Tag:Pittsburgh Steelers
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:55 pm

Ike Taylor sorry for 'worst game at worst time'

D. Thomas gives a hellacious stiff-arm to I. Taylor (Getty).By Josh Katzowitz

After Denver’s upset win of the Steelers on Sunday was complete, Pittsburgh cornerback Ike Taylor -- who got smoked by Demaryius Thomas on the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass and had a bad day in general -- didn’t talk to reporters.

Instead, he sat in front of the locker he apparently destroyed and stared at the ground.

"On defense, we felt like we let the team down," Steelers linebacker James Farrior said after the game, via ESPN. "We felt like we had a good grasp of what they were going to do to us or try to do us. They came out and made way more plays that we thought they were capable of making." 

Either way, Taylor felt bad about his role in making Tim Tebow and Thomas, who gave a hellacious stiff-arm to Taylor as he ran to the end zone, the heroes of the game. So, he apologized on Twitter today.

“First off congrats too (sic) tebow and the Broncos … Second I apologize for playing the worst game at the wrong time apologize to my teammates steelernation and family. Luv y'all to def.”

Of course, Taylor shouldn’t bear the brunt of the blame. He wasn’t the only man who allowed Tebow to throw for 316 yards and two touchdowns and to allow Thomas to catch 204 yards worth of receptions. Also, as ESPN’s Jamison Hensley notes, “The Steelers put him in a precarious position by putting him on an island against Thomas, because they were more committed to stopping the run than the pass.”

In fact, as Tebow snapped the ball on that final play, all Pittsburgh defenders were within five yards of the line of scrimmage, because safety Ryan Mundy moved up to defend a possible rush attempt. In effect, the Steelers sold out for the run, and when Thomas made his move, Taylor -- who was on the outside of him -- had no help from his safety.

But yeah, Taylor was the face of the inept Steelers defense on that final play as we saw replay after replay of the game-ender. And while he shouldn’t have to apologize, it’s not hard to recognize how badly Taylor must feel about the whole scenario. That must hurt much worse than the stiff-arm.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:30 pm

Hines Ward says he will NOT retire


By Josh Katzowitz

The fall for Hines Ward this season was precipitous. After all, the four-time Pro Bowler lost his starting job to Antonio Brown in November, and his 46-catch, 381-yard, two-touchdown performance this season was the worst stat line since his rookie season.

But, contrary to what some speculated (his teammates, for instance), the Steelers receiver is not going to step away from the game, announcing on his Facebook page that he’ll return next season.

As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reported Monday morning, Steelers teammates believed Ward might retire. But, Freeman wrote, “that doesn't mean it's set he will. That means some Steelers players believe it which means it's likely to happen. Ward is a different sort of dude. He could decide to hang on for one more year.”

That, Ward wrote, is exactly what he’s going to do:

“I'm also getting lots of questions about retirement so let me set the record straight: I have no plans on retiring right now. I want to win another Superbowl (sic). I don't know where the media is getting this info from but rest assured that when I decide to retire, you'll hear it from ME first.”

Ward, though, probably will have to be content by playing as a backup slot receiver for a Steelers receiving corps that is young and speedy. If, that is, he can make the team at all next year. Which might be a question heading into the 2012 season.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:00 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 5:02 pm

Tim Tebow unlocks $250K playoff bonus in contract

Playoff wins for Tebow = Straight Cash Homie. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Tim Tebow did a lot of things Sunday that no one expected (like throw for exactly 316 passing yards). One such thing: unlocking a $250,000 bonus in his contract for winning a playoff game.

A clause in Tebow's contract paying him that money was activated on Sunday night according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, when Tebow won a playoff game. For every playoff game that Tebow wins, provided he's taken 70 percent of his team's snaps in a season, he gets an additional $250,000.


We already knew that Tebow unlocked a $472,000 bonus for playing in more than 45 percent of his team's snaps back in December.

Closing out the season as the starter, Tebow passed the 70-percent threshold and now is owed an additional $250 GRR.

If the Broncos somehow manage to topple New England, Tebow will be in line for an additional bonus. (And the same is true up through the Super Bowl, giving Tebow the potential to earn an extra ... one million dollars.)

And you know what's almost as funny as Austin Powers jokes? Thinking back to before the season and imagining a world where Tebow not only played in 73 percent of the Broncos plays in 2011, but discussing the possibility of him making an extra quarter-million as a result of beating the Steelers in the playoffs.

Yet, somehow, here we are.

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:03 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 11:18 am

John 3:16 trends again thanks to Tim Tebow

Tebow in the days when he was allowed to wear Bible verses on his eye black. (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson

You'd think that the Tim Tebow story couldn't get any more bananas. You'd be wrong. See, it's not just that Tebow transformed himself into a legitimate passer in the playoffs. Or that Tebow is about to go against the guy who drafted him, Josh McDaniels. How about the fact that the guy who's renowned for writing John 3:16 on his eye black just happened to throw for 316 yards on Sunday in the Broncos win?

Because that actually happened.

The result, as with anything relating to Tim Tebow was predictable, is a Google-splosion:

Timothy is fairly popular. Especially when his passing yards = Bible verses. (Google.com)

Think about this: Beyonce and Jay-Z, arguably two of the 10 most famous people on the planet, had a baby -- TOGETHER! -- and they rank third on the things that the world is searching about, behind two things relating to Timothy J.C. Tebow. (Not to mention the other two searches out-pacing everything else but the new Fusion and baby Beyonce.) It's pretty insane.

And for those that are curious about the further weirdness of statistical anomalies, before last night there were 46 quarterbacks who had thrown for 316 yards in either a playoff or regular season game in NFL history. This morning? There are 47. If only that had any significance to Mr. Tebow ...

There were 46 quarterbacks with 316 passing yards. Now there are 47. (Getty Images)

And one more, just for kicks: there's only one other playoff game in NFL history featuring someone who passed for 316 yards. Sadly, the other person's name isn't "John." (But Tebow's boss is John Elway, so, yeah.)


We'll just have to settle for someone named Daunte.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m. ET: OK, so we're not quite done yet. As our brilliant commenters point out below, Tebow completed 10 passes. That means he averaged 31.6 yards per pass. His final pass was to Thomas who just happens to have been born on Christmas Day. (!)

Oh and this: the Steelers-Broncos game was the most-watched wild-card game since 1988. In the final quarter-hour, the overnight rating was 31.6. Weird stuff man, weird stuff.

As it turns out, the lone interception thrown in the game on Sunday night came from Ben Roethlisberger. What down and distance were involved when he threw it? Third and 16. Of course.

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 6:35 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 6:38 pm

Hobbled Ben, hot Tebow have Steelers in trouble

Tebow's insane second quarter has the Denver up big. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Improbably, Denver led Pittsburgh 20-6 at halftime of the wild-card game on CBS. And it's not because the Broncos went to backup quarterback Brady Quinn, either. It's because Tim Tebow went bananas in the second quarter, tossing 185 passing yards against the Steelers to give Denver the lead.

If you saw this coming, you're lying. Or Tim Tebow maybe.

Somehow, Tebow's arm and mind and confidence shook off the final three weeks of the regular season and he became a legitimate passing quarterback, throwing some gorgeous passes to an array of wide receivers (two to Demaryius Thomas, one to Daniel Fells and a beautiful 30-yard strike to Eddie Royal for a touchdown).

And in Denver, because this is Opposite Day, Ben Roethlisberger is completely ineffective. His ankle injury is a major, major problem because he a) can't step into throws and b) move around to extend plays. At all.

He threw a pick that handed the Broncos three points where Heath Miller missed the ball but a safety spy with Quinton Carter resulted in an easy turnover for the Broncos.

If the Steelers want to hang in there with Denver (and no, I can't believe I'm writing that either), they need to stop leaving Broncos wide receivers open, stop dropping passes, stop giving the Broncos free yards with stupid penalties and give Roethlisberger more time in the pocket to find his receivers.

Either that or hope that someone tells Tebow to "take it down a notch" again.

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 2:45 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 2:50 pm

Fox on Tebow: We expect him to play well vs. PIT

Fox sticks to the talking points: Tebow is Denver's starter ... for now. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Depending on who's talking, the Broncos have plans to feature backup quarterback Brady Quinn in certain situations during Saturday's wild-card game against the Steelers, and quite possibly insert him into the starting lineup should incumbent Tim Tebow struggle, something he's done during the team's three-game losing streak.

Earlier in the week, ProFootballTalk.com reported that Quinn had taken half the practice snaps in preparation for such an eventuality, Quinn refuted it through NFL.com, and then FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer said Sunday that the team will have a third-down package for Quinn against Pittsburgh.

During halftime of the Falcons-Giants game, FoxSport's John Lynch caught up with Broncos head coach John Fox to ask about facing the Steelers.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will go up against Tim Tebow and the Broncos on Sunday in this AFC wild-card matchup. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they preview this upcoming game. Watch the game on CBS at 4:30 PM ET.

"Well, there a great defense, there's no doubt," Fox said. "We're going to have to have balance in both run and pass. And if we don't it's going to be a long day."

As for the Quinn-for-Tebow rumors, Fox offered this:

"We expect all our starters to play well, especially Tim," he said. "Tim's had a great week of preparation, Brady Quinn gets reps every week. He is our backup quarterback but, you know, we expect all our starters to play well and our backups to be ready."

So what have we learned? Not much, really.

Fox, as he's done for most of the season, refuses to provide direct answers about Tebow's station on the depth chart. Then again, that's his prerogative -- he doesn't have to. At some point soon, however, the team will have to make a decision on Tebow's future and that verdict could depend heavily on how he performs Sunday.

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Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:16 am

Steelers RB coach's burns not life threatening

Kirby Wilson was burned in a house fire Friday (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Early Friday morning, Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson was burned badly in a house fire, and he had to be airlifted from his home in Seven Fields to Pittsburgh.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Wilson was burned over 30 to 50 percent of his body, and though his injuries are considered serious, they’re not life-threatening.

"First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with Kirby and his entire family,” Steelers president Art Rooney said in a statement released Friday. "We are saddened to hear about his unfortunate situation but we know that he has the best medical care in the country treating him. The entire organization is praying for Kirby to have a full recovery and we will be by his side through this difficult time."

The team was told about the fire at Wilson’s townhouse at a meeting Friday morning. The blaze began about 3 a.m. Friday morning. Nobody else was in Wilson’s house.

"He's such a hard-working coach," said Isaac Redman, who’s taken over the No. 1 running back spot since Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL. "He was always the first guy in the building. He was always here. He takes pride in the running backs.

"He's taken me really from a practice squad running back to a running back that's capable of playing in this league. He had a lot to do with my development of being able to recognize defenses and being a complete professional in how I go about my life every day. It's just really sad to see this happen to him."

That was a sentiment echoed throughout the locker room Friday. Normally, Wilson is on the Steelers sidelines for games. It’s assumed offensive assistant Harold Goodwin will take his place for Sunday’s playoff game vs. the Broncos.

"You start to think more about his family more than anything. I think football is second," Hines Ward said. "All the guys' thoughts and prayers are with Kirby and his family. Everyone on this team is thinking more of his family, his health and well being.

"It's just crazy. Just yesterday we were laughing, and next thing you know, he's in the hospital.”

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 4:21 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 5:09 pm

Is Tim Tebow in danger of being benched Sunday?

Does Fox really have Tebow's back? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Tim Tebow set the world on fire during the Broncos six-game winning streak that put them in first place in the AFC West. But during Denver's final three games -- all losses -- Tebow looked totally different, and there's starting to be some serious chatter about the possibility that he could be benched Sunday against Pittsburgh if he struggles.

Our Broncos Rapid Reporter Lee Rasizer notes on Friday that Denver coach John Fox didn't "eliminate the possibility" during his press conference, although he did support Tebow's efforts as the Broncos starter.

"Well, he's on the football team," Fox said of backup Brady Quinn. "So everybody on the team's ready. Like every game, we expect our starters to play well and if for some reason an injury occurs or something happens, it's next man up."

Adding fuel to the fire is a report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source that says backup Brady Quinn has been getting "roughly half the first-team reps in practice all week."

However, Quinn, in a text message to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com, denied Florio's report, saying he hasn't "gotten any extra reps." Quinn said he usually gets two reps, “if any” on Friday with the first team, but that he got two this week.

Over the final three games of the season (again, all losses) Tebow went 30 of 73 ("good" for a 41.1 completion percentage) for 439 passing yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.

In that time, however, he was effective on the ground, picking up 5.11 yards per carry while rushing 28 times for 143 yards. The first-team reps can even be explained as "due diligence," considering the Broncos would need a non-Tebow offense installed in the event that they decide to yank on his apparently short leash.

The big difference between "Winning Tebow" and "Losing Tebow" is turnovers. (Which, actually, is kind of the difference between almost every good/bad version of a quarterback; don't let anyone fool you into thinking this is a Tebow-centric problem.) Tebow's fumbled four times in the past three games (two were lost), versus twice in the previous six games before that.

Add in the interceptions and defenses figuring out how to minimize the damage Tebow can do (press man coverage versus zone defenses)

And there's a pretty good chance that Tebow will struggle on Sunday against the Steelers. They are, if you don't know, pretty good at defense.

But it's still disappointing to see Fox waffling on his support of the Broncos starter, particularly since they'd currently be sitting at home without Tebow's emergence as a viable albeit different starter in the NFL.

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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