May 2007 - Pittsburgh Steelers Wiretap
Steelers And Big Ben Working On Extension
The Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger's agent have had early talks about a contract extension. While it appears nothing will be done this season, the machinery is gearing up for what should be the largest contract in the organization's history. "We've had some discussions with them," agent Ryan Tollner said. "I'm not sure what they're planning, other than certainly they're considering they want to do a deal. If they would want to start [serious negotiations] before the season, we'd have to start soon. It'll be a complicated contract. If not before this season, we're open to discussion, but I definitely expect it to happen following this season." Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, declined comment on any possible negotiations with Roethlisberger.
Steelers Release Gardocki
Less than a month after drafting a punter, the Steelers released veteran Chris Gardocki. The Steelers selected Daniel Sepulveda of Baylor - the highest-rated punter - in the fourth round of the April 29 draft. That was a clear signal that Gardocki's days were numbered in Pittsburgh. Gardocki is best known for never having a punt blocked in his 16-year career. He signed with the Steelers in 2004 and averaged 42.1 yards over the last three seasons.
Big Ben To Be Responsible For All Line Of Scrimmage Changes
Ben Roethlisberger will be responsible for all changes at the line of scrimmage; before, the linemen and receivers made their own such calls. "Sometimes," Roethlisberger said, "change isn't necessarily bad." In the next month, Tomlin plans to rework much more than that. "We're going to have two-minute emphasis, red zone emphasis, short-yardage emphasis days, hurry-up offense, no-huddle offense," Tomlin said. "Just situations that need to be addressed. We know the outcome of games are defined by what happens on critical downs, in critical field position."
Faneca Sits Out Morning Practice, Returns In Afternoon
Disgruntled Pittsburgh Steeler Alan Faneca skipped morning practice at minicamp, then returned for the afternoon session. Coach Mike Tomlin apparently convinced the six-time Pro Bowl guard to come back for the second practice. "Some things were said, and I just had to cool off, a little cool-off time," Faneca said. From appearances, the 35-year-old Tomlin seems to be handling this early test of his coaching leadership well. "Sure, it's an issue," Tomlin said, "but I think more than anything else it's got to be a lesson for us as a football team in that the season is not without its ups and downs. Adversity is part of it, distractions are part of it."
Faneca Says He'll Leave Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive guard Alan Faneca says he is done negotiating with the Pittsburgh Steelers, urging them again Friday to trade him and vowing he won't play for them next season. "This will be my last year as a Pittsburgh Steeler," Faneca said. Faneca is set to make $4.375 million this season in the final year of a total contract valued at $25.6 million. "I've been asking since February to trade me, to let me go," Faneca said. "I've done my piece. I've done my time. I've done everything I can for this organization. I've lived and breathed Steeler football for nine years and gave them everything I've had and helped them win a Super Bowl. In my mind, I've earned the right to be treated fairly."
Steeler Charged With Running Vegas Prostitution Ring
Richard Seigler was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers until Thursday. On the same day he was cut by the team, he was also charged with running a prostitution operation on the streets of Las Vegas. Seigler attended Chaparral High School and was drafted in 2004 as a linebacker by the San Francisco 49ers. For the past two seasons, he's been a Pittsburgh Steeler wearing number 95.
Steelers Sign RB Kevan Barlow
Former Pitt running back Kevan Barlow signed a one-year contract Thursday with the Steelers and will take part in the team's mandatory minicamp that starts Friday. Barlow, who grew up a Franco Harris fan in Pittsburgh, is expected to compete with Najeh Davenport to be Willie Parker's backup. The Steelers have sought a productive power back since Jerome Bettis retired after the Super Bowl in February 2006.
Steelers And Barlow Reach Agreement
The Steelers and running back Kevan Barlow reached an agreement on a one-year contract that would bring the former Pitt standout back to Pittsburgh, according to an NFL Network report. Barlow, who played last season for the New York Jets, would join running backs Willie Parker and Najah Davenport on the Steelers' roster.
Barlow Visits Steelers
Free-agent running back Kevan Barlow visited the Steelers at their South Side headquarters yesterday. Barlow, who played for Pitt and Peabody High School, has played with the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets in six NFL seasons. His best season was 2003 with the 49ers, when he rushed for 1,024 yards on 201 carries, a 5.1-yard average.