It's been nearly three months since their season ended on a disappointing note, and the Pittsburgh…
Team Notes: Pittsburgh Steelers
--Many in the organization would like to see them draft Penn State RB Larry Johnson. The Steelers have been set at running back for years but with the status of Jerome Bettis still undecided, they could go for Johnson. Ideally, they hope Bettis, 31, overcomes knee surgery and gets himself into shape so he can play one more season. They could get through another year with a healthy Bettis, with Amos Zereoue and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala. But they may not have a good read on Bettis' condition by the time of the draft.
--The Steelers privately are enraged over their schedule in November. The NFL sends them to Seattle on Nov. 2. They play at home against Arizona the following week but then must go back to the West Coast for a Monday night game at San Francisco on Nov. 17. They have to play at Cleveland, their bitter AFC North rivals, the following week. The NFL rarely sends a team on the road following a road Monday night game and added insult when they scheduled that Monday night game on the West Coast.
--Pittsburgh opens at home, against Baltimore Sept. 7, for the first time since 2000, when they lost to the Ravens 16-0. They will play the 1,000th game in franchise history against the St. Louis Rams Oct. 26. Two of their three prime-time games are on the road -- at San Francisco and at Baltimore Sunday night Dec. 28, the final NFL game of the regular-season. Their only prime-time home game will occur Oct. 5 against Cleveland on Sunday night.
--Each NFL team is permitted to entertain 20 college players until April. 17. The Steelers sent invitations to 17, more than they've had in town before the draft in years.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "There is nothing wrong with the expectation level, as long as when it's all said and done that we just don't look at it as we did not meet the expectation level, the season was a failure." -- Coach Bill Cowher, reflecting on last season in which the Steelers were AFC favorites to reach the Super Bowl.
Team Skinny: Author: TSX
NEEDS/DRAFT PRIORITIES: DB, LB, QB. 1. Defensive back (either corner or safety, they need younger, better, faster). 2. Linebacker (They need a strong backup on the outside), 3. Quarterback (The last young quarterback they developed was Kordell Stewart).
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE John Allred (not a priority); S Lee Flowers (they will not try to re-sign him); LB Mike Jones (they aren't interested in him); WR Terance Mathis (unlikely to return); P Tom Rouen (was an injury replacement and won't be back).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Kendrick Clancy (tendered at $605,000 with 3rd-round pick as compensation); DE Clark Haggans (tendered at $605,000 with 5th-round pick as compensation); FB Dan Kreider (tendered at $605,000 with no compensation); CB Hank Poteat (tendered at $605,000 with 3rd-round pick as compensation).
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: QB Charlie Batch (UFA; $2M/2 yrs, $470,000 SB); TE Matt Cushing (UFA; $530,000/1 yr; 2003 cap: $450,000); TE Jerame Tuman (UFA: $3.3M/3 yrs, $600,000 SB; 2003 cap: $730,000); OG Keydrick Vincent (Potential ERFA; $375,000/1 yr).
PLAYERS ACQUIRED: OT Todd Fordham (UFA Jaguars; $2.4M/3 yrs, $470,000 SB); LB Clint Kriewaldt (UFA $2.38M/3 yrs, $420,000 SB; 2003 cap: $670,000); TE Jay Riemersma (FA Bills; $3.95M/3 yrs, $850,000 SB).
PLAYERS LOST: TE Marco Battaglia (UFA Dolphins; 1 yr, terms unknown); OT Wayne Gandy (UFA Saints; $25M/6 yrs, $5M SB); PK Todd Peterson (cut); QB Kordell Stewart (cut).
MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.
SteelCityInsider.net Recommended Stories
Week 8: Super Sleepers
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Jeb Gorham digs in his list of rankings to find the best sleepers for deeper formats. Consider giving these players a chance, but be aware of the risk! Tampa Bay…Read More
Watch: Sailfish Goes Psycho!
Check out this classic video of Dan Larson battling an acrobatic sailfish on a trip to the world-famous Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.Read More
BOMBS AWAY: ISIS BEFORE AND AFTER AIRSTRIKE
Photographer Bulent Kilic captured these amazing images of ISIS members who were on the very wrong end of an allied bombing in Turkey.Read More
TBT: Pumpkin Carving With A Handgun
While many hunters are focused on pursuing big game in late October, it’s also time to make sure you’re ready for Halloween, and specifically trick-or-treaters. In this throwback Thursday video,…Read More
Sullivan weighs seriousness of concussions
John Sullivan has suffered five concussions in his seven-year career, but he doesn’t believe his future is “in doubt.” He weighs the severity of the concussions against the number of them.Read More
- Steelers versus Texans game day thread
- Scrub QB Roethlisberger to set career marks/NFL Milestones
- what happened to the "Wheaton is an upgrade" talk?
- Ben, aka the problem with the O and team in general
- Andrew Luck...