Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Steelers are one day closer to getting ready to attempt to achieve their first win of the season Sunday night. Two days of practice under their belts and some improvements on the injury front. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.
Thursdays are the days for Todd Haley and Dick LeBeau to address the media. Plenty of stuff for them to talk about. Haley addressed the reports that he and Antonio Brown had a confrontation on the sidelines during Monday night’s game. Haley dispelled the story that there was any current friction and denies that it was a “confrontation” on the sidelines. Haley seems hell bent on establishing the running game and by his comments, as well as his play calls, is determined to force the running game to take off in the hopes it will improve the passing game. Not sure if he can be talked out of it. He’s unhappy the rushers are getting less than 3 yards a carry but not really realizing perhaps he doesn’t have a back on the roster that is capable of getting more than a couple yards a carry. We all hope Le’Veon Bell could be that back but at this point he is, to put it in a Tomlinism, an “unknown commodity”. You can listen to Haley answer media questions here.
Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau addressed the media as well after Thursday’s practice and addressed the defense’s problems with stopping the run. The Bengals ran the ball much better against the Steelers than the Titans did but the Titans still were successful with the run on their scoring drive. Check out how LeBeau pronounces “Cincinnati” it’s adorable. Just had to add that in. He also spoke on consistency against the pass and added that Jarvis Jones is expected to be practicing fully by the end of the week. LeBeau cautioned against comparing Jones to some of the greatest OLB’s the Steelers have had but did say that he feels good about his progress so far as a rookie. He also adds that he thinks Jason Worilds is playing well. With zero recorded tackles so far, I’m not sure what LeBeau is considering “well.” You can listen to LeBeau’s full interview here.
Not playing around
As Dom told you on Wednesday, the Steelers veterans held a “players only meeting” to discuss the sad state of events the Steelers find themselves in at 0-2. Thursday afternoon, Deadspin reported that one of the things decided from that meeting was a restriction on the recreational activities for the younger men in the locker room. Apparently signs were posted around the facilities detailing the new rules limiting access to the Ping-Pong and pool tables, as well as shuffleboard to players with 4 years of experience or more, during business hours. Kind of funny if you ask me. Clearly this has already been blown out of proportion but if Ping-Pong has been the downfall of the Steelers this whole time I’m glad they’ve finally cracked down on it. Clearly not the kind of shenanigans Cowher would have put up with.
Troy Polamalu’s Mane Event
Troy Polamalu is one of the most recognized football players today. Mostly because of his flowing locks of hair which spills out of the back of his helmet and waves in the air as he runs around the field. Troy is also one of the most charitable men in the NFL today. He’s done tons of work with the Samoan/Polynesian football community and his other charity work includes helping veterans and their families. Troy is taking his dedication to our veterans to a tremendous level that I just couldn’t help but pass along to all of you. He has teamed up with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to raise awareness and money for veterans around the country who face serious challenges when they return home from fighting for our freedom. Troy has pledged to cut his hair, his famous hair, for the first time in 10 years on Veteran’s Day this year to raise money for veterans and their families. He’s challenging everyone to join him in getting haircuts for this charity. You can read about the details here.
As many of the regular readers may know, I lost my father last summer to lymphoma. He was a veteran of the US Navy and my hero in every possible sense of the word. My dad always kept his hair high and tight even after retiring from his 23 years of service but I’d guarantee if he was still here he’d be excited as ever to get his hair cut on Veteran’s Day right along with Troy Polamalu to support this cause. He waited for years for his claim to be approved by the VA just like many of the veterans in the video describes. My dad was born a Steelers fan and raised me and my sisters to be the same but he was a Navy man to the core. He would be beyond proud to see a Steelers player go to such great lengths to support veterans. I know I’ll be cutting my hair on Veteran’s Day 2013 too.