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Old 08-22-2009, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default They said it

View from the Press Box
Scott Brown

They said it

Posted August 21, 2009 6 :46 PM

With training camp over, it is time to put a wrap on what the Steelers did at St. Vincent College over the previous three weeks. Perhaps the best way is to do it through the words of the folks who experienced the grind of it.

As such, here are notable coach and player quotes culled from a reporter's overflowing notebooks.

"Here's the thing. I'm not going to address directly any potential free agents. That would be fruitless. The list could go on and on and be endless. I'll say this: we'll be prudent and do our due diligence as far as exploring people that could potentially help us win, guys who can throw, run, catch, block, tackle on a professional level."

-- Coach Mike Tomlin when asked about Michael Vick the day the Steelers reported to camp.

"When I came to Penn State they shaved my head, they shaved my eyebrows so you're used to it by now."

-- Center A.Q. Shipley on whether he expected to endure any rookie hazing after arriving at training camp.

"I know he's not the type of guy to ever do something like that. My heart goes out to him. All I can be is his friend. I don't think it's really anybody's business to be honest. I think it's a situation he has to handle and as a team we just have to back him up."

-- Right tackle Willie Colon on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger getting accused of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit filed last month.

"It means a great deal. You can step up and instead of hearing what we're hearing on the news you really want to know what happened. It was big of him to step up and tell his side."

-- Wide receiver Hines Ward on Roethlisberger apologizing to his teammates for any distraction his situation might have caused on the first night of training camp.

"I understand it's that time of year and it's something to talk about but it's not going to be an issue for us, it's really not. If this derails our football team then we've got a lot more problems than this story."

-- Tomlin on Roethlisberger's situation.

"If I passed it I passed it. If I didn't, I didn't. I don't make a big deal out of it."

Nose tackle Casey Hampton on the conditioning run, which he passed after failing it the previous year.

"I want to continue liking everybody. I remember going through it with the Redskins and feeling like I did a good job there and feeling like I wanted to be there and hearing the things they say about you to tell you why they can't give you a certain amount of money or why they can't give you that contract, and obviously I have another year here. I don't want to know why I can't get it or why it won't be done."

-- Free safety Ryan Clark, who can be an unrestricted free agent after the season, on why he doesn't ask his agent if there is anything new on contract negotiations with the Steelers.

"When you carry a nickname like 'The Tank,' guys are going to try you. They want him to prove that that nickname is earned. That's the story of the National Football League. This is a show-me game. He's starting to understand that."

-- Tomlin following a practice in which rookie running back Frank Summers got drilled several times.

"I'd rather say 'Whoa' than 'Sic 'em."

-- Tomlin on whether he worried about the defense being too aggressive during practice.

"I'm not a Wildcat guy, and Dennis would get broken in half."

-- Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on the possibility of using quarterback Dennis Dixon in a Wildcat formation.

"When Heath first got here I told him I think we are going to be here together for a long time and we are. To me, Heath does not get even close to the credit he deserves. He is one of the best, if not the best, all-around tight ends in the game. He doesn't get that credit because he doesn't put up the big numbers. If you ask anybody that goes against him or anybody on this team, anybody that knows tight ends, they will tell you how good he is. He was very deserving of what he got."

-- Roethlisberger on tight end Heath Miller, who signed a six-year, $35.3 million contract before the start of camp.

"I actually feel better now than I did the previous year. Last year I think I overtrained a little bit. I actually had to take a week or two off because my body wasn't acting right before it got to camp. I wasn't sleeping at night, couldn't eat right. This year I came in and just trained all the way through."

-- Outside linebacker James Harrison on how he felt physically at the start of camp.

"When I pull guys out it's less about those guys and more about the growth and development opportunities of the guys we have working. We all acknowledge that we have some young wideouts that we need to take a look at. When take a guy like Hines out it provides simply more snaps and more opportunities for those guys to grow."

-- Tomlin on holding Ward out of most practices during the first week of camp.

"Hines is old, man. He needs those days."

-- Inside linebacker James Farrior, who is a year older than the 33-year-old Ward.

"The second practice when we started doing one-on-ones, that was a huge, rude awakening. You have to have perfect technique every time. I did really bad on it so it's really an eye opener that you really, really have to hone your craft."

-- Rookie guard Kraig Urbik, a third-round draft pick, on the difficult transition from college to the NFL.

"For me it's just a matter of proving that I'm healthy. If I can do that then everything else will solidify itself."

-- Charlie Batch, who missed all of last season with a broken collarbone, on regaining his role as the Steelers' No. 2 quarterback.

"Limas Sweed's last year's camp and this year's camp is like night and day. It's all about him feeling comfortable with the playbook and going out there and making plays and same for Mike Wallace."

-- Ward on two of the players vying for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind him and Santonio Holmes.

"He's probably one of the hardest hitters we've got. As long as he knows where he's going and knows that gap he has he's going to be a force."

-- Farrior on new starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons holding up against the run this season.

"They can wear their shirts. I guess while they wear their shirts I'll wear my ring, and we'll see which ones look nicer."

-- Clark on Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs wearing a T-shirt during practices that reads "You Bet Your Sweet Ass I Hate The Steelers."

"I think Troy probably has as much innate football feel as anybody That's probably where Troy's a little different than most people I've coached."

-- Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau on strong safety Troy Polamalu.

"Honestly, when you talk about going into the seventh, eighth, ninth year of the NFL, it's more the prime of your career than the end of it."

-- Polamalu, who is entering his seventh season, on why he is not close to thinking of retirement.

"The thing that I appreciate about Ryan Clark, and this is a special talent, he doesn't have a bad day. He's always up. He's mentally tough."

-- Tomlin on one of Clark's best attributes.

"A lot of us could probably go on another team and make that team so there's going to be a guy left out that probably should have made the team but there just wasn't a spot."

-- Shaun McDonald on the competition among the wide receivers battling for roster spots.

"Will he be as productive as he was last year? We'll see. I think he should be better and he will be better."

-- Linebackers coach Keith Butler on Harrison, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

"I didn't get this many in high school and this was homecoming at William & Mary."

-- Tomlin on the crowd that packed Latrobe's Memorial Stadium for the only night practice of camp.

"Consistency is the biggest thing. They know I know the playbook and they know the mental part is good. Physically, I've just got to be more consistent."

-- Trai Essex on what he has to show the coaches to win the starting job at right guard.

"Once the lights go back (on) you refer to having fun. It was fun back in high school and (I) continue to keep it a fun thing. That's been my mentality since college."

-- Holmes on his approach to football.

"He's progressed faster than anybody I've ever seen do it before. He's still got a ways to go but as far as a rookie in camp, he's progressed much faster than I've ever seen."

-- Veteran defensive end Aaron Smith on rookie defensive end Ziggy Hood.

"I think we made a good choice."

-- Former Steelers defensive tackle Joe Greene on Hood, the Steelers first-round draft pick in April.

"I addressed him as Mr. Joe Greene but I wanted to call him Mean Joe Greene."

-- Hood on meeting Greene, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, after practice one day.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: They said it

• "He better look like he's got some good pedigree. He's got good football character. He's a sharp kid. We said those things about him when we drafted him. Everybody that you asked at Missouri or had any contact with this young man talks about the things you can't measure with him. His physical talents are his physical talents but what he's willing to do is what attracted us to him and he hasn't disappointed in that regard."

-- Tomlin on the praise Hood had generated with his progress.

• "I would like it hot, nasty and muggy."

-- Tomlin on the weather, which was unseasonably cool the first week of camp.

• "It's funny to me. We've all been in that situation before, we all were rookies once. You're just glad it's not you and glad you got it over with. If we feel like they're really down on themselves or in the tank we'll go talk to them and let them know that everybody's been there before and it's just a process you've got to go through."

-- Farrior on rookies getting yelled at by the coaches.

• "Somebody's going to win and somebody's going to lose when we pit ourselves against one another. Competition is the truest motivator and I like to put these guys in situations where they compete."

-- Tomlin on the goal-line drill.

• "I think 'Can he catch?' is relative because there's a lot of people that say T.O. can't catch but he put up yards and he put up touchdowns every week. Everybody's not going to be Larry Fitzgerald. I haven't seen him drop a lot of passes. Has he caught every pass thrown to him? I don't know. But he's caught a lot of them."

-- Clark on Wallace.

• "I get that question a lot. My answer to them is that if I suck it's because I suck not because of a jinx."

— Polamalu, who is on the cover of the Madden 2010 video game, about the supposed "Madden Curse."

• "You want to get your hands inside because this league if my hands are outside of you, that offensive guard or tackle's hand is going to be inside of you and he's going to hold you and they're not going to call holding. I tell (his players) 'Don't complain to me about getting held. You get your hands inside.' The guy who gets his hands inside first is going to win 95 percent of the time."

-- Defensive line coach John Mitchell on why hands are vital to a lineman in a 3-4 defense.

• "Being a rookie, you don't know which way is up. I know the guys, I know the playbook. I've just got a good grasp of the defense and what we want to accomplish."

-- Safety Ryan Mundy on the difference between his first and second camps.

• "I didn't expect to hear my name in Rod Woodson's acceptance speech, but what a tremendous honor that he spoke of me in that light. When you get your former players talking about you like that, it makes you feel like maybe you did something right. The bottom line, Rod Woodson did 100 times more for me than I ever did for him."

-- LeBeau on Woodson pushing for his induction into the Hall of Fame during the latter's acceptance speech to the Hall.

• "After two days here I totally forget what day (it is). I'll call my mom and she'll text me back that she's at church and I'll be like 'Oh, it's Sunday?' You don't know what day it is."

-- Hampton on how the days at camp tend to blur together.

• "They had pretty much anything you can find in the bathroom and they started off putting the microphone near the toilet and flushing the toilet so it actually kind of set up the scene. It was actually pretty hilarious."

-- Kicker Jeff Reed on the rookies spoofing an incident he had at a Sheetz convenience store during the offseason in a skit.

• "That probably goes down as the best I've seen out of the 12 years I've been here."

-- Ward on the Reed skit.

• "I hate frogs man, so that grossed me out. They definitely got me."

-- Sweed on Reed and punter Daniel Sepulveda putting a frog in his helmet during a morning practice.

• "Jeff found it and he knew I wouldn't mind picking it up so of course the first thing that comes to the specialists' mind is to put it in somebody's helmet."

-- Sepulveda on the sliming of Sweed's helmet.

• "I'm excited for him. He did his time in jail for a crime that he committed and now it's time for us to move on. We, as players, we've moved on from it. I'm just glad to see somebody took a chance on him and hopefully he fell into a great position."

-- Ward on Vick signing with the Eagles.

• "Thankfully for him he delivered. Hate to think what would have happened to him if he didn't."

-- Tomlin on Piotr Czech kicking a 52-yard field goal to end an afternoon practice a half hour early.

• "Somebody called me Gary Russell after the (Aug. 13 preseason) game. They said 'Hey Russell.' I'm like 'Two touchdowns and I still get called Gary Russell.'"

-- Rookie running back Isaac Redman on the case of mistaken identity because he has the number Russell wore the previous two seasons.

• "I'm always trying to get better so for me it's just learning the offense, and I say this every year, learning about defenses what plays work with certain defenses. Just making sure I don't make mental mistakes."

-- Roethlisberger on what he can do to improve.

• "One of the things I'm going to talk to the guys about is one of the things about being a good team, about being a tough team to beat is not beating ourselves. We were penalized too much a year ago. We'd like to play smarter. I think we pride ourselves on playing a physical brand of football but we need to play smarter."

-- Tomlin following an afternoon practice about the need to minimize mental errors.

• "Obviously it's a weird situation because you want to play but you don't want to die. I've already met with some specialists. I have some more tests to take and we'll just go from there. I'm hoping we'll be 7-0 and I won't have to play."

-- Clark on possibly not playing in an early November game in Denver where his sickle cell trait caused his blood to sickle two seasons ago.

• "I make no bones about the pressure I apply to second-year men so that they jump forward in a big way. We expect this class to distinguish themselves if they want to be a part of this thing."

-- Tomlin on outside linebacker Bruce Davis, who played in just five games as a rookie in 2008.

• "I told Bruce he's got to get to the quarterback a little more, use some of that speed and start attacking the quarterbacks and causing some of the first fumbles because, out of all of our outside linebackers, I think he gets off the ball the fastest."

-- Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on Davis.

"He's done a great job of really talking and communicating and I think that's a big thing when it comes to receivers and myself and tight ends and running backs. He's really taken it to the next level."

-- Roethlisberger on the strides Holmes had made.

• "Shoot, he did it right. He missed all of training camp. I'm going to try that."

Roethlisberger after learning that Brett Favre had signed with the Vikings.

• "He's done a tremendously better job from what it was the first year to what it is now, even an improvement from last year until now."

-- Harrison on how hard Tomlin worked the players during camp.

• "I don't evaluate camp because ultimately, we are here to prepare for the season. How we perform this season will give me a barometer of what we did good and what we need to look at. Successful camps don't mean anything unless you have a good season."

-- Tomlin on why he doesn't reflect on how camp went.

• "I wouldn't mind being the Latrobe Steelers. We will play the whole season out here. I love it. I don't have to deal with the problems of life. I don't have to take my trash out on Tuesdays. Have my wife and kids up a couple times a week and have dinner with them and then get back to business."

-- Tomlin on his fondness of camp.

• "We had some people dancing out there. It was good. I'm surprised my stuff's not in the cold tub."

-- Reed on his prank of having buses park on the hill overlooking the football fields at St. Vincent so players would think Tomlin was giving them a morning off and, instead, sending them to a movie.

• "I was so excited. I was like a little kid like 'Oh, we're out of camp the whole day.' As soon as I saw those buses I knew it was a movie."

-- Running back Willie Parker on falling for the joke that Reed set up with the blessing of Tomlin.

• "I don't know how we're going to pay a crazy guy like that back. You pay him back and he does something like three times as worse so you've just got to leave that alone."

-- Parker on why it is best not to retaliate for Reed's prank.

• "I'm not sure if I knocked into him or what happened behind me. My feet are fine. I don't have a sprained ankle. He said he doesn't remember much. He hit the ground so we'll see what happens."

-- Offensive tackle Max Starks after he and Roethlisberger got their feet tangled up during the final practice of camp, injuring the quarterback's right foot.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: They said it


you want to make sure you understand the quote comes before the defining statement!!!

I first read it as...

-- Tomlin on the praise Hood had generated with his progress.

"I would like it hot, nasty and muggy."
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: They said it

Some of those quotes were mind-blowing (and mind-boggling, too! )!

My favorite:

"When Heath first got here I told him I think we are going to be here together for a long time and we are. To me, Heath does not get even close to the credit he deserves. He is one of the best, if not the best, all-around tight ends in the game. He doesn't get that credit because he doesn't put up the big numbers. If you ask anybody that goes against him or anybody on this team, anybody that knows tight ends, they will tell you how good he is. He was very deserving of what he got."

-- Roethlisberger on tight end Heath Miller, who signed a six-year, $35.3 million contract before the start of camp.
A-freakin-men Ben!

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