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Old 10-28-2006, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben will start Sunday

Steelers Notebook: It's a 'go' for Roethlisberger
Saturday, October 28, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Barring some unforeseen circumstance or a change in his medical condition, Ben Roethlisberger will start at quarterback tomorrow against the Oakland Raiders, a week after he was knocked unconscious and had a concussion in Atlanta.

Roethlisberger went through a full practice for the second day in a row and has not had any problems passing all the tests necessary to receive medical clearance to play.

His condition will be monitored right up to game time to make sure there are no post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness or blurred vision.

Roethlisberger is one of the primary reasons the team's passing game has come to life. In the past two games, he and Charlie Batch have combined to complete 41 of 55 passes (74.5 percent) for 677 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions.


Hamstrung


Nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) did not practice all week and is not expected to play against the Raiders. Hampton was injured early in the third quarter in Atlanta.

"It depends how I feel," Hampton said. "I'm not going to hurt myself. I'd rather miss one [game] than four or five."

Hampton will be replaced by Chris Hoke, who started 10 games in 2004 when Hampton sustained a season-ending knee injury.

"I like to think we don't lose a lot," Hoke said.

"But, we all know Casey takes up guys, he clogs up the middle, and does a good job of playing nose tackle."

Meantime, outside linebacker Clark Haggans (ankle/questionable) returned to practice and will start at left outside linebacker. He will be joined by Joey Porter, who missed the past two games with a hamstring injury.


It's elementary, Holmes


Rookie wide receiver Santonio Holmes is becoming more involved in the offense, with nine catches for 171 yards in the past three games. Even more impressive is that Holmes, the team's No. 1 pick, hasn't dropped a pass since the preseason.

That's why it's surprising Holmes has three fumbles in the past two games on punt returns, though only one came when he tried to catch the ball.

"Game speed is different," Holmes said. "Sometimes you've just got to remember to hold onto the ball, regardless if someone touches you. We play this game for a living. You've got to hold onto the ball."

Holmes has been rotating every third series with Cedrick Wilson with the first-team offense, but he played the entire second half in Atlanta after Wilson's groin was injured. Holmes finished with five catches for 91 yards, including a 36-yarder near the end of the first half to set up the third touchdown.

After his fumbled punt return set up the Falcons' first touchdown, Holmes returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards and had one player to beat: kicker Michael Koenen. But Koenen managed to prevent a touchdown by lunging as he fell to the ground and getting a hand on Holmes' foot.

"The guys are teasing me a lot, not breaking those little, itty-bitty tackles," Holmes said. "But sometimes when you have a lot of things running through your mind at the time, it happens. You lose sight of what's in front of you. That kind of speaks to life. But I wasn't ready for the kicker. I was looking downfield and he was right there."

Coach Bill Cowher said he is not worried about Holmes' fumbles on punt returns and does not plan to replace him. Holmes ranks 10th in the AFC in punt returns (8.0-yard average) and 10th in the NFL in kick returns (24.9 average).

"He knows things happen and good players never let it get to them," Holmes said.

"They just come back and make a play the next time. If the quarterback throws an interception, he has to come back the next play and put it behind him and make plays. [Cowher] expects that out of everybody who touches the ball."


The word according to Dan


At least one former quarterback from the Pittsburgh area has not given up on the Steelers. Dan Marino said on this week's edition of HBO's "Inside the NFL" -- "The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-4 with five division games left. They are going to win that division."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06301/733710-66.stm
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Old 10-28-2006, 12:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

"no post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness or blurred vision."

Maybe not for Ben. That describes how I felt a few times in the last 4 weeks.

Ben should play. Big Casey should sit this one out.

And for all the dialogue about getting Willie Reid out of street clothes...
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Old 10-28-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Okay well Bens playing, I'm definately saying a little prayer for him in church on Sunday before the game.
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Old 10-28-2006, 02:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Ben certainly has a "hard head".! Or maybe he's just plain stubborn..........it got him a superbowl ring last year.....I just hope it doesn't cost him a career.
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Old 10-28-2006, 02:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Sooooooo dumb!!!
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Dont give up on our team guy/gals... this season is Not Over Yet... If Ben is healthy then they need to have him in there.. if we lose many more games (2) our season is over, we Cannot afford a loss right no.. we need one of those runs that we have come accustomed to the last couple years in Pittsburgh..
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Ya know...everybody like to call Ben a whiner.....but ya know what?? I think he's a true warrior. He could stand on the sideline tomorrow and wave a terrble towel and cheer on Charlie Batch but he's going to go out there and fight the battle. It would be better for him to sit out but the team needs him. He's getting paid to do a job so he's going to do it. Stay safe Ben....and the rest of them better protect him!!!!!!!!!
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

This is not what is best for Ben. I just hope that someday someone thinks about what is best for the player.
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Old 10-28-2006, 06:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Actually Oaklands D is ranked #5 when it comes to yards conceded per game but only 23rd with regards to points conceded.

I think alot of that can be attributed to the Oakland offense constantly leaving the opposition with a short field (they are the worst team in the NFL in giveaway/takeaway ratio).

I would expect Pittsburgh to have a good day on the ground and a solid day thorugh the air.

Oakland have been truly awful on the offensive side of the ball.

31st in yardage accumulated and 32nd in scoring offense.

I think Pittsburgh should be a very good bet for some big fantasy points on D - sacks, fumbles and interceptions.

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Old 10-28-2006, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben will start Sunday

Especially with Porter back in the mix........
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