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Old 09-30-2010, 08:26 AM   #1
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Default Steelers, Ravens quiet so far this week

Steelers, Ravens quiet so far this week
Thursday, September 30, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis on the rival Steelers: "There are no personal bounties on nobody."

It's a good thing Steelers coach Mike Tomlin reminded everyone that the twice, sometimes thrice annual games against the Ravens represent "the best rivalry in the National Football League." Otherwise, someone might mistake the atmosphere surrounding the game this week for "Joanie Loves Chachi."

Where's the passion? All we're getting is stuff like Ray Lewis talking about Ben Roethlisberger sending him text messages, seeking his counsel while he is suspended. Or a lot of talk about "mutual respect" for each other.

Where are all the bounties the Ravens once crowed about putting out on some Steelers?

"I don't even know what bounties represent," said Lewis, the mightiest and nastiest Raven of them all. "If you are looking for one person to place a bounty on someone you are in trouble. It's a whole swarm of Steelers coming to play football come Sunday and a whole swarm of Ravens. There are no personal bounties on nobody."

A swarm? Like bumblebees? These teams have attacked each other in the past with night sticks and brass knuckles. Joey Porter once chased after Baltimore's team bus at Heinz Field, looking for Ray Lewis. Another time, Porter pulled such a dirty trick on Ravens tight end Todd Heap that his own coach publicly called him out on it.

The Ravens still are not over some of Hines Ward's blocks. The great Rod Woodson once screamed at Ward for blocking him in Baltimore. And Roethlisberger was never hit harder nor sacked more often than by Ravens, including one memorable one by Bart Scott.

Even Rashard Mendenhall got into the act as a rookie before he made his first start in 2008 against Baltimore. He sent a text to Ray Rice predicting a big game for himself. On his 10th carry in his first start in his second NFL game, Mendenhall left his rookie season for good with a broken shoulder after a tackle by Lewis.

Wednesday, Mendenhall went on a conference call with the media in Baltimore that lasted about three minutes, reporting to someone that he gave them nothing this time.

You would think Steelers linebacker James Harrison could work up a good passion for these Ravens. After all, they cut him in 2004 after about four days upon his return to them from NFL Europe. Did he hate them more because of that?

"I mean the Steelers let me go three times too," Harrison said. "So I don't think so."
Ben and Ray

Roethlisberger has been communicating with Lewis for a while, most recently Tuesday night, five days before the Steelers play the Ravens at Heinz Field.

"He texted me last night, and things like that," Lewis said on a conference call Wednesday. "It's a respect we have for each other, but more importantly it's a respect you got to have for yourself."

Lewis said he and Roethlisberger have been in contact throughout the Steelers quarterback's ordeal that began March 5 when he was accused by a 20-year-old female college student of sexual assault in Milledgeville, Ga. Roethlisberger was suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the first four games of the season as a result under the league's personal conduct policy. Roethlisberger can return to the team Monday.

He has been prohibited from visiting the team facility or talking strategy with players or coaches, but he is permitted to chat with them.

"He hit me last night," Lewis said, talking about the text message he received from Roethlisberger. "We always hit each other. There are many people I hit. Just simple stuff.

"He wishes he was out there, he wishes he was out there man. It's a respect thing that we have playing against each other. It's a rivalry, but, once again, it goes back to a level of respect.

"This ain't the first time he texted me. We texted each other whenever he was going through what he was going through, I was there for him. It's more of a brotherhood. The game always takes care of itself on the field, but, off the field, if we don't look out for each other, nobody else will."

Lewis himself overcame a scandal after he was charged with murder after the Super Bowl in Atlanta in 2000. The murder charge was dropped after Lewis agreed to testify against two other men and pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice.

He said he advised Roethlisberger to put his troubles behind him and move ahead.

"You're not trying to please the world, if you're trying to please the world you're going to confuse yourself," Lewis said. "If you're going to worry what people say about you, you're going to confuse yourself.

"All you can do is move on, live on and whatever he puts behind him as a man, and he puts behind him whatever he's going through, leave it there. Don't let nobody pull you back into it, don't let nobody make you keep talking about it. Once it's done, it's done."
Steelers expect to see Rice

Baltimore's Ray Rice, the only opponent to top 100 yards rushing against the Steelers in the past 37 games, did not practice Wednesday because of a bruised knee.

The Steelers, though, believe Rice will play Sunday, so much so that rookie Jonathan Dwyer, wearing No. 27 (his own and that of Rice's) said he played Rice on the scout team Wednesday.

"He's going to play," Harrison declared. "I don't expect him not to play. A knee contusion shouldn't stop anyone. It's the Steelers, you know? You get geeked for that. That's not something where you're going to let a little contusion stop you from playing in that game."
An elusive 4-0 start

The last time the Steelers started 4-0?

"I don't know," tight end Heath Miller said. "It's been awhile."

So much so that Miller was not born. In fact, 42 of the Steelers' 53-man roster was not born in 1979, the last time they won their first four games.

What's the benefit of such a strong start? The Steelers won their fourth Super Bowl after the 1979 season. They also won their first four in 1978, extending it to 7-0 and won their third Super Bowl.

"Certainly, all the games count," Miller said. "So, if you can knock out three as we have or, hopefully, after this weekend, four, then we'll go into the bye week as good as we possibly could."
Easier practices

Tomlin has eased way back on his Wednesday practices the past two weeks, so much so that even Hines Ward has practiced in each of them.

The players have worn no shoulder pads and the practices have been light.

"It's something coach Tomlin started last week; he wanted to not grind us on Wednesday but take the team and take a different approach, with guys responding very good," Ward said. "Last week, we didn't have any mental errors. I think that was probably the best mental-error [game] since I've been here."

''It's a whole swarm of Steelers coming to play football come Sunday and a whole swarm of Ravens."
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10273...#ixzz110VgsjZA
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers, Ravens quiet so far this week

Their quiet because their texting their smack talk Where is all the jawing? Ray Lewis? Hines? Harrison? Man, what are we going to do next? Sing Kumb by yah in the middle of the field and have a bro-mance with these guys?! It's the Ravens! Ray freakin' Lewis. The most heated and bad blood rivarly, EVER. The old Browns! Where's the heat?

Where's Joey Porter when you need him. We should sign Porter back ONLY to talk some shit before games, then deactivate him.
"I believe the game is designed to reward the one's who hit the hardest. If you can't take it, you shouldn't play!" -Jack Lambert
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