Connect with us


Haden, Nelson Have Steelers Hunting for Takeaways



PITTSBURGH — The biggest news item from the first day of Steelers OTA’s is that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is going to be around a lot more during the team’s 10 early summer training sessions than he has in the past.

Roethlisberger thinks that his participation will help from a leadership standpoint, and also from a functional one, so that he can get on the same page as his new receivers.

But there’s a secondary benefit that doesn’t even have anything to do with the Steelers’ offense.

When Roethlisberger is slinging the ball to his new targets with the first-team offense, that’s giving the Steelers’ first-team defense quality reps against one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

Even a veteran like Joe Haden, who is in his third season of OTAs with the Steelers, appreciates the chance to face one of the league’s top passers in a practice setting.

“It’s amazing, man,” Haden said. “You can’t get any better practice than by going against Ben. Whenever we get those ones versus ones reps, I’m always super locked in and focused, because he puts the ball on the money. He does a great job of just touch. Wherever he’s got to put the ball, the ball gets there. He can make every single throw. A lot of people say that, but Ben literally can, so I enjoy going against him, because I feel like if I can make plays on him, it doesn’t matter who the quarterback is.”

Of course, Haden felt comfortable saying that on Tuesday, because he intercepted Roethlisberger’s first pass of the session.

“I just told Joe I did that on purpose to get him ready for the year,” Roethlisberger joked.

“Man, I doubt it,” Haden responded, laughing. “I doubt it. I think it was more of a good play on my side. I always love going against great quarterbacks. He puts the ball on the money a lot. He’s going to get me, you know what I’m saying? This was just the first day. I started off one up.”

Passing against the Steelers defense might be tougher across the board for Roethlisberger this summer, thanks to the addition of Steve Nelson from Kansas City. Nelson led the Chiefs with four interceptions a year ago, and adding him to play opposite Haden should give the Steelers a pair of corners that can make opposing quarterbacks pay for wayward passes.

Nelson thinks he can learn from Haden — and not just the first pick of practice on Tuesday.

“It’s great just having someone in the room like that, in his 10th year at a high level,” Nelson said. “It definitely helps me elevate my game. I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions just to see from a different perspective. A guy like that has a lot of experience. You just kind of want to see how he sees things through his eyes sometimes.”

What Haden sees so far is a cornerback group that can be among the best during his time in Pittsburgh, with a little bit of hard work. That’s going to be the focus for his unit over the next nine practices.

“I feel like it’s just everyone doing great communication, creating turnovers, hustling to the ball, catching the interceptions that come hit us in our hands,” he said. “Basically, a lot of fundamentals.”


James Conner Surprises Mom with New House



Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner warmed hearts last month when he surprised his father with a new truck.

Now, he is taking care of mom.

Conner recently surprised his mother with a brand new house, sharing her emotional reaction to Twitter on Saturday.

Conner was able to pull off the surprise for his mother, Kelly Bibbs, with the help of his brothers. While Bibbs may have not realized what exactly was going on at first, seeing her son James and the golden balloons arranged to say “Welcome Home” quickly gave it away.

Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry shared their thoughts on the big surprise, among other on social media.

Conner’s gesture is a continuation of an offseason of giving that saw him gift his father a brand new truck back on June 6.

Entering his fourth season out of Pitt, Conner is looking for a bounce back season following an injury plagued 2019 campaign. He rushed for 464 yards and four touchdowns, but played in only ten games for the Steelers.

Last season was a far cry from 2018, when Conner was a breakout sensation replacing Le’Veon Bell. He ran for 973 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl honors.

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the 25-year-old has something to prove in 2020.

Continue Reading


Bill Cowher Reveals He and His Wife Recovered from COVID-19



Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and his wife Veronica have and recovered from COVID-19, the future Hall of Fame told Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.

While not diagnosed at the time, the couple experienced symptoms back in March following a trip to Hawaii, and tested positive for the virus antibodies in April.

According to Bouchette’s story, Cowher first knew something was wrong when he was unable to smell flowers he had purchased from a florist, and could not taste his wife’s cooking. Cowher also said he experienced shaky joints and a fever, while Veronica had a cough.

Cowher also shared his thoughts on the NFL season going forward, and if he thinks the league will be able to start up without a hitch. He seems skeptical.

“I don’t know,” Cowher said via Pro Football Talk. “No. 1, the players have to feel comfortable with whatever they come up with from a testing standpoint, from a protocol standpoint. I totally understand the reluctance. Even though they say young people aren’t getting it, you also have people who have asthma, people who have underlying conditions in their families — they’re going back to their homes with parents who may now be elderly. It’s not like you can isolate yourself from everybody, particularly during a season that’s five months long. . . . I still think we have a long way to go.”

Cowher added that players needed to be respected with regard to how they choose to handle the virus personally, including if they decided to skip the 2020 season entirely.

“It’s going to come down to the league and the NFLPA feeling comfortable moving forward, and even within that, if they come up with a set of guidelines, and now a player who doesn’t feel comfortable, he may not want to be part of it. It affects people differently not only from a physical standpoint but from a mental standpoint. . . . I think we have to respect that.”

A Super Bowl champion in 2005, Cowher spent his entire 15-year head coaching career with the Steelers. His 149 wins are top-20 in NFL history.

Cowher has worked as an analyst for The NFL Today on CBS since 2007.

The legendary coach was supposed to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August, but the ceremony and festivities were moved to the summer of 2021 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Continue Reading


Lawrence Timmons Donating $500,000 to High School Alma Mater



Former Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons is giving back to the next generation of football players at his high school alma mater.

Timmons donated $500,000 to Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina to remodel their stadium. The renovation process is expected to get underway in September.

“All of these upgraded facilities, around the school and athletic complex, give students a renewed pride in their school. I’m glad to play a part in that,” Timmons told Clint Buckley of 247 Sports.

The renovation plan for Tiger Stadium includes a new track, additional seating and an updated, brick entrance to the complex.

“I am very appreciative of Mr. Timmons’ contribution,” said Eric Robinson, Wilson’s principal. “This just goes to show that he remembers where he came from and that he will always be a Tiger. I am excited to see what everything looks like when it is done. Our students and our alumni deserve the best. I think this will motivate them to be even better on the field.”

A 2003 graduate of Wilson, Timmons played linebacker and tight end, posting 150 tackles and two sacks along with 47 receptions for 800 yards and five touchdowns as a senior.

Trading Florence for Tallahassee, he earned All-ACC honors behind 79 tackles and 18 tackles-for-loss in his final season with the Florida State Seminoles.

Timmons was selected 15th-overall by the Steelers in the 2007 NFL Draft. He spent ten seasons in Pittsburgh, earning both a Pro Bowl appearance and Second-Team All-Pro during his stellar 2014 season. He won Super Bowl XLIII with the Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals in 2009.

Timmons recorded 983 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and 12 interceptions over his Steeler career.

Timmons has been out of the NFL since being released after a single season with the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

Still, it is great to see Timmons staying close to the game by giving back to the place that gave him his football start.

Continue Reading

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe and get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.

Moon Golf

Copyright © 2020 Pittsburgh Sports Now / Steelers Now. In no way affiliated with or endorsed by the Pittsburgh Steelers or NFL.

Steelers Now in your Inbox

Sign up and get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox!

Thank you!


Send this to a friend