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Old 05-01-2008, 03:08 AM   #1
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Default Draft pleases Steelers' Roethlisberger

Draft pleases Steelers' Roethlisberger
By John Harris
Thursday, May 1, 2008

Asked to assess new Steelers wide receiver Limas Sweed, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gave a thumb up in approval.
"I like the draft. We did a good job all around," Roethlisberger said Wednesday after a press conference announcing that his foundation will distribute nearly $100,000 in grants to Pittsburgh area police and fire department canine units.

Roethlisberger downplayed any influence he had in the Steelers' selection of Sweed.

Prior to last weekend's draft, Roethlisberger had said he wanted the team to draft a tall receiver.

The 6-foot-4 Sweed was one of the tallest receivers in the draft.
"It was coincidental," Roethlisberger said of the Steelers taking Sweed in the second round.

Asked if management paid attention to his desire for a tall receiver, Roethlisberger replied, "I don't think so."

Roethlisberger told reporters he didn't know much about Sweed, who missed Texas' final seven games after undergoing surgery on his left wrist.

"I think he only played a couple of games last year and then he got hurt," Roethlisberger said. "I know the name. People talk about him -- I know that much. I don't know much else."

Asked if he was anticipating passing to Sweed at this weekend's minicamp, Roethlisberger was noncommittal.

"I'm anxious, but I've got my guys out there,'' Roethlisberger said, referring to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Nate Washington, Willie Reid and Dallas Baker. "I've got my receivers that I've had, that I've been working with. Limas will probably have to work his way in. For the first day or so, I probably won't throw too many passes to him unless they work him up with the first group."

Coach Mike Tomlin said the selection of offensive weapons such as Sweed and Rashard Mendenhall -- a running back from Illinois and the team's top draft pick -- is another way of protecting Roethlisberger.

"There was some talk a little bit about trying to get a pound-it guy (at running back). We've got guys. It's not like we don't have running backs," Roethlisberger said. "Same thing with the wide receiver. We've got guys, so there's no real rush to push anybody into the starting spot. If they develop into it, I guess they develop into it."

Roethlisberger praised the selection of Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon in the fifth round. Dixon was considered a leading Heisman Trophy candidate before suffering a knee injury late last season.

"I'm glad we finally got a quarterback to hopefully lead us to some victories," Roethlisberger said with a smile. "I enjoyed watching him at Oregon. I thought he was great. They want him to learn from Charlie (Batch) and I and see what happens."

As for the Steelers' offensive line, Roethlisberger said he welcomes the addition of Chris Kemoeatu at left guard.

"I think our offensive line is going to be a lot better than people think," Roethlisberger said. "I've seen them at the (organized team activities) and practice, and they're doing a great job. Guys are going to step in and guys are going to fill shoes.

"Chris is never going to be Alan Faneca. He doesn't have to be. He has to be the best Chris that he can be. I have a lot of confidence in him and the rest of the guys that they're going to get it done. We're going to get better as an offense."
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Old 05-01-2008, 03:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Draft pleases Steelers' Roethlisberger

I hope ben is right when he said the offensive line isn't as bad as people think.
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