<b>PITTSBURGH -</b> Banged up and perhaps emotionally drained, the Steelers (11-1) can set records…
Notebook: Say Hey, Lee
"Everybody stepped up," Cowher told his players after the game, "but nobody stepped up more than Lee Mays."
Joey Porter then allowed Mays to take his place in the center of the Steelers' post-victory "Who Ride? We Ride!" dance-and-shout routine.
Is Mays a new man?
"It feels good," he said. "You feel confident going into the next game."
Mays had dropped a third-and-11 pass earlier in the game that would've converted the first down, but rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't think twice about going back to Mays when it mattered most.
"I told Lee after that drop, I said listen, I'm going to come back to you. You be ready," Roethlisberger said. "He said he would be and I knew he would be. So I came back to him twice and he proved me right, that he would step up when it mattered most."
STILL THREE BRICKS SHY?
When it became obvious earlier this season that the Steelers would continue on with a rookie quarterback, coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said the offense would operate at about 75 percent efficiency. He said Roethlisberger still hadn't mastered the no-huddle, which would hurt the 2-minute offense.
After Roethlisberger smoothly operated the no-huddle on the way to Sunday night's win, Whisenhunt was asked if the rookie had cleared his final hurdle.
"No. I don't think it was his last hurdle," he said. "We've expanded a little bit. We're still not doing as much as we've done in the past."
Is the offense at, say, 90 percent max efficiency?
"I don't know," Whisenhunt said. "The biggest thing is we're still not putting a whole bunch of new stuff in. He's still a rookie."
Can that be a good thing?
"Probably. I think so. It's good as long as guys are playing well. If you start to slip you need to do other things."
INTIMIDATION AND FEAR
Jerome Bettis carried 3 times for 17 yards last Sunday night and looked as frisky as a colt. That's also how he came across on TV when Bettis was shown stalking Cowher along the sideline.
"I was just waiting to get the call," Bettis said. "If it doesn't come, it doesn't come. I was just waiting. I understand the situation. I think I'm maybe more anxious because I got a chance to get in there and get my feet going, but it's not a situation where I expect to play more than the situation calls for."
Bettis, while expecting to be passed by Curtis Martin on the all-time list, would need only 280 yards to regain the fifth position by passing Eric Dickerson. Bettis was asked if he'll come back next season.
"The possibility exists," he said. "But I'm going to look at it at the end the season like I've been doing the last few years. I want to see if the body holds up. If I can hold up until the end of the year, and feel good, then it may be something I want to do."
CENTER OF ATTENTION
Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke will match up against perhaps the best center in the league today when he takes on Kevin Mawae.
"One thing he does really well is he uses your aggressiveness against you," Hoke said. "He's real crafty and knows the tricks. He's been around a long time. It's going to be a great challenge."
Hoke took on another top center last week in Brad Meester. The Jaguars' center was miked for the nationally televised game, but neither he nor Hoke made anything more than grunting sounds upon the playback.
"Luckily they didn't show some of the things I said to him," Hoke said. "A couple times he (hacked) me off. You could tell he was miked up for the game. When I found out, I realized why he was doing some of the things he was doing. He was looking for the camera. After the play he was always trying to pull me down. I said, 'Man, what are you doing? The play's over.' But he's real good. It was a good battle."
SteelCityInsider.net Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Key Matchups
Dr. Roto highlights each and every game upcoming for Week 12 and a Fantasy matchup to monitor within. Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (pictured above) makes his return against the less-than-stellar…Read More
The 10 Biggest Anti-Knife Cities In The U.S.
If you're a hunter or an outdoorsman like us, chances are you carry some sort of pocket knife or multi-tool with a blade at all times. If you visit some of these cities your every-day tool could put…Read More
OU's Perine rushes into record books
Norman has seen a lot of special days, but few will compare to what Samaje Perine did Saturday in rushing for 427 yards and five touchdowns.Read More
6 Biggest Man-to-Man Rivalries in Sports
From Pierce and Lebron to Peyton and Tom to Ali and Frazier, we're celebrating love/hate on and off the field of play.Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More