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Old 11-08-2006, 07:30 AM   #1
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Default Steeler Notebook: Type of penalties depict frustration

Steeler Notebook: Type of penalties depict frustration
Wednesday, November 08, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers had two unnecessary-roughness penalties Sunday against Denver that added to their pile of naughty penalties. Coach Bill Cowher believes they may come from frustration.

"I don't think there's any question there's some frustration involved with that," Cowher said. "But you've got to maintain your cool."

The Steelers also committed two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties in Oakland, one of which cost Joey Porter a $15,000 fine from the league for saying something to the officials.

Fox Sports reported that Porter told an official he was "coming after him or something along those lines."

Cowher said he did not know if the fine was deserved and that Porter will "go through the appeals process, and we'll go from there."

The Steelers have committed the third-fewest penalties in the NFL, 35, but they have had some notable extra-curricular penalties not of the holding or offside variety. Twice, they have been flagged for celebration fouls and another time for taunting an injured foe.

"You've got to be able to deal with a little adversity," Cowher said. "It's not the situation, it's how you respond to that. Certainly, at this point, we have not responded very well."

Against Denver, James Farrior drew a penalty for kicking Broncos center Tom Nahlen and rookie Anthony Smith drew another for pushing after the whistle.

"We addressed them and talked about it," Cowher said. "James lost his cool. Anthony Smith was kind of a push.

"They're calling games close. There's been a lot more personal foul calls in the league this year, not so much from that standpoint, but there have been more taunting calls, celebration calls, which people are interpreting as that. That's fine, that's the way it should be in our league, I don't have a problem with that. We've got to use better judgment. I concur with that assessment."

Injury report

Linebacker James Harrison (high ankle sprain) and receiver/returner Willie Reid (foot sprain) will miss their fifth consecutive game with injuries.

"There have been no setbacks," Cowher said, "and, hopefully, we'll have both players next week."

Starting center Jeff Hartings (knee) and backup linebacker Clint Kriewaldt are doubtful. Chukky Okobi started for Hartings Sunday, and Rian Wallace would fill in for Kriewaldt if he cannot play.

Linebacker James Farrior, whose 72 tackles lead all teammates by 22, is questionable with a groin injury, as is safety Mike Logan with a hamstring injury.

Cowher listed five players as probable: strong safety Troy Polamalu (foot), running back Najeh Davenport (knee), linebacker Clark Haggans (knee), cornerback Deshea Townsend (quad) and special-teams captain Sean Morey (toe).

Cheers for Davenport

Davenport could be in line for more time after Cowher praised his play since coming to the Steelers after their first game.

Davenport replaced injured Verron Haynes as the third-down back Sunday and also has given starting halfback Willie Parker some rest and is one of two deep returners on kickoffs.

"I thought Najeh played really well in any role we've put him at this point," Cowher said. "He's been a real pleasant acquisition. Whatever you ask him to do, he's done it. He's done it very well."

Davenport caught five passes Sunday for 57 yards and ran twice for 17. He also returned a kickoff 23 yards.

Get the points

Four of Ben Roethlisberger's league-high 14 interceptions have come near the opponent's goal line.

"You work too hard to get there," Cowher said. "You work too hard to put yourself in those positions. Coming away with a field goal isn't a bad thing. That's points. You want to come away with points. You want to finish drives, but the worst-case scenario is that you want to come away with three."

Some snapshots of some Cowher comments on several topics yesterday:

On luck determining the outcome of his team's games: "You create your own good fortune."

On players speaking their minds: "People have bad days at the office all the time. You pass them on the road, and the difference is that you don't know that they had a bad day. They can keep that in and get away from it. We can't get away from it. We're in the fishbowl."

On being out of whack: "I think right now we're out of sync. We've got some guys who are afraid to make a mistake and we've got some guys trying to win a game by themselves. There's that fine line of getting people back in balance."

On the size of the picture he wants his team to view: "I think to look at the big picture would be foolish. [Getting] the little picture right is what we have to do."

On everyone not becoming CSI: Pittsburgh when delving into the evidence of a 2-6 season: "We can't get caught up in the why, when and where."

On whether he's concerned about where cornerback Ike Taylor's mind is after Sunday: "Oh, yeah. And it's how they respond to the situations. You see some guys who bounce back. You see some guys that it can linger with them."

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Old 11-08-2006, 07:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steeler Notebook: Type of penalties depict frustration

Steelers notebook

By The Tribune-Review
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

No. 1 draft pick Santonio Holmes fumbled a kickoff and a punt in the first quarter Sunday against Denver and was given the rest of the game off from special teams. But Steelers coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday he hasn't lost faith in Holmes, who has progressed as a wide receiver but struggled fielding kickoffs and punts.
"He's a young player, and I believe that Santonio Holmes is going to be a really good football player in this league," Cowher said.

As for what's plaguing Holmes, "It's the speed of the game and the impact of the hits," Cowher said. "Sometimes, those things are things that you have to get acclimated to and he's put the ball on the ground way too many times. He knows that and I remind him of that, and he's gotta do a better job of securing the football. But in terms of being a receiver, in terms of picking up this offense, I think he's gotten more comfortable, and I think he'll continue to get better."

• Cowher said running back Najeh Davenport, who has worked on special teams and in third-down situations, has played "really well" regardless of his role, and he characterized the former Green Bay Packers player as a "real pleasant acquisition." One thing Davenport failed to handle was his blocking assignment on the first third down of the game against Denver. As a result, defensive end Elvis Dumervil made offensive tackle Max Starks look bad, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked.

"He was expecting help from Najeh, and Najeh was supposed to help him, but that was kinda Najeh's first play in there on third down, and he was more concerned about the route than he was the protection," Cowher said. "Outside of that, I thought Max played much better than the game before (at Oakland)."

• Cowher said he didn't know if the $15,000 fine assessed to linebacker Joey Porter for unsportsmanlike conduct to an official Oct. 29 in Oakland was warranted.

"He'll go through the appeal process and he'll go from there," Cowher said.

• Cowher listed linebacker James Harrison (ankle) and wide receiver/punt returner Willie Reid (foot) as out for Sunday's game against New Orleans. Center Jeff Hartings (knee) and linebacker Clint Kriewaldt (back) are doubtful. Linebacker James Farrior (groin) and safety Mike Logan (hamstring) are questionable. Strong safety Troy Polamalu (foot), Davenport (knee), linebacker Clark Haggans (groin), cornerback Deshea Townsend (quadriceps) and wide receiver Sean Morey (toe) are probable. Cowher was hopeful of getting Harrison and Reid back next week.



5 - Games the Steelers have lost against AFC opponents.

7 - Games the Steelers have played against AFC opponents.

9 - Games the Steelers have won over their last 10 against NFC teams.

- By Mike Prisuta

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Old 11-08-2006, 08:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steeler Notebook: Type of penalties depict frustration

I think most of us realize that some of the PF penalties the Steelers have taken recently are indeed frustration induced, but c'mon guys - you're pros, not toddlers. Temper tantrums never make things better. There are far better ways to release that on-the-field frustration, like zeroing in on that opponent across the line from you, making good, solid hits, finishing tackles and playing each and every game as though your ass is on fire instead of performing as if there was lead in your pants.

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Old 11-08-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steeler Notebook: Type of penalties depict frustration

Here's a clue for all the players who carry the ball:


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