Steelers Notebook: Roethlisberger's new address part of his image overhaul?
Mike Tomlin gathers the team around him at the end of practice Wednesday. It was the final day for two-a-day practices this week as the team prepares for Saturday night's preseason opener vs. Detroit at Heinz Field.
Somewhere inside the helmet and behind all the extras is Hines Ward before the start of Wednesday's afternoon practice at Saint Vincent College.
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Ben Roethlisberger no longer lists Findlay as his hometown and instead now "hails" from a town in Ohio that does not really exist.
Talk about trying to put your past behind you.
The quarterback enthusiastically called Findlay, Ohio, home since the Steelers drafted him in 2004. But he has made a revision. His hometown is now listed as Cory Rawson, Ohio, in the Steelers' media guide and all of their rosters, at Roethlisberger's request.
Why the change? Roethlisberger will only say that he did not actually live in Findlay, but went to Findlay High School. Rawson, Ohio, also in Hancock County, is 10 miles from Findlay. There is no Cory Rawson, Ohio, nor is there a Cory, Ohio, but there is a Mt. Cory which makes up part of the Cory-Rawson school district.
It may be yet another way, even if it is subtle, for Roethlisberger to try to make changes and move forward.
• Game: Steelers vs. Detroit Lions in the preseason opener, Heinz Field.
• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
• TV: KDKA.
• The skinny: The Steelers are 110-96-1 all-time in the preseason.
Linebacker James Harrison believes linebacker Lawrence Timmons will have a better 2010 than he did in 2009 for one big reason: He'll know what he's doing.
"We all expect a better year out of him," Harrison said. "Last year he was doing some things that were just learning things, knowing where he was supposed to be when certain plays are run. He was out of position a lot more than we were used to seeing at that position."
They were used to seeing Larry Foote play there. Foote fled to the Detroit Lions last season when he realized he would lose his starting job at inside linebacker to Timmons. He's back now and being paid like a starter to back up Timmons and James Farrior.
Timmons will know the defense better this season, Harrison said, so he can react rather than think while playing.
Harrison wishes the officials would react differently too, like throw a yellow flag when he's getting held or clotheslined by offensive tackles. It was an issue in 2008 and Harrison said it got worse last season when he was held more than ever without penalties called.
"I got used to getting two people blocking me or getting held. It's just something you have to fight through. There's nothing you can say. You can say whatever you want to, if they don't call it, they don't call it. I don't know what else I can do. It was probably worse last year than it had been the previous two years."
Coach Mike Tomlin would not reveal his quarterback rotation for the game Saturday night against Detroit at Heinz Field. He said he might today.
All four quarterbacks continued to work in practice Wednesday afternoon.
Harrison returned from the injury list to participate in both practices Wednesday. He had arm fatigue and had been held out starting Sunday.
A few others, however, joined the injured: NT Chris Hoke has what Tomlin called a "minor knee injury, could be day to day, we'll see how that unfolds;" S Arnaz Battle has a "little training camp knee;" CB Joe Burnett (back spasms) and TE Matt Spaeth (minor groin) also watched practice.
Tomlin used a scout team in the morning practice to simulate a 4-3 defense because the Steelers will see that when they play the Lions and New York Giants the next two weeks.