first five years of his career with the Detroit Lions. "I definitely let them know that."

In March, Hartings watched as wideout Antwaan Randle El, free safety Chris Hope and defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen signed lucrative deals in Washington, Tennessee and New York (Jets), respectively. And as much as it pained him to see three key elements of last year's Super Bowl winner move on, he faulted none of them for making prudent business decisions.

"Antwaan's contract was just so big, he had to take it, but I don't have any doubt he wanted to be here," Hartings said. "Even Kimo, I talked to Kimo. He would have loved to come back here. But when a team offers so much more than what the Steelers can offer, just because of the cap situation here, you have to look at those things. But I truly feel for those guys, because I don't have any doubt they wanted to stay."

With the makeup of the team changing, which includes the retirment of Jerome Bettis, Hartings believes the Steelers cannot afford to let off-the-field distractions -- such as rookie Santonio Holmes' recent disorderly conduct charge or Hines Ward's and Joey Porter's claims that the media has taken some their words out of context this offseason -- consume the locker room.

"I think anything can be a distraction; I think it can be an individual thing," he said. "If it does seep in, it would seep in to individuals, and, then, that always affects the team."

Hartings explained: "As individuals, you prepare and work hard to make yourself better," he said. "As coach (Bill) Cowher always says, if individuals do those things, then the team plays better. But if individuals on this team read too many of the press clippings, think too much about the ring, wear the ring too much and think about last year, then those individuals might get distracted and not play as well. And that, obviously, will affect how the team plays.

"I think the biggest trap you can fall into after winning the Super Bowl is going into training camp and thinking you're just going to pick up where you left off. Because you can find yourself looking at a 2-4 record, 3-4, 3-5, and then you're in a hole. And we probably wouldn't be able to dig ourselves out, because every team in our division, on paper, is better than it was a year ago."

DIESELMAN
06-11-2006, 09:24 AM
Nice article...that says a lot about a man when he values loyalty and his team mates for the ultimate goal more then he values a big paycheck.....:helmet:

Stlrs4Life
06-11-2006, 11:24 AM
Good article. Only part that I don't like is, the recent issues that popped up? There wasn't really that many.

83-Steelers-43
06-11-2006, 01:58 PM
Good article. Only part that I don't like is, the recent issues that popped up? There wasn't really that many.

I guess for us it's considered "many"....:hunch:

With other teams (Ravens, Bengals, etc.) it's routine. Eitherway, I agree....bad choice of words on Bendel's part in that specific sentence.

tony hipchest
06-11-2006, 02:43 PM
I guess for us it's considered "many"....:hunch:

With other teams (Ravens, Bengals, etc.) it's routine. Eitherway, I agree....bad choice of words on Bendel's part in that specific sentence.

its becomming very trendy for the media to try and find the ch!nk in the armor that is the steelers impeccable character.

Black@Gold Forever32
06-11-2006, 03:14 PM
its becomming very trendy for the media to try and find the ch!nk in the armor that is the steelers impeccable character.

That comes with being the defending Super Bowl champs. When your the champs the media will always look for reasons to knock down the champs a peg or two. But I think we will use this to our advantage and it will be extra motivation for us to repeat.

BlackNGold203
06-11-2006, 03:23 PM
Hartings = CLASS

SteelerDan43
06-11-2006, 04:35 PM
Hartings has always been one of the nice guys, just hope his knees hold up

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
06-11-2006, 05:17 PM
its good to see vetran guys out there working hard preparing themselves........It sends a message to the younger guys.........
Playing for this team is not only about making money......its an honor

SteelShooter
06-11-2006, 08:27 PM
True Dat - True Dat

SteelerzGirl
06-11-2006, 08:54 PM
I don't think any of the "off-the-field distractions" will affect the team whatsoever. It's all a bunch of phooey that I'm sure Coach Cowher has under control. :smile:

Thanks for posting the article, 83! Hartings is most definitely a class act.

Black@Gold Forever32
06-11-2006, 08:57 PM
I don't think any of the "off-the-field distractions" will affect the team whatsoever. It's all a bunch of phooey that I'm sure Coach Cowher has under control. :smile:

I agree totally. The media is just trying to stir up garbage since we were not the sexy pick to win the Super Bowl on a national level. The media wants to see their boy Peyton win the Super Bowl. Thats why every year we have to hear this is finally going to be the Colts year.

SteelerzGirl
06-11-2006, 08:59 PM
I agree totally. The media is just trying to stir up garbage since we were not the sexy pick to win the Super Bowl on a national level. The media wants to see their boy Peyton win the Super Bowl. Thats why every year we have to hear this is finally going to be the Colts year.

Well I still think we're sexy...(lol)! :smile:

Black@Gold Forever32
06-11-2006, 09:03 PM
Well I still think we're sexy...(lol)! :smile:

Well I'm sure you do SteelersGirl:bouncy: I would say I think we're sexy as well but I don't want to sound gay.:dang:

Actually I love when the media and everyone else picks against us. I hope all year they count us out as the defending champs.

SteelerzGirl
06-11-2006, 09:08 PM
Actually I love when the media and everyone else picks against us. I hope all year they count us out as the defending champs.

I agree. I like when the Steelers are the underdog and it's us against the world. :smile:

Haiku_Dirtt
06-12-2006, 08:25 PM
I love Hartings demeanor as a person and a player. We are fortunate to have him. I wish anyone could have made this impression on their starting QB.

The irony and the timing of this article just makes me sick to my stomach.

Some distractions are impossible to overcome. Jeff probably turned anything in sight upside down after hearing the news.

Haiku_Dirtt
06-12-2006, 08:26 PM
I don't think any of the "off-the-field distractions" will affect the team whatsoever. It's all a bunch of phooey that I'm sure Coach Cowher has under control. :smile:

Thanks for posting the article, 83! Hartings is most definitely a class act.

GULP! ERRRRR!

SteelCityMan786
06-12-2006, 08:29 PM
Hartings: Steelers must ignore distractions
By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, June 11, 2006


On a steamy afternoon on the South Side, veteran Steelers center Jeff Hartings ambled from the practice field, beads of sweat dripping from his forehead.
He could probably think of better things to do in the heat, like sitting poolside with his family or lounging in an air conditioned clubhouse or catching a few rays at a white-sand beach.

Truth is, Hartings doesn't have to be here; he wants to be here.

And, in many ways, he is a symbol of what is going right with the Steelers organization, despite several off-field issues that have cropped up and made headlines in recent months.

Hartings, who turns 34 at the outset of the regular season, took a pay cut to return to the Steelers -- despite playing in the Pro Bowl in February. And even though he is a wealthy man, Hartings could have shopped his experience and leadership skills on the open market when discussions opened to restructure a deal that was to count $8.1 million against the salary cap next season.

But Hartings thought better of it.

"To be able to play for this team, this coach, this organization, I think players would be crazy not to take a little bit less than what they could get in the open market and be able to play for a winning team, a winning organization, a great city," said Hartings, who agreed to a two-year, $5.8 million deal that included a $1.75 million signing bonus and saved the Steelers $2.1 million under the cap. "The only negative I can think of on this team is having to play in the cold weather in December. And, sometimes, that can be a positive, too."

Guard Kendall Simmons, who lines up to the right of Hartings, said the veteran center's decision to rework his deal sent a strong message around the locker room.

"It told us that he wasn't selfish, that he was loyal and wanted to be a part of this," Simmons said. "It's important to know this is where he wants to be. He wants to be out there fighting with us."

Added backup quarterback Charlie Batch, who played with Hartings in Detroit: "This was a win-win for everybody. You want guys like that around."

Hartings is about to enter his 11th season, which could potentially be his last (though rumors of his retirement have been greatly exaggerated in the past).

"I still love being out here," Hartings said, despite 90-plus degree temperatures baking the grass last week after a voluntary workout.

He still wants to win another Super Bowl.

He wants to be a Pro Bowler again.

And most important, he still wants to be a Steeler -- a message he proudly proclaims.

"I make it known to young guys, when they become free agents, that this is a great place to be," said Hartings, who spent the first five years of his career with the Detroit Lions. "I definitely let them know that."

In March, Hartings watched as wideout Antwaan Randle El, free safety Chris Hope and defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen signed lucrative deals in Washington, Tennessee and New York (Jets), respectively. And as much as it pained him to see three key elements of last year's Super Bowl winner move on, he faulted none of them for making prudent business decisions.

"Antwaan's contract was just so big, he had to take it, but I don't have any doubt he wanted to be here," Hartings said. "Even Kimo, I talked to Kimo. He would have loved to come back here. But when a team offers so much more than what the Steelers can offer, just because of the cap situation here, you have to look at those things. But I truly feel for those guys, because I don't have any doubt they wanted to stay."

With the makeup of the team changing, which includes the retirment of Jerome Bettis, Hartings believes the Steelers cannot afford to let off-the-field distractions -- such as rookie Santonio Holmes' recent disorderly conduct charge or Hines Ward's and Joey Porter's claims that the media has taken some their words out of context this offseason -- consume the locker room.

"I think anything can be a distraction; I think it can be an individual thing," he said. "If it does seep in, it would seep in to individuals, and, then, that always affects the team."

Hartings explained: "As individuals, you prepare and work hard to make yourself better," he said. "As coach (Bill) Cowher always says, if individuals do those things, then the team plays better. But if individuals on this team read too many of the press clippings, think too much about the ring, wear the ring too much and think about last year, then those individuals might get distracted and not play as well. And that, obviously, will affect how the team plays.

"I think the biggest trap you can fall into after winning the Super Bowl is going into training camp and thinking you're just going to pick up where you left off. Because you can find yourself looking at a 2-4 record, 3-4, 3-5, and then you're in a hole. And we probably wouldn't be able to dig ourselves out, because every team in our division, on paper, is better than it was a year ago."


Good Read. Hartings is right. All distractions ignore them and act like the never happend

SteelerzGirl
06-12-2006, 09:32 PM
GULP! ERRRRR!

Yeah, doesn't that just take the cake. Yesterday we were jubilant. I should have known better. I know from personal experience how quickly things can change. :frown:

SteelShooter
06-12-2006, 11:13 PM
Well I still think we're sexy...(lol)! :smile:


:love: Well............at least we think that of you SG :kiss:

SteelShooter
06-12-2006, 11:15 PM
Well I'm sure you do SteelersGirl:bouncy: I would say I think we're sexy as well but I don't want to sound gay.:dang:

Actually I love when the media and everyone else picks against us. I hope all year they count us out as the defending champs.

:iagree: :thmbup: :stupid: :tt: