Friday, November 8, 2013
Friday Steelers' hodgepodge
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Four open locker rooms, conference calls with the opposing coach and an opposing player and weekly chats with both coordinators. All of that access produces a lot of copy but also leaves plenty of leftovers. Here are various notes from stuff I didn't get to this week:
Faith in his teammates: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger vowed that he wouldn't let any of his teammates quit early in the week. But he also clarified what he meant with his no-quit pledge a day after he made it on his weekly radio show. "I thought maybe that might get taken the wrong way," Roethlisberger said. "I am not worried about anybody quitting. Let me say that first and foremost. It's more about I am not going to quit. Just like at the end of the [Patriots] game, everybody was busting to the last play. I just want to make sure that keeps going."
LeBeau bullish on Jones: Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones had just one unassisted tackle and played limited snaps at New England, but Dick LeBeau reiterated that the rookie is making the kind of progress the team had hoped. "You will be talking about that young man for time to come. He has a lot of skill. He is going to continue to grow. That's how I see it."
Winning is everything:Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 61 catches but he is not impressed with numbers that also include an average of 87.6 receiving yards per game. "The only statistic that is important is winning," Brown said. "If we lose all the games and you are just happy because you did well -- it's not about stats. At the end of the day, nobody likes to feel like a loser." Brown said he and the rest of the Steelers players understand what is at stake in the second half of the season following a 2-6 start. "This isn't a kid's game," Brown said. "Everyone knows during the course of losing your job is on the line. The tape is going to be watched."
O'Brien staying put at PSU? Bills coach Doug Marrone is close friends with Penn State coach Bill O'Brien, and he said he doesn't see O'Brien leaving for the NFL anytime soon. O'Brien, a former Patriots offensive coordinator, attracted NFL interest last year after leading Penn State to an 8-4 record despite NCAA sanctions that nearly leveled the football program. "I think he has a great challenge there and he loves it," Marrone said. "I know he's working extremely hard with the challenges and adversity that he's going through but he loves the group of guys that he has and is working extremely hard to keep things going."
Beachum a fixture at LT -- for now: Steeler offensive coordinator Todd Haley gave what appeared to be a vote of confidence to Kelvin Beachum, who will start his fifth game at left tackle Sunday. "He's our left tackle now and any time a guy gets an opportunity to get in there and start at a position -- we've heard all the stories, guys have stayed there for years and years and years," Haley said. "It's his position and we'll see what he does with it." The dilemma the Steelers have with Beachum is the second-year man is not a prototypical left tackle. He is also valued as a player who can be moved around in the event of injuries because of his versatility. "He's risen to the challenge in most jobs he's been given and he's been a very good weapon for us in that you've got a lineman that can play tight end, tackle, guard and center," Haley said.