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Tag:Antwaan Randle El
Posted on: June 22, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 9:27 am
 

Big Ben backs Plax return to Steelers

On Tuesday, my colleague Ryan Wilson wondered whether or not Plaxico Burress could end up back with his original team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. As Ryan noted, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the possibility.

Apparently not one of them, though: Ben Roethlisberger's support. That's because Ben apparently is down with bringing Plax back to Pittsburgh.

"I've talked to Plax a number of times in the last couple of weeks," Roethlisberger said, per Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I told him, 'Hey, if you came back here that would be awesome, but I'm just happy to see you playing again' because he's a good guy."

As Wilson pointed out, there are a number of problems with bringing Burress back to Pittsburgh. Namely, are there even enough footballs to go around in order to find out if Plaxico's still got it after 20 months in the hole?

Right now, the Steelers are staring at a wide receiver corps that features Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. (Presumably, Antwaan Randle El would be the casualty of a Burress signing.)

But maybe -- as we've noted in previous discussions tying Plax to Philly -- that's the best possible situation for the former first-rounder. After all, if he can step in as a big end-zone target, he'll only help to diversify an already stout group of wideouts.

And as far as public relations go, well, it's not as if dealing with off-field issues would be something new for the 2011 Steelers either.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:30 am
 

Could Plaxico Burress end up back in Pittsburgh?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We spent a lot of time Monday explaining why the Steelers should pass on 36-year-old running back Tiki Barber (you'd think the phrase "36-year-old running back" would suffice in scaring off potential suitors; apparently not). But Barber's not the only former NFL player on the wrong side of 30 looking for gainful employment.

Plaxico Burress, fresh out of prison and more than two years removed from his last NFL game, wants to get back in the league. Interest has been lukewarm, although that may change once the lockout ends and free agency begins.

For now, though, Sports Illustrated's Peter King is "mind-boggled" by the tepid interest in Burress. King writes: "Just stupid. In the right offense he'll be the big target many teams lack, and, if healthy, he'll catch 60-plus balls and be a good deep threat. At worst? He's not going to cost much. What's the downside? Rams, Browns? Tell me. I'm dying to know."

Well, one team that appears to be interested also drafted Burress in 2000. Yep, the Steelers.

Twitastic details via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat reporter Gerry Dulac.

"Steelers coaches are interested in Burress but depends on price. They would release Randle El to make room."

We have little trouble believing the Steelers would release Antwaan Randle El. By the end of the season, he had lost his job to rookies Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. And while Randle El is a valuable locker room presence, he doesn't have much left as a player.

Whether that means Burress could replace him is another conversation. Ben Roethlisberger has long supported Burress and lobbied the organization to keep Burress when his contract expired after the 2004 season.

Roethlisberger has also said previously that he likes throwing to tall targets, even though, on average, height doesn't have any bearing on a wide receiver's effectiveness. For recent proof, just look at Limas Sweed. Of course, if Dulac is right, Steelers coaches might consider Burress the type of player they were hoping Sweed would grow into.

In the end, we remain skeptical about Burress returning to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and Sanders at the top of the depth chart, and Brown will likely be the No. 4 wide receiver. We're not sure there are enough snaps to go around. Or more importantly: what type of player Burress will be after spending more than 20 months in prison.

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Posted on: January 19, 2011 3:05 pm
 

Tomlin not happy that trick play was reported

M. Tomlin wasn't pleased a potential trick play was released before Pittsburgh faced Baltimore (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When ESPN.com’s Bob Holtzman wrote last week about a potential trick play the Steelers possibly would use vs. the Ravens, I wondered about the fall-out.

Holtzman reported that if the Ravens got into a certain defense, Pittsburgh had a trick play it had never run before ready to go and that it involved WR Antwaan Randle El (but would not include him throwing the ball).

Today, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin let Holtzman know he wasn’t happy about the report.

As USA Today recaps, Holtzman asked Tomlin a question today about how much time it takes to prepare for Rex Ryan’s defense.

Responded Tomlin: "It depends on whether or not you give him my plays, you know," Tomlin said.

And he wasn’t joking.

Football coaches, generally speaking, are some of the most paranoid members of our society, and they take great pains to make sure nothing regarding game-planning is leaked. Reporters, generally speaking, adhere to the rules of not writing about potential plays – trick or otherwise – they see while watching practice. It’s understood that much of what you see at practice is not for public consumption.

It’s also why some teams keep practices off-limit to non-local reporters. Holtzman is a very good, very experienced reporter, so he must have known he would face condemnation when he reported on the trick play.

My question: was the scoop worth it? Especially since the Steelers ran no such play in their win vs. Baltimore.

If you follow this link, you can see the video of Tomlin today and judge for yourself. Holtzman's question occurs about the 1:35 mark.

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 10:57 pm
 

What will happen to Pat White?

P. White was cut by Miami this weekend, and his NFL future is in doubt (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I saw Pat White play live three times when he was at West Virginia. He never failed to impress. Yes, he wasn’t the greatest thrower, but his athleticism and his field vision and his ability to do exactly the damn thing that he needed to do to lead the Mountaineers to victory were impressive.

He, simply put, is one of the best collegiate players I’ve seen.

But when Miami took him in the second round of last year’s draft, I thought it was just a tad high. Like two rounds too high. While I figured he wouldn’t be a star at quarterback, I thought he could remain in the NFL for a while if he could find a niche. Maybe be the next Antwaan Randle El (also selected in the second round) or Ronald Curry –athletic college QBs who caught on as NFL receivers.

Instead, it looks like White might be done after one lone season.

Pro Football Talk writes tonight that, after the Dolphins released him last week, nobody in the NFL has shown any interest in hiring him.

The problem, though White will go down as the greatest player in Big East history (and the guy who probably saved the BCS bid for the conference), is that he’s not big enough (6 feet, 190 pounds) and can’t take an NFL pounding (witness this video of last year’s Steelers game ).

Tonight, I asked, via a series of text messages, a former NFL player who followed White’s career at West Virginia what he thought about White’s NFL future.

Me: You surprised nobody seems interested in Pat White? Does his skill set just not work well in the NFL?

Him: Not really. I think he could help a team, but he would have to be willing to play another position while developing as a QB. Plus people are wondering why the Dolphins gave up on him after one year. But I think if he sticks with it, he can make it. Ala Jeff Garcia.

Me: How could you play another position and still develop as a QB? Doesn’t seem like there is enough time in the day.

Him: If he’s listed as a WR. He can still run scout team QB and do things like that. Would take doing extra.


But does White even want to play in the NFL? According to numerous reports, he had second thoughts about whether he even should return for his sophomore season. Thoughts of playing pro baseball again reportedly crept into his mind.

Maybe, just maybe, getting cut was the best thing that could have happened to White. Maybe the NFL isn't interested in Pat White, but maybe Pat White isn't interested in the NFL either.

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 9:12 pm
 

Steelers fans cheer Roethlisberger

B. Roethlisberger and B. Leftwich at Pittsburgh practice today (AP). All Ben Roethlisberger wants from the Steelers fan base is a second chance (or, more accurately, a fourth chance. That’s what he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for today’s editions.

Roethlisberger mentioned how nervous he was driving to camp, simply because he didn’t know the reaction he’d receive after another turbulent offseason that resulted in a (for now) six-game suspension to open this year.

"I am hoping and praying that I get a warm reception,” he told the paper Friday afternoon. “I hope people want to give me another chance and that they will give me that chance to prove to them ... It would tear me apart if (booing) happened at home. On the road we are used to it anyway. I can block that out; but it touches my heart because I love Pittsburgh.”

Those prayers seemed to work.

From the Associated Press :

What Roethlisberger didn't expect was this: Waves of cheering supporters wearing his No. 7 jersey and knocking over temporary security fences to get the autograph of a player whose vulgar off-field behavior led the NFL to suspend him for six games.

Roethlisberger, so disliked in Pittsburgh a few months ago that he wondered if he'd ever regain a sliver of his previous support, was greeted warmly by an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 10,000 on Saturday at Saint Vincent College. He heard few, if any jeers, and many fans appeared to go out of their way to embrace him.

There were cheers when Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward arrived on the practice field together, and more when the quarterback found Antwaan Randle El on a pass route.

Pumped up by the response, Roethlisberger couldn't recall throwing a single incompletion during a nearly two-hour practice.

"I was nervous, scared, anxious, a lot of emotions," Roethlisberger said.


Roethlisberger, after practice, signed and gave away both of his shoes. Even Ward – no stranger to criticizing Roethlisberger – had nice things to say.

"For many years, people didn't know what was really going on with Ben," Ward said. "He's starting to open up and be more personal with guys. Today he was talking to everybody. I really think he understands the situation. I think you could really see the excitement in him, competing and playing football again. ... He's working on trying to improve himself."

Roethlisberger worked out with the first team today, but that could change Sunday. It sounds like Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon will rotate with the different teams.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 18, 2010 4:03 pm
 

Randle El defends Zorn

You don’t find many people these days defending former Redskins coach Jim Zorn, who led Washington to a 12-20 record during his two-year tenure. But that’s exactly what WR Antwaan Randle El did Saturday.

In comments to nwitimes.com , Randle El said Redskins owner Daniel Snyder didn’t give Zorn a fair chance to succeed and grow in his new role.

"When Jim Zorn was there, he was hands-on," said Randle El, who was released by Washington this offseason and is now with the Steelers. "He had great potential, but Dan Snyder was too involved because he didn't trust coach Zorn as much as he did coach (Joe) Gibbs, and those were things that prevented us from success as a team."

--Josh Katzowitz

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L">@cbssportsnfl</a> on Twitter.</i>


 
 
 
 
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