Steelers Notebook: Rookie Jacobs released

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The Steelers gave up on rookie quarterback Omar Jacobs when they released him from their practice squad yesterday.

The team drafted Jacobs in the fifth round from Bowling Green University, where he passed for 6,938 yards. He had every chance to win the No. 3 job behind Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch and failed to do so.

The Steelers contacted the agent for quarterback Brian St. Pierre even before Roethlisberger's Sept. 3 appendectomy with the idea he would become the No. 3 quarterback. St. Pierre served as the backup for the opener Thursday and Jacobs remained on the practice squad.

Coach Bill Cowher said he has no plans to make any moves to his 53-man roster this week, which means St. Pierre will remain on it for at least one more game. It's possible he could go onto the practice squad after that.

The Steelers signed receiver Walter Young back to their practice squad to replace Jacobs. Young spent the past two seasons on their practice squad.

Davenport fits in

Veteran halfback Najeh Davenport, signed on Friday, will get a chance to play Monday night in Jacksonville.

"We will see what he is able to pick up and how comfortable he is," Cowher said. "I think he is a proven big back and I think we are looking for that."

The Steelers would like to find someone to take some carries off the shoulders of starter Willie Parker and also to use around the goal line. Davenport, 27, is 6 feet 1, 247 pounds.

"I have watched him run; I think he fits what we are looking for," Cowher said. "He is a young guy. He could also play some in the kicking game. He has played third down, he has played fullback. I think he gives you a lot of versatility.

"I think he is the one guy that was out there that fits what we were looking for at this point, with the makeup of our roster."

Parker ran 29 times, the most in his brief pro career, against Miami Thursday night and Cowher does not want to give his 5-10, 209-pound back a steady diet of that.

"It's not so much the size, it's the size as it relates to 16 games and wanting to have him fresh," Cowher said. "I don't want to give Willie 30 carries a game, every game. The fact that we're running the football means we have to utilize our other guys."

Parker carried 255 times last season for 1,202 yards, adding another 57 carries for 225 yards in the postseason.

No sympathy for Saban

Cowher seemed to have no sympathy for the plight of Miami coach Nick Saban over his throwing the late red challenge flag Thursday night that was missed by referee Walt Coleman.

He said he does not expect coaches to change the way they toss the flag because they've been told they can toss it any way they want to make sure the referee sees it.

"I've been down there standing right next to the guy," Cowher said. "We've always had the freedom to do that. That has never been an issue in my mind."

Cowher said he has followed a similar procedure, finding the closest official, letting him know he might throw a flag and then staying close to the official when he does toss it.

"You can leave the [coach's] box and go down to the side judge or line judge, whoever is on your side, and just sit there and throw it. He'll blow the whistle. I've told them before that I'm looking at it and they tell you to be careful you don't get too close to the snap count. That's really a non-issue."

A slippery issue

The Steelers looked as if they were playing on Chiquita Field rather than Heinz Field Thursday night because players slipped so often.

Cowher noticed that and the fact that the Miami Dolphins did not seem to have that kind of trouble with their footing, and he talked to his players about it.

"I brought it to their attention," Cowher said. "Hopefully, it will be something that will be rectified in the future."

In other words, he wants his players to wear the proper shoes with cleats of an appropriate length for the field conditions.

Quick hits

The Steelers are 0-3 in Jacksonville in the month of September. ... The Steelers, for a change, will wear their white jerseys in the early season game in the Florida heat and the Jaguars will wear the teal. However, with an 8:30 p.m. kickoff, the dark jerseys won't have a chance to soak up any extra sun. ... Batch's 126.5 passer rating in the opener was his best since his rookie season in Detroit in 1998.

Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
Omar Jacobs will not get a chance to grab the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback job.
Click photo for larger image.
Listen In:

Audio commentary from Bill Cowher's press conference Tuesday:

Listen to the entire press conference
On the fallout over "Flag-gate"
On new acquisition Najeh Davenport
On pacing Willie Parker through the season




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