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Old 08-26-2009, 03:38 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' preseason game has added importance

Steelers' preseason game has added importance
By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 26, 2009


While it's only an exhibition game, Saturday night's Steelers-Bills contest at Heinz Field is generally considered the most important of the preseason.

Starters usually play longer in the third exhibition game, and the play-calling resembles what's likely to occur in the regular season.

"We're approaching this game as if it was a real game," right tackle Willie Colon said. "I think this game you're going to see us out there more."

Said coach Mike Tomlin: "We're looking for our starters to play a significant amount of time."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers' most visible starter, returned to practice as a limited participant Tuesday after missing the second preseason game against Washington because of a right foot injury.

Roethlisberger suffered the injury during the morning practice on the final day of training camp at St. Vincent College last Thursday. He missed the afternoon practice that day along with Friday's walk-through, and he watched the preseason game against the Washington Redskins the next day from the sideline.

Tomlin said Roethlisberger will start against Buffalo.

"He won't be limited in any form or fashion," Tomlin said.

Surrounded by reporters in the locker room following practice, defensive captain James Farrior asked Roethlisberger about his playing status.

"Ben, you missing any time?" Farrior said.

"I don't think so. Not that I know of," Roethlisberger said.

Yesterday's practice was the Steelers' first since the final day of training camp.

Roethlisberger took some reps with the first-team offense. Backup Charlie Batch, who started against Washington, took the majority of reps.

In Roethlisberger's absence, Batch guided the first-team offense to its first touchdown of the preseason against the Redskins.

"Being able to go down there and help put this team in the end zone, that was a plus," Batch said.

No. 3 quarterback Dennis Dixon, who suffered a mild separation of the AC joint in his right shoulder, did not practice and has been ruled out against Buffalo.

Some Steelers are mixed on the importance of the game against the Bills. Colon said the offensive line needs to perform better on first and second down and develop more cohesion.

"From our standpoint, as an offensive line, we're going to approach it like we're getting ready for a Sunday game," Colon said. "We've got a lot of things to accomplish while we're out there. We've got to get the run game going. Obviously, we've got to keep the quarterback upright."

Receiver Hines Ward said he tries to keep exhibition games in perspective.

"Of course you want to go out and put on a great showing, but that doesn't indicate how the season's going to go," Ward said. "I've been here long enough, the third game we went out and looked miserable ... and then went out and had a great season. It'd be great to play a little longer. When I suit up, I want to play. One game is not going to make or break the season."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_640048.html
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason game has added importance

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Receiver Hines Ward said he tries to keep exhibition games in perspective.

"Of course you want to go out and put on a great showing, but that doesn't indicate how the season's going to go," Ward said. "I've been here long enough, the third game we went out and looked miserable ... and then went out and had a great season. It'd be great to play a little longer. When I suit up, I want to play. One game is not going to make or break the season."
Hines must read this message board, because that sounds like a clear message to the "sky is falling" crowd that crawls out of the woodwork this time of year.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason game has added importance

I had a Bengals fan gleefully tell me that the Bengals were now 1-1, just like the Steelers. I didn't have the heart to explain preseason to him..
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason game has added importance

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I had a Bengals fan gleefully tell me that the Bengals were now 1-1, just like the Steelers. I didn't have the heart to explain preseason to him..
If it makes you feel any better I had a Ravens fan tell me the same thing.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason game has added importance

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Hines must read this message board, because that sounds like a clear message to the "sky is falling" crowd that crawls out of the woodwork this time of year.
That was my thought, too, when I read what Hines had to say.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason game has added importance

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Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
I had a Bengals fan gleefully tell me that the Bengals were now 1-1, just like the Steelers. I didn't have the heart to explain preseason to him..
If a portion of our fans (who get to watch REAL football) dont understand the concept of pre-season...what makes you think those poor pee-wee league bungles fans will get it?


***Dislclaimer***


I would like to apologize to any and all pee-wee league players for my heartless comparison to Bengal players.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' preseason game has added importance

It is great if we do well in preseason. However people are thinking that the defense is not up to par due to a couple preseason games. Lebeau is doing vanilla defense in the preseason folks. They will ramp it up when the season starts. Timmons and Gay will be just fine. I am sure Lebeau has some things up his sleeve to use Timmons' speed back there. I reckon Woodley may drop back some and Timmons will get a lot of sacks up the middle this year. He may challenge Woodley and Harrison for the sack lead this year. I am so forward to seeing what Lebeau has up his sleeve with Timmons in there full time. I think he will more than make up for his lack of skill against the run by being a monster in pass situations.
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