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Old 10-06-2006, 08:27 AM   #1
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Default Colclough's punt duties dropped

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, October 6, 2006


The worst-kept secret in Pittsburgh is no more.
Cornerback Ricardo Colclough, the scapegoat for the Steelers' 28-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, is out as the team's No. 1 punt returner, coach Bill Cowher said yesterday.

And Colclough could be out for a lot longer.

Cowher said Colclough suffered a neck injury of undetermined origin and severity and will be sidelined indefinitely. Colclough, who was listed as questionable on the team's weekly injury report, missed practice yesterday to undergo testing.

That means Colclough will miss Sunday night's nationally televised game against the Chargers in San Diego.

It also means rookie wide receiver Willie Reid will make his pro debut returning punts and kickoffs.

"He's worked very hard," Cowher said of Reid, a third-round draft pick from Florida State who returned punts for 180 yards against Penn State in the 2006 Orange Bowl. "It's not always easy for young players to come in and sometimes have to accept a lesser role than what they had collegiately. This is his opportunity."

Cowher said Reid may also see action at wide receiver. He will be teamed with fellow rookie Santonio Holmes on kickoffs and punt returns.

"I'm very excited," said Reid, who received word of his promotion yesterday. "It's been a couple of weeks of waiting, being patient, working hard. Now it's going to pay off Sunday night."

Reid is an explosive punt returner. More important, he has good hands. He returned 10 punts for 88 yards without a fumble in the preseason. That makes him a superior option to Colclough, who returned four punts for a total of 6 yards this season.

By now, Colclough's story has been told so often it has become an unfortunate chapter in Steelers lore.

His muffed punt in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati led to a Bengals touchdown and raised questions as to why Cowher continued to use him as a punt returner despite his repeated struggles.

Reid promised that the Steelers' punt return woes are over.

"We have struggled catching punts. Hopefully, I'll be able to remedy everything," he said.

Cowher said the medical staff is seeking a remedy for Colclough. Earlier this week, Colclough, a second-round draft pick in 2004, expressed concern the injury might be career-threatening.

"He doesn't remember any specific situation. He's got a nerve issue that we have to get rectified," Cowher said. "It was just something that he said he had been feeling for about a week. He reported it when we came back on Monday. He was out there (Wednesday). We let him run around, stay away from contact, just to see if there was anything. He continued to feel (discomfort), so that's when we went through testing. He'll have more tests done (today)."

Cowher had considered re-signing former Steelers cornerback and special teams standout Chidi Iwuoma, who signed with New England on Wednesday. In addition, the Steelers worked out two rookie cornerbacks -- Pitt's Josh Lay and Iowa's Jovon Johnson. Cowher said he won't sign another player until he learns more about Colclough's status.

"I want to get more information before making any long-term decisions," Cowher said.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Colclough's punt duties dropped

Sounds like Coclough may have played his last game for the Steelers.

Anyone check to see if Cowher signed the Cut Coclough Now petition that was posted after the Cincy game? :)
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Colclough's punt duties dropped

Hallelujah!!!! I'm already pumped for the game on Sunday night - this news fires me up even more!!!! Willie is finally getting his chance - I believe this young man is going to be a very pleasant surprise!

Thanks for the article, LLT.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Colclough's punt duties dropped

You know what would be cool would be Reid and Holmes having a friendly rivalry for who could be the first guy to break one for a TD... and then who would be next.



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Old 10-06-2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Colclough's punt duties dropped

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!!
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Colclough's punt duties dropped

already established earlier today and i think yesterday.
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