Steel City wake-up: morning links
A contrast of styles will be on display Sunday when two of the three active quarterbacks who have won multiple Super Bowls face off at Gillette Stadium. One is associated with glamour, the other grit, but both Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are defined by winning no matter how they do it.
Brady has found ways to win this season as the Patriots are 6-2 despite an overhaul of the team’s offensive personnel and injuries to key players on defense. Roethlisberger, meanwhile, has not been able to prevent the Steelers from losing five of their first seven games.
A couple of key fourth-quarter drops by Steelers leading receiver Antonio Brown in Oakland led to a talk in the back of the team plane with Roethlisberger on the way back to Pittsburgh. Brown apologized to his quarterback for not making the plays that might have helped the Steelers overcome an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit and beat the Raiders.
There was plenty of blame to go around following the Steelers’ 21-18 loss, and Roethlisberger accepted some of it for calling a timeout late in the game when he should have taken a delay of game penalty. Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons accepted responsibility for Terrelle Pryor’s 93-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, acknowledging that he got caught out of position.
The loss to the Raiders brought more changes, and one of them is at right outside linebacker. Jason Worilds is again the starter opposite LaMarr Woodley. Worilds played the bulk of the snaps at right outside linebacker in Oakland, and the Steelers made his return to the starting lineup official when they dropped rookie Jarvis Jones behind him on the depth chart.
On the Patriots’ front, rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is experiencing growing pains of his own. Thompkins has not been able to build on his game-winning touchdown catch against the Saints earlier this month, and he has not been a factor in the passing game week in recent weeks.