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James Conner Likes Pitt vs. Penn State, But Nothing on the Line This Year

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PITTSBURGH — Of course, James Conner likes the Panthers.

The Steelers running back, and former Pitt star, said he thinks his alma mater will prevail in this Saturday’s matchup between Pennsylvania rivals Pitt and Penn State at Beaver Stadium.

“I’m gonna take my Panthers every time,” Conner said Monday. “We got a win last week, so let’s keep it going.”

But unlike years past, Conner isn’t putting any stakes on the game. In 2018, he made — and lost — a wager with the Penn State alumni in the Steelers’ locker room that saw him forced to wear a Penn State hat and jacket in the locker room, much to the pleasure of Nittany Lions alumni such as Marcus Allen and Malik Golden.

This year, Conner is just going to stick to hoping the Panthers get a win, even though he has more support than he has had in previous years. Golden and tight end Jesse James have moved on, while new defensive assistant Teryl Austin is a fellow Pitt alum, joining inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky as Panthers on the Pitt coaching staff. Defensive backs coach Tom Bradley went to Penn State.

Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger: ‘If They Decided to Trade Me I Would Probably Just Call it Quits’

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Don’t expect a Tom Brady/Phillip Rivers/Peyton Manning situation ever developing between the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger.

Speaking with Bill Cowher on the NFL on CBS pregame show before the Steelers’ 26-21 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Roethlisberger made it clear that he isn’t interested in finishing out his career with a different franchise.

The interview, which ranged from Roethlisberger’s return in front of an empty NFL stadium, to his long road to recovery, ended with Cowher asking (if not downright pleading) for his former star quarterback to remain in Pittsburgh.

 

“You’re in your seventeenth year,” Cowher said. “Tom going to Tampa, we saw Phillip go to Indianapolis. Please tell me you’ll follow the footsteps of Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu and you will always be a Steeler. Can you go on record and say that?”

“I can most likely go on record and say that,” Roethlisberger said. “I have no plans on going anywhere. And I feel like even if they decided to trade me I would probably just call it quits. This is home. I don’t know anything but bleeding black and gold.

While anything can happen in the NFL, as clearly illustrated by Brady playing in Tampa Bay red and pewter this season, it doesn’t sound like Steelers fans should have any worries about where Roethlisberger’s loyalties lie.

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Steelers

From the Locker Room: Joe Haden says Steelers Looked to be Physical Despite Penalties

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Steelers cornerback Joe Haden speaks with reporters, including Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, about the pass interference penalties against his team and the defense’s fourth-quarter stop in their 26-21 win over the Denver Broncos.

Joe Haden had an up and down day, recording an interception but also losing some one-on-one battles, most notably almost being beat for what would’ve been a sure touchdown until the receiver tripped.

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Steelers Postgame Show: Turnovers, Big Plays Allow Steelers to Beat Broncos

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It wasn’t exactly as pretty as some expected, but the Steelers managed to win nonetheless. Mike Asti and Matt Gajtka guided fans through a Steelers edition of Pittsburgh Postgame, discussing the 26-21 win over Denver and what needs to improve to keep the winning streak going.

How did Ben Roethlisberger look after another week of actual game play? Is James Conner back or are his week 2 numbers a bit misleading? What were the bright spots, as well as, weaknesses from the defense? Mike and Matt answered all those questions and much more immediately following the game.

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