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Old 09-27-2007, 11:08 PM   #1
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Default Notebook: 9/28/07

Steelers Notebook: Washington, Wilson roles may expand if Ward sits
Friday, September 28, 2007
By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If wide receiver Hines Ward does sit Sunday against Arizona, as a result of a right knee sprain, it would open the door for bigger offensive roles for Cedrick Wilson and Nate Washington.

Wilson understands as much, but then again, he hasn't gone about things any differently this week in practice.

"I prepare every week like a starter anyway," Wilson said. "You never know what is going to happen. If a guy tells you he doesn't prepare as if he's going to be starter, then he does not belong in the National Football League."

Wilson also understands pass catching is just one part of the equation.

"This is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and when you put on this uniform, you know you are going to be counted on to block someone out on the perimeter," he said. "Hines does that very well, and I am proud of the way I have improved as a blocker and I know that is part of what they count on me to do."

Grimm holds no grudge

Former offensive line coach Russ Grimm, one of the finalists to replace Bill Cowher as Steelers coach, said he was not offered the job by the Rooney family and harbors no resentment toward the organization or disappointment he was bypassed in favor of Mike Tomlin.

"I was fine with it," Grimm said yesterday in Tempe, Ariz., practice site of the Arizona Cardinals, where he is serving as offensive line coach under Ken Whisenhunt. "I was fine with it two or three days after it happened. The Rooneys have always been good to me. I have no complaint."

There has been much confusion about what transpired Jan. 20, a day in which Grimm thought he had the job only to learn 24 hours later the Steelers had hired Tomlin. Team president Art Rooney II blamed leaks in the NFL office for creating some of the confusion and acknowledged that might have led to a misunderstanding on Grimm's part.

Asked if he were ever offered the job, Grimm said, "No.

"If you're going to put yourself on that pedestal, to try to get that shot, then you know the further you go the more you might be disappointed. You go for a head coaching job with the Pittsburgh Steelers, you put yourself on that pedestal, you know going in you might not get it."

Pittsburgh West

A few of the Cardinals' connections to Pittsburgh have been well-documented -- especially Whisenhunt and Grimm. But there are plenty more. Consider other members of the coaching staff:

Special teams coach Kevin Spencer was the special teams coach with the Steelers.

Defensive backs coach Teryl Austin is a former Pitt player from Sharon.

Matt Raich, a Monaca native and former standout linebacker at Westminster College, is a defensive assistant.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley is an Upper St. Clair High School graduate and son of former Steelers player personnel director Dick Haley.

Wide receivers coach Mike Miller is from Plum and went to Clarion.

Strength and conditioning coach John Lott played for the Steelers in 1987.

A number of Arizona players have ties to Western Pennsylvania. Rodney Bailey, Sean Morey and Chukky Okobi are former Steelers; Gerald Hayes and Larry Fitzgerald played at Pitt; Bryant Johnson played at Penn State; Steve Breaston is a Woodland Hills High School graduate; and Reggie Wells went to South Park High School.

Injury report

Four Steelers did not practice yesterday: cornerback Ricardo Colclough (back), tackle Trai Essex (ankle), tight end Matt Spaeth (quadricep) and Ward (knee). Center Sean Mahan, who sat out practice Wednesday with a right knee sprain, practiced yesterday.

Quick hit

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said yesterday that his foundation has given a grant to be distributed to Arizona Search Dog, Inc., which, through the Phoenix Fire Department, deploys emergency search dogs.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07271/821220-66.stm
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