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Old 08-01-2005, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status
By ALAN ROBINSON
The Associated Press

LATROBE, Pa. - Tommy Maddox, the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting quarterback when training camp started last season, became agitated at questions Sunday that he might not be their backup this season.

Maddox, a starter for most of the 2002 season and all of 2003, is expected to compete with Charlie Batch to back up Ben Roethlisberger, whose 13-0 regular-season record was easily the best in NFL history by a rookie quarterback.

Maddox is signed to an affordable contract - his base salary of $750,000 is modest by quarterback standards - and he offers the Steelers a proven passer should Roethlisberger be hurt. But Batch is a former starter with the Lions, is more mobile than Maddox and is four years younger than Maddox, who turns 34 the week before the season starts.

Maddox, whose elbow injury in Week 2 of last season allowed Roethlisberger to play, also could be a trade candidate should the Steelers decide that Batch has fully recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him last season.

Asked if he felt he needed to win the backup job's, a visibly irritated Maddox said, "Leave it to you all to start opening stuff up the first day - I'm not going to answer that."

Maddox did say that the Steelers need to approach this training camp the way they did a year ago when they were coming off a 6-10 season. They went on to a club-record 15-1 regular season before losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game for the second time in four seasons.

"The success we had last year is because we came to camp and were very determined to prove the year before was wrong," Maddox said. "I think we've got to take that same attitude, as good as last season was. It didn't end the way we wanted to, and you've got to come in here with something to prove and go to work."

The Steelers will do that on Monday, with the running drills that coach Bill Cowher traditionally uses to open camp. All players must run a series of 14 40-yard runs in a prescribed time, something 325-pound nose tackle Casey Hampton couldn't do in 2003.

Last year, Hampton had no trouble completing the runs.

"Everybody knows I don't like the run test, that's well documented ... but you've just to go out and do what you got to do," he said. "Last year I showed that if I really want to, I can do it, so it's really not a problem."

Hampton, whose size and strength make it difficult for opponents to consistently run the ball up the middle, made the Pro Bowl in 2003 before missing all but six games last season with a knee injury. His absence allowed Chris Hoke to start after never getting into a game during his first three NFL seasons, and Hoke was so effective that he is expected to push Hampton for playing time.

"I'm coming off an injury, and I've got to prove myself all over again," Hampton said. "But I know what I can do when I'm healthy - everybody knows."

The Steelers don't begin practicing until Tuesday, the first day that spectators can attend camp.

Link: http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/ne...05-521707.html
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

It will surely be an interesting decision among the coaches for who gets the backup role!!
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

Maddox will get the back up role. we'd be dumb not to keep him. he's affordable, a team player, knows the offense, and really helps ben alot. I'd almost bet money he'll be the #2 guy this year again.
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

I agree Blitz. I do think he will be the number 2 guy. The other guys could definitely compete for it, but i would have to say Maddox is going to get it.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

I agree Maddox should be the #2 as well. I dont see anyway they trade him either. Besides being a big help to Ben, you cant underestimate the value of having an experienced veteran as your backup.
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Old 08-01-2005, 09:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

I hope they don't compare Batch's preseason performances with Maddox. Anyone can look good in exhibition games. Maddox has proven he can get the job done in the regular season. Last I checked, Batch hasn't led any team to the playoffs. Let alone a playoff win.
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

Batch would need to be resigned and w/ him still healing w/ his knee, he definately appears to be the odd man out at this point.
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Old 08-02-2005, 12:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

Maddox should be #2.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

I heard that St. Pierre is supposedly locked into the #3 *cough*clipboard!*cough* QB spot, and Maddox and Batch will battle it out for #2. BSP spent some time on the practice squad last year, why not stick him on it again and keep the 2 vets?
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Maddox irritated by question about backup status

Don't forget about St Pierre he's the only one who stayed healthy last year..if he makes enough improvement this camp they might make him #2 and trade or cut maddox or batch or even both and go with Randle as the #3 QB to make room for an extra WR or LB
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