Tag:Ben Roethlisberger
Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:30 pm

VIDEO: Steelers on set of next Batman movie

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Taking a break from sweating in the hot sun in western Pennsylvania while at training camp, about 12 Steelers spent last Saturday morning at Heinz Field spending time under the hot lights of Hollywood and pretending to play football.

As the Pittsburgh Tribune Review writes, Ben Roethlisberger, S Troy Polamalu, WR Hines Ward, LB James Farrior, C Maurkice Pouncey, TE Heath Miller, DE Brett Keisel* and S Ryan Clark all participated in the shooting for “The Dark Knight Rises,” the new Batman movie scheduled to drop next summer.

*Yes, but what about Keisel’s beard?

“You put the uniform on, you sit around a long time, guys with the cameras come and get you and you go on the field and do our little part," said defensive end Aaron Smith, who, with his teammates, played for a club called the Gotham Rogues. "Batman was not on site when I was there. Saw a bunch of football guys."

It’s unfortunate that Batman was not at Heinz Field that day (perhaps, Christian Bale was indulging in some Primanti Bros.?), but to ease that pain, there is video of part of the day’s events (though if you can tell what’s going on in the shot, you’re a better person than me).

So, why did producers set up Pittsburgh for the shot and, specifically, use the Steelers as the Rogues? According to the AP, the executive producer, Thomas Tull, is a member of the team’s ownership group. See? It's always about who you know.

H/T to Yahoo! Sports’ Shutdown Corner.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:50 am
Edited on: August 5, 2011 8:55 am

LaMarr Woodley signs 6-year, $61.5 million deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Steelers franchised linebacker LaMarr Woodely prior to the lockout. Friday morning he tweeted this: "Wanted u 2 hear it here 1st- drafted here... super bowl here.. will retire here!! time 2 get u #7!! @STEELERS 4 LIFE!!"

Translation: the Steelers signed Woodley to a six-year, $61.5 million deal. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the contract "includes a $22.5 million bonus and will significantly reduce his previous salary cap number. He was to be on the books for about $10 million in 2010 because of the franchise tag the Steelers applied to him. His new salary cap number could be about half of that."

And a source tells PFT that Woodley will make $18.1 million in 2011, and $27 million over two years making him the second highest-paid player in team history behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (By comparison, James Harrison signed a six-year, $51.7 million contract in 2009.)

Since the lockout ended, Pittsburgh hasn't been as aggressive in free agency as their cross-state counterparts, Philadelphia, but they have been busy rejiggering their roster. They cut Max Starks, Antwaan Randle El and Flozell Adams, and re-signed cornerback Ike Taylor and now Woodley, two key cogs in the league's best defense a year ago.

A former 2007 second-round pick out of Michigan, Woodley has 39 sacks in his NFL career, including 10 in 2010. The Steelers first-round selection in 2007, inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, is now on the short list of players next in line for a new deal.

One final thought on the Woodley news: Joe Flacco must be psyched.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 7:06 pm

Nevada court keeps Roethlisberger trial in Reno

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After two consecutive offseasons that resulted in women accusing Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault, the Steelers franchise quarterback served a four-game suspension to start the 2010 season for violating the league's personal conduct policy, and spent the ensuing months trying to salvage his image.

While the Steelers' offseason wasn't particularly quiet, we didn't hear a peep from Big Ben until late July … when he married Ashley Harlan.

Roethlisberger appears to have matured in recent months, but that doesn't mean his past may not catch up to him. The Nevada Supreme Court decided Thursday that a civil suit accusing Roethlisberger of sexual assault can be tried in the county where it was originally filed.

PFT head honcho and attorney Mike Florio explains:

"It means that the case will finally proceed, and that it will do so in the county in which the plaintiff’s lawyer chose to file the case. Fights over forum selection are common in civil suits. The lawyer representing the plaintiff, when faced with a choice of possible venues, picks the one that the lawyer believes will be the kindest to the plaintiff. If the lawyer for the defendant(s) believes that another possible forum exists that would be less favorable to the plaintiff, the lawyer for the defendant(s) sometimes tries to move the case there."

The lawsuit stems from an August 2009 incident when a 33-year-old woman working at Harrah's Lake Tahoe while Roethlisberger was staying there during a celebrity golf tournament, accused the Steelers QB of sexually assaulting her.

"We're delighted with the court's ruling and look forward to proceeding with the case in 2nd Judicial District Court," the woman's lawyer, Cal Dunlap, told the Associated Press when contacted by telephone.

David Cornwell, one of Roethlisberger's attorneys, said the Supreme Court ruling "does not affect the likely outcome of this case." And in an emailed statement to the AP, Cornwell said after considering the woman's own words, "the jury will conclude that Ben has been falsely accused."

Either way, as Florio points out, it might be in Roethlisberger's best interests to settle the case before it gets to court if for no other reason than to put the incident behind him and get on with his life.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 9:38 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 9:38 pm

Roethlisberger, Harrison redo contracts for cap

Posted by Will Brinson

Every team in the NFL is scrambling to get under the $120 million salary cap by the (still theoretical!) start of the year on Thursday, August 4. Which is precisely why the Steelers recently re-worked the contracts of superstars Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the two Steelers players have agreed to restructure their current deals in order to help the team get underneath the cap by the start of the league year.

"It was something for Ben to do," Ben's agent Ryan Tollner said. "The team needed to free up space and Ben was certainly happy to help out."

Roethlisberger signed an eight-year, $102 million deal back in March of 2008 and Harrison signed a six-year, $51.7 million deal in April of 2009.

This would normally be where we might say something like "good for these guys for doing the Steeler-like-thing by taking less money." But they're not doing that (although you can all but bet they'll be applauded for their selflessness).

Instead, Roethlisberger and Harrison are spreading the amount of money they'll earn over the course of a different time frame so that the Steelers can benefit in the long run.

Yes, this works just like any sort of money movement in that, eventually, there money will be paid and it'll be paid against the salary cap. It was just a matter of whether the Steelers felt like they could deal with the hit now or deal with it later.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 1:09 pm

Sadly, Harrison apologizes to Goodell

HarrisonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

You remember what Steelers LB James Harrison told Men’s Journal, yes? Harrison now would like you to know that he's very, very sorry about that, telling reporters that his comments might have been just a bit out of line.

You’ll recall that he called commissioner Roger Goodell a “crook” and a “devil” (and ahem, a gay slur, "stupid," "puppet" and "dictator"), and he said other nasty assorted things about QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Rashard Mendenhall.

But obviously this was the best line in the article regarding Goodell: "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it. I hate him and will never respect him."

So, obviously, we couldn’t wait to hear what Harrison had to say when he first talked to reporters Friday during the opening of Steelers training camp. What other bodily functions would Harrison choose to use as metaphors when diiscussing Goodell?

Instead, Harrison went soft, saying, basically: um, hey guys, that's my bad.

"The interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate, at the least," Harrison said, via ESPN.com. "They were way out of line, and I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time. Any comments that I made that offended anyone, I apologize."

Despite talking trash about some of his teammates, he hasn’t apparently created any long-term problems. In fact, team president Art Rooney said any discipline directed at Harrison won’t go as far as a suspension from team activities.

"That's all behind us," Harrison said. "Those comments [toward teammates] were taken out of context with a long conversation. It's not anything I haven't talked to those guys about or my teammates about."

And though Harrison was apologetic, I wouldn’t expect the muzzle to stay on too long (the guy DID just debate the merits of taking a leak on the commissioner). Nor would we have that any other way.

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Posted on: July 24, 2011 11:34 am

Your "Roethlisberger is married?!?" FAQ sheet

B. Roethlisberger has gotten married (Goldstein Photography).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Ben Roethlisberger married his fiancé, Ashley Harlan, Saturday, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette gives us a detailed report with how exactly how the ceremony and reception proceeded.

So, a quick Q&A session so you can get all your “Roethlisberger is married?!?” queries answered without you having to search too hard.

How many people were at the wedding? About 600.

Was Steelers LB James Harrison there? You know the guy who told Men’s Journal that Roethlisberger should “stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain't that, and you know it, man. You just get paid like he does."  Yes, Harrison reportedly was in attendance.

Did the two engage in fisticuffs? No.

If they did, who would win? I would pick Harrison in a second-round KO. Except Roethlisberger is hard to bring down. So, the ref would probably have to stop the fight with Roethlisberger dazed and leaning against the ropes.

Were the wedding colors black and gold? No, it sounds like the drapes that the reporters could see were cream with gray and pink accents, while “the ballroom featured a silver, ivory and blush pink color scheme.”

How ‘bout those centerpieces? From the article, they were “created from locally grown phalaenopsis orchids, roses, hydrangea and peonies in shades of ivory, white and blush pinks.” Sounds pretty, eh?

Were workers at the reception site allowed to carry cell phones? No.

If the over/under on the bridal party was set at 16, how should I bet? Over. Apparently, it was a 21-person bridal party.

If the over/under on the amount of tiers on the wedding cake was set at five, how should I bet? Over. It was a six-tiered vanilla bean buttercream cake.

Most important question. What was on the dinner menu? Filet and halibut from the Common Plea restaurant (for my money, one of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh).

Second-most important question. Where is the happy couple honeymooning? They’re not. You know why, though, right? Because football is almost here.

Photo courtsey of Goldstein Photography.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 5:28 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 5:49 pm

Vrabel doesn't think NFL should punish Harrison

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Steelers linebacker James Harrison probably isn't much of a poker player. The man is primarily known for two things: being one of the NFL's most tenacious linebackers, and for speaking his mind, even when it's not in his best interest. The most recent evidence for the latter came last week when Harrison unloaded on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall in an interview with Men's Journal.

That led to the inevitable media backlash promptly followed by some Harrison backtracking and PR damage control. To Harrison's credit, he wasted little time telling Roethlisberger that his words were misconstrued, and shortly thereafter issued a statement apologizing to Goodell, too.

So that happened. And now that we're all done parsing Harrison's every word, the conversation has turned to whether Goodell is within his rights to fine or suspend Harrison once the lockout ends. (We've had similar conversations about Kenny Britt, who can't seem to stay out of trouble.)

It's an issue that will likely be negotiated as part of the new collective bargaining agreement.

While we wait for that eventuality, however, soon-to-be free agent Darren Sharper said on Fox Sports Radio recently that Harrison shouldn't face league sanctions.

"At this point, with the lockout, I think James looked at it as his liberty and knew that he had the perfect time to say what he wanted to say and not have to face any repercussions because they can’t do anything because there is no CBA agreement," Sharper said, according to Sports Radio Interviews. "He can’t get fined and it might be something at the end of the road where they can go back and fine him at a later date, but right now he’s in the clear to say whatever he wants to."

Harrison's Busy Week

Recently retired Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel echoed Sharper's sentiments. During a Friday radio appearance on Boston's WEEI, he said that the NFLPA "would have an issue if (Harrison) were suspended or fined."

Vrabel elaborated: "I know that James Harrison is a heck of a player and one the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans and their coaches probably really enjoy and are glad that he's on their team," he said. "As long as his teammates are fine with it, we support him as an association."

Vrabel also thinks that Goodell is a big boy and can handle the criticism.

"Roger's got big shoulders, Roger understands," he said. "I would say to Roger or anybody else that had a problem with it, I would say what Bill (Belichick) said to us: 'To (those who) much is given, much is expected. And Roger is given a lot in form of compensation and being in the situation that he's in, so there's a lot expected of him. And if that means taking the higher road and calling James and trying to figure out how to get this thing settled between them or whatever issue they have going on."

Whether that happens remains to be seen. First things first: the owners and players have to agree on an new CBA.

PFT's Mike Florio writes that "one source with general knowledge of the dynamics recently suggested that Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith already have come to an understanding on the point."

Florio adds: "But we’ll have trouble understanding any understanding that allows the NFL to punish players for arrests occurring during the lockout. Indeed, a decision by the NFLPA* to expose players retroactively to responsibility for violations of the personal conduct policy could open the door for a fairly potent lawsuit alleging breach of the duty of fair representation, which could open a fairly significant can of worms given that the labor deal will have been negotiated at a time when, technically, the NFLPA* has the power to represent no one."

Finally, Florio points out that the players who have run afoul of the law aren't getting away with anything by escaping NFL-related sanctions. They still have to answer to the legal system, the media and the fans. Obviously, this doesn't apply to Harrison, who broke no laws when he called Goodell a "clown" and the "devil," and it could be another reason the league chooses not to discipline him.

Then again, arbitrarily meting out punishments has been a criticism (hallmark?) of Goodell's enforcement strategy. It's impossible to predict what he might do. 

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 9:58 pm

Harrison's agent: 'A lot of it is bravado'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, we learned not only how James Harrison feels about Roger Goodell but also his thoughts on teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. None of the remarks were laudatory.

While this would have been a news story no matter the time of year, that we're four months into a lockout guaranteed it would be the lead news story for several news cycle.

So here we are some 36 hours after the initial story broke … still talking about Harrison. Except now, it's less about what he said and more about how those around him can help stuff the genie back into the bottle. (Frankly, it might be easier to just build a time machine.)

Harrison said that his comments on Roethlisberger were taken out of context (and Thursday night he released a statement apologizing for, well, everything), teammate Lawrence Timmons came to his defense, and even the author of the Men's Journal piece that started it all tried to provide Harrison some cover.

It was only a matter of time, but Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, has weighed in as well. And to hear him tell it (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), "A lot of [what Harrison said is] bravado."

Parise continued: "I think people have to be careful not to read that and think those statements are anything more than expressions of feelings, particularly in regard to the commissioner. The commissioner fined James $100,000 last year. What do you want him to say, he's my best friend? James is a tough individual, and that's the type of language he uses."

Wisely, Parise didn't make Harrison available to the Post-Gazette. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the paper: "We are not commenting on any aspect of the story."

Harrison's Big Day

Not until the lockout ends, anyway.

CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel thinks the commissioner (who Harrison referred to as a clown and the devil) should suspend the Steelers linebacker for a game and fine him $250,000.

"I don't think we should get caught up in his cultural language," Parise said. "I think people will read that for what it is and move on. I don't think anyone truly believes James thinks the commissioner is the devil."

Neither Roethlisberger nor Mendenhall said they were concerned about Harrison's criticism of them, and Steelers President Art Rooney II didn't provide much in the way of details in a statement issued Wednesday. "I have not yet seen the article in Men's Journal nor have I spoken to James Harrison about his comments," he said. "We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted, once the labor situation is resolved."

The sooner the lockout ends the better for the Steelers, an outfit that can't seem to steer clear of trouble in recent offseasons. If anybody in the organization is glad to see Harrison hogging the spotlight, it's probably Hines Ward, who was arrested for DUI in Georgia last weekend.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com