Pittsburgh Steelers: Roster and Team Report

Pittsburgh Steelers: Roster and Team Report

Pittsburgh opens its season with a bitter rival from the '70s, Oakland, and follows with its biggest rival of the new century, at Baltimore. <br><br>"It's always a good thing to get to your rival game early and get the blood boiling early," team president Art Rooney II said. "So when you open up with the Raiders and then go to the Ravens, I think that will get things started and hopefully have everybody ready to go right away."

The schedule also has them closing at Buffalo on Jan. 2. Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe was fired by the Rooneys in 2000 and remains bitter about it. He hired Mike Mularkey as his new head coach away from the Steelers, where he was offensive coordinator the past three seasons.

"It'll be good," Dan Rooney said of that season finale. "Hopefully, it's for all the marbles."

QUOTE: "We've known each other for years. I think it's going to be great. It's definitely going to be great for the team. I'm looking forward to it." -- Jerome Bettis on Duce Staley's addition to the backfield.

Roster Report

The Steelers gave up on offensive tackle Mathias Nkwenti, releasing the restricted free agent on Thursday. Nkwenti, drafted in the fourth round in 2001, had back surgery during the 2003 season.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (1): DT Kendrick Clancy.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): OT Mathias Nkwenti (rights terminated).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (2): CB Chidi Iwuoma; OG Keydrick Vincent.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: OT Barrett Brooks; TE Matt Cushing; WR Chris Doering; LB Clark Haggans; DE Chris Hoke; FB Dan Kreider; S Mike Logan; C Chukky Okobi; PK Jeff Reed; LS Mike Schneck.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: P Chris Gardocki; DT Travis Kirschke; RB Duce Staley.

PLAYERS LOST: S Brent Alexander; DE Rodney Bailey; TE Mark Bruener; P Josh Miller; CB Dewayne Washington; RB Amos Zereoue.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

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