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Parcells has high praise for Roethlisberger

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  • Parcells has high praise for Roethlisberger

    Parcells has high praise for Roethlisberger
    By Jerry DiPaola
    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    It's the week preceding the Steelers' game against the Dallas Cowboys, and that makes it Bill Parcells' turn to ride the Ben Roethlisberger bandwagon.
    Parcells, the coach of the Cowboys, offered the highest praise yet for the Steelers' rookie quarterback who has turned so many heads that hungry fans in Brentwood and North Side diners are now eating Roethlis-burgers.

    "I just told the press (in Dallas) that he is the best prospect I have seen in 10 or 15 years," said Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl winner who has been head coach of four NFL teams in 17 seasons.

    "I have not seen anybody come in the league like that. The only guy that I can say came in and in the first year started playing like he is playing is Dan Marino.

    "He has done a great job, and (the Steelers) have done a good job with him."

    A link with Marino, perhaps the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, brought a smile to Roethlisberger's face Wednesday when reporters all but crawled over each other to hear his weekly remarks.

    "Obviously, it's quite a compliment from coach Parcells," said Roethlisberger, who is one of only six rookie quarterbacks since 1970 to win their first three starts. "He's been around a long time."

    Roethlisberger is five months short of his 23rd birthday, but he is smart enough to wonder if Parcells might be merely pumping up the next opponent with false compliments.

    "You have to look at it the other way," Roethlisberger said. "He's been around a long time, so you never know: It could be gamesmanship; it could be sincere."

    Still, part of Roethlisberger is humbled by Parcells.

    "If I could be half as good as Marino or anybody like that, it would be quite a compliment," he said. "But three games in, it's a little early to be making any statements like that."

    Then, showing proper respect for Parcells, Roethlisberger added, "In my opinion."

    Roethlisberger will be the first to admit that he is a long way from reaching a complete comfort level with the Steelers' offense.

    "You have to remember: I'm still a rookie trying to learn this offense and learn the system and be on the same page with these guys."

    Parcells, though, has not seen any deficiencies in Roethlisberger's game.

    "It looks to me like he can do about what he wants out there," he said. "He is out of the pocket throwing 50-yard passes right on the money."

    Parcells said Roethlisberger is in the ideal situation, surrounded by Duce Staley, the fifth-leading rusher in the AFC, and Hines Ward, the top pass catcher in the conference. His mobility and a solid offensive line have allowed him to be sacked only four times.

    "They have good balance on offense," Parcells said. "They are running the ball well. They have a good receiving corps. They are protecting him pretty well. He has done a good job. I am telling you, I am very, very impressed, and it is not just because he is the opponent."

    Still, Roethlisberger remains publicly unimpressed by what he has accomplished in his rookie season.

    "You win three football games, it doesn't mean anything to me," said Roethlisberger, who has been exposed to only about 75 percent of the offense. "You have to remain grounded.

    "My goal is to win the Super Bowl. Once we do that, then I'll start thinking about how happy I am. It's too early to be getting on the bandwagon.

    "I'm not satisfied, and these guys aren't satisfied until we go all the way."

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  • MauiRam
    Hines Ward continues to do it year after year ..
    by MauiRam
    BY JIM THOMAS Posted: Sunday, February 6, 2011 12:20 am

    DALLAS -- Five years ago this week, Pittsburgh defeated Seattle 21-10 in Super Bowl XL, and after that game one of the all-time great Steelers — running back Jerome "The Bus" Bettis — rode off into retirement.

    Now what about Hines Ward? One of the all-time great Steelers concludes his 13th NFL season in Super Bowl XLV against Green Bay. And one of the nostalgic story lines leading into the Pittsburgh-Green Bay matchup is the possibility that Ward will pull a Bettis on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium.

    Steelers win. Ward, 34, calls it a career. Such a scenario might have Steeler Nation using their Terrible Towels to wipe away moist eyes. Is this Ward's last game? For some reason, he kept getting that question this week.

    "I'm not retiring," Ward said. "I'm not in the mood to retire. That was the No. 1 question that was asked. It's almost like they're pushing me out. Until Coach (Mike) Tomlin says he does not need my services anymore, I am going to continue playing."

    Ward holds just about every receiving record the Steelers keep. Then again, he has been a fixture in the Steel City for a while after being drafted in the third round in 1998. That makes him the longest-tenured wide receiver with one team currently in the league.

    The younger receivers on the Pittsburgh roster call Ward "Old Money." But young, old or in between, Ward has always been "money" for the Steelers' passing game. Game after game, season after season, he shows up and produces at a high level.

    For 11 consecutive seasons, from 1999 through 2009, Ward led the Steelers in receptions. (He shared the team lead with Troy Edwards in '99.) The string was broken this year, but not by much: Mike Wallace had 60 catches in the regular season to Ward's 59.

    All but immune to injury, Ward has missed only six games over his career. He had a streak of 186 consecutive games with a reception, the third longest in NFL history, snapped in Game 9 this season against New England.

    In a game characterized by constant change, that's a lot of consistency and dependability.

    "To still be here at such a high level after 13 years, it seems like every Super Bowl I've got a different counterpoint opposite me," Ward said. "I just remember (Antwaan) Randle El in Super Bowl XL throwing me the ball, and then Santonio Holmes in XLIII catching that ball in the end zone.

    "I was just ecstatic for all of them, and here I am still plugging along at it. I know one day, eventually, they'll replace me, but you know, I don't look at that. It's not what they do; it's what I do. If I start to find signs that I'm falling off, or I'm not getting open against guys that I think I should get open against, I'll walk away from the game easily."
    -02-06-2011, 09:06 AM
  • MauiRam
    Roethlisberger seems sincere, but who knows?
    by MauiRam
    Bernie Miklasz Wednesday, February 2, 2011 12:40 am

    DALLAS • Ben Roethlisberger is trying. Really, really trying. On the surface, the smile is a bit plastic. The personality makeover seems contrived. He's so unfailingly polite and eager to please, you wonder if we're watching an Oscar-winning actor or a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

    Big Ben as Gentle Ben.

    Are we buying?

    "He's worked really hard to be a better person and a better teammate," said Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, one of Roethlisberger's closest friends on the team. "I'm not saying that he was a bad guy before. But he's really tried to do things differently, and I'm really proud of him."

    You want to believe in Roethlisberger. You want to believe that Roethlisberger is the proverbial changed man, scared straight by the four-game suspension levied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before the start of the 2010 season.

    You want to believe he isn't the brute who twice was accused of forcing himself on women. You want to believe he isn't the rude superstar who alienated teammates, fans and Pittsburgh business owners with his boorish behavior and a warped sense of self-entitlement.

    "I feel like I've grown up a lot," Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook. "I don't know how to say this without sounding really bad, but I used to tell my dad and my agent and my closest friends, 'If I can win a Super Bowl or two or three, nobody can say anything to me. I can do anything I want.'

    "That's just stupid. I know that now. That's what I mean about growing up. I realize now that I can use the platform I'll have for something good.

    "It would be amazing to win another Super Bowl, but it won't be like I'll say, 'Do you forgive me now?' It'll just be another step in earning back everything I've lost."

    Roethlisberger pleasantly and patiently repeated those themes Tuesday in a static-free, hour-long Media Day session at Cowboys Stadium. Really, he couldn't have been nicer. Either that or he's been impressively coached up by a talented image consultant.

    Roethlisberger certainly said all of the right things. He frequently mentioned his recommitment to God and his desire to lead the kind of life that his parents raised him to lead. Recently engaged, he expressed his desire to start a family.

    "I want to be someone who people will look up to," Roethlisberger said. "I want to be the best husband and father I can be, and, someday, the best grandfather, and that all begins with faith."

    Looking back on the last year of his life, Roethlisberger said, "I've had a lot of apologizing to do. I had to apologize to the Rooneys (the Steelers' owners), I had to apologize to the fans. I had to apologize to the press. I wasn't...
    -02-02-2011, 12:45 AM
  • RamsFan16
    Renteria proving to be valuable
    by RamsFan16
    Renteria proving to be valuable
    Veteran shortstop has been a hit this season with the Braves
    By Mark Bowman /

    SAN DIEGO -- When Edgar Renteria made his first Major League start for the Marlins on May 18, 1996, at Wrigley Field, the third baseman positioned to his right was Terry Pendleton, a man who had an immediate influence on the then-20-year-old shortstop.
    Almost exactly 10 years later, when the Braves begin their three-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday, one of the most important weapons in their lineup will be Renteria, a man who is still profiting from the lessons Pendleton continues to provide.

    "He was a kid that wanted to work and wanted to be better," said Pendleton, who now serves as the Braves' hitting coach. "He's still like that. He listened well."

    During the first two years of his career, Renteria was surrounded in the Marlins clubhouse with the likes of Pendleton, Devon White and Bobby Bonilla, talented players who respected and understood the game. When he moved to St. Louis in 1999, he savored the influence Willie McGee provided.

    Wanting to learn what it took to succeed at the Major League level, he spent countless hours asking them questions and learning what it took to be successful on and off the field.

    "I wanted to learn how to play the game right like they did," Renteria said.

    As he blossomed into a superstar, he became a standup individual like those aforementioned former teammates. When it came time for Braves general manager John Schuerholz to find a replacement for Rafael Furcal this past December, he certainly loved the fact that Renteria had been a four-time All-Star, with three Silver Slugger Awards and two Gold Gloves.

    But just as important was the fact that Renteria had become a true student of the game, a leader and somebody who would be a positive influence in the clubhouse.

    "Everybody who was ever around him said the same thing -- that he was the best teammate, best pro, you'll ever have on your team," Schuerholz said. "He came well advertised."

    Given that Renteria had hit just .276 with 70 RBIs -- disappointing numbers only for someone of his caliber -- last season with the Red Sox, he also came with a warning label. But it was one the Braves chose to ignore, while focusing more on their belief that he would thrive in the less stressful, competitive environment that they could provide.

    "We had every expectation that over here, back in the National League, in this environment, playing for [Braves manager] Bobby Cox, that he would thrive," said Schuerholz, who received Renteria and a guarantee of at least...
    -05-25-2006, 03:14 PM
  • Nick
    Burress doesn’t expect to be back
    by Nick
    Burress doesn’t expect to be back
    By Rob Rossi
    Monday, January 24, 2005

    Plaxico Burress catches footballs for a living; he just likely won't catch them in Pittsburgh next season.

    "Probably so," Burress said last night when asked if the Steelers' 41-27 loss to New England in the AFC Championship game was his final contest in Pittsburgh.

    "It's Pittsburgh - history speaks for itself. (The Steelers are) not going to change and I'm not going to change. I'm just going to keep trying to be one of the greats, but three or four balls just doesn't suit me very well. Everybody keeps telling me how important a person I am on this football team, but you can't justify that for me right now. Just look at the whole season - it speaks for itself."

    Prior to the start of these playoffs, Burress spoke openly about wanting to dominate the NFL's postseason. In two games, he caught five passes for 67 yards, including a cosmetic touchdown late in the fourth quarter last night.

    On the season, he caught just 35 passes for 698 yards (a 19.8 average) and five touchdowns in 11 games - his lowest totals across the board since his rookie campaign in 2000.

    "I just don't feel like I'm involved (with this offense) - that's the way I feel," Burress said. "I said that I wanted to be more involved with this offense at the beginning of the season. If you have guys who can go out there and make plays for you, you should give them the opportunity to make plays, you know, put some onus on our shoulders. But I can't change things."

    Burress has a tattoo across his upper back that reads "Everything Happens For A Reason"; whatever the reason for his lack of inclusion in the Steelers' offensive plans over these past two weeks remains unknown to him.

    "I'd like to think I could have made a little bit of an impact, but that's the game plan," he said. "But, all I can do is go out and do what the coaches put in the game plan. You can make all the suggestions in the world, but at the end of the day, you have to go out and follow the game plan."

    As has seemingly always been the case with Burress over his five seasons in Pittsburgh, things didn't turn out as planned.

    Perhaps had he hauled in a lob pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter last night, Burress' Steelers-life would have ended differently? He was able to get one hand on a pass that, if caught, would have pulled the Steelers to within seven points of the Patriots at 31-24, pending a successful extra point by Jeff Reed.

    But Burress, who was sandwiched between two Patriots' defenders when he stretched for the ball, didn't come through when Roethlisberger and the Steelers needed him most.

    Ironically, the Steelers were counting on Burress to...
    -01-24-2005, 05:07 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    SB XL Rhetoric Heats Up
    by r8rh8rmike
    PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) -- Steelers linebacker Joey Porter minded his manners and said nothing derogatory about the Seahawks during his first two days at the Super Bowl. That changed Wednesday after Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens effectively guaranteed a victory.

    Porter said Stevens' remarks were all he needed to get him going for the Super Bowl.

    "I've been asleep all week but now I got woke up," Porter said Wednesday. "I've got my first taste of blood and now I'm thirsty for more. Until now, it was 'Watch what I say,' 'I can't say this,' 'I can't say that,' 'Don't do anything silly,' but I'm ready now.

    "You look for the guys that say something that aren't supposed to say nothing, and I feel like he definitely was out of pocket to say what he said," Porter said. "I'm going to make sure he owns up to those words."

    Porter was agitated about Stevens' comments Tuesday regarding Steelers star Jerome Bettis' much-publicized return to his hometown of Detroit to try to win a Super Bowl in what likely is his final season.

    "It's a heartwarming story and all that, but it will be a sad day when he leaves without that trophy," said Stevens, who said later he wasn't guaranteeing a victory but was only saying what he felt.

    Stevens also said Porter will have a difficult time whenever he is matched up with Seahawks All-Pro tackle Walter Jones.

    "He had a huge game in the AFC championship game coming off the edge on the blitz," Stevens said of Porter. "I don't think he is going to have such an easy day against Walt, though."

    Porter said Stevens' remarks made it even easier to get himself ready to play in his first Super Bowl.

    "He's too soft to say something like that," Porter said. "He's going to have the opportunity to back up his words. I'm going to have the opportunity to back up my words. So it's something I'm looking forward to and I'm ready to get going."

    Porter also called Stevens "a first-round bust who barely made some plays this season." He also said a player of Stevens' stature "has a lot of nerve" to say what he said about Bettis.

    Porter and Stevens had productive seasons. Porter had 101/2 sacks in the regular season and has three more in the playoffs. Stevens had 45 catches and five touchdowns during the season and has eight catches and another TD in two playoff games.

    Porter's outburst was the latest in a series of strong or inflammatory comments by him during these NFL playoffs.

    He riled up the Colts during the divisional round by saying they relied on tricks and wouldn't play smashmouth football, then accused the NFL officiating crew of cheating the Steelers during their 21-18 upset of the Colts. He was not fined for those remarks.

    -02-01-2006, 02:58 PM