Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Steelers trade Santonio Holmes

April 12, 2010 By: Admin Category: Draft/Free Agency, Players

The Pittsburgh Steelers have traded wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a 5th round draft choice in the upcoming NFL Draft.

According to, Holmes is facing a 4-game suspension under the NFL’s substance abuse policy.  It has not yet been announced what the nature of the violation is.  Holmes could have failed a drug test, or he could have missed a scheduled drug test.

The NFL’s rules require that a player who has multiple infractions of the drug policy must receive a 4-game suspension.  So Holmes has apparently failed drug tests in the past.

WR Santonio Holmes

Because of the plethora of off-field problems that have been plaguing the Pittsburgh Steelers, it looks like the Rooney family felt that it was necessary to send a very loud message to both the Steelers players, and the Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

Holmes had already been in trouble this off-season for allegedly throwing a glass at a woman in an Orlando night club.  In 2008, Holmes was suspended for one game by the Steelers for being cited for marijuana possession.  In 2006, he was charged and arrested for domestic violence in Ohio, but the charge was eventually dropped.  Holmes also had several legal problems while in college.

As if those infractions were not enough, Holmes recently “tweeted” on his Twitter account that he was going to “wake and bake”, a slang term for smoking marijuana upon getting out of bed.

Reports have it that the Steelers were growing tired of Holmes’ behavior and had no intention of signing him to a new contract when his contract expired at the end of the 2010 season.  But this latest infraction was the last straw, and the team felt the need to get rid of him immediately.

The unfortunate part of the trade is that the Steelers will only receive a 5th round draft pick for Holmes.  Holmes was a first round draft pick in 2006, as well as a former Super Bowl MVP.  There are probably several teams that need a #1 wide receiver and would have offered more for Holmes.  But apparently, the Steelers felt that getting rid of him immediately was more important than maximizing the value that they got back from the trade.

The trade happened so quickly that Holmes and his agent only learned about the trade late Sunday night just like everyone else did.  His agent, Joel Segal, was not given an opportunity to negotiate a trade with any other teams.

Apparently, the Rooney family felt the need to make a very loud statement.  Message received.


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Santonio Holmes’ commercial (video)

August 17, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

August 18, 2009

The NFL Fantasy Files ad campaign is very entertaining.  I think they’ve done a good job with all of the commercials.  I hate to give a Baltimore Raven credit for ANYTHING,  but I must admit that even the one with Joe Flacco in it is pretty good.

But needless to say, the best one in the entire series is the one with the Steelers’ own Santonio Holmes.  If you haven’t seen it yet, just click below and start watching.  So what are you waiting for?

Personally, I thought that this one with former Cleveland Brown Braylon Edwards was pretty funny.  After all, Braylon is a certified “drop master”.  Heck, he has like a 12th degree black belt in dropping passes.  So does anyone else see the irony in this commercial?  It must have been added to bring satire to the campaign.

Funny, wasn’t it?

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Steelers Training Camp: Wide Receivers

August 15, 2009 By: Admin Category: training camp

August 15, 2009
By Donald Starver

This is Part 7 in a series.  If you haven’t read the previous installments, please click below:

Part 1:  Defensive linemen

Part 2:  Linebackers

Part 3:  Safeties

Part 4: Cornerbacks

Part 5: Quarterbacks

Part 6: Running backs

The wide receiver battle is probably the most intriguing story at Steelers training camp.  The Steelers have a good mix of high draft picks, veteran free agents, and undrafted free agents all battling to make the 53-man roster.  Regardless of who makes the team, I think it is safe to say that Big Ben is going to have some pretty exciting weapons at his disposal.

No other team can boast having two Super Bowl MVPs at wide receiver.  Yet that is exactly what the Steelers have in Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.  Their contribution to the team is well-documented, and their places on the roster are guaranteed.  So we really don’t need to spend much time talking about those two.  The real question is “who will take up the other wide receiver roster slots?”

Since becoming Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin has always carried 5 wide receivers on the Steelers’ roster.  Thus, I am going to assume that 5 is the number of wide receivers that Tomlin is looking for in training camp.

Let’s take a look at all of the wide receiver candidates and see if we can predict who will make the final roster.

Hines Ward- As we mentioned earlier, the jaw breaker’s roster spot is guaranteed.  He’s the Steelers’ all-time leading receiver.  He’s a multi-time Pro Bowl participant.  He’s the best blocking wide receiver in the NFL.  He’s clearly a leader on the team, and has the respect of his teammates.  And he probably personifies what the Pittsburgh Steelers are all about better than any other current player.

Santonio Holmes- Everybody remembers that final catch in the Super Bowl.  However, it was Santonio’s earlier catches, and his yards after the catch that put the Steelers in the position to be able to pull out a last second win.  That Super Bowl performance will define Holmes for the rest of his career.  His elevated status is already evident at Steelers training camp where the fans cheer any time Holmes makes a catch.  Like Ward, Holmes doesn’t have to worry about making the roster.

Limas Sweed- After getting few chances to make plays during the regular season, Limas Sweed blew his first big opportunity when he dropped a critical pass in the AFC Championship game against Baltimore last year.  That play, along with the fact that he faked an injury afterwards, made many Steelers fans lose faith in Sweed.

Academy award winning performance.

Academy award winning performance.

Fortunately, Sweed has used that as motivation, and has had a very impressive training camp so far.  Moreover, he had two nice catches in the Steelers’ pre-season win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Sweed is a big, fast receiver who is in the mold that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seems to like.  Roethlisberger actively lobbied for a tall receiver, and the Steelers answered him by drafting Sweed.  At 6’4″, Sweed is an easy target for Roethlisberger.  Sweed is the favorite to win the #3 receiver position that was vacated by Nate Washington when he signed with the Tennessee Titans.

Shaun McDonald- Because they were uncertain of what they had in Limas Sweed, the Steelers brought in Shaun McDonald to add an experienced veteran to the wide receiver competition.  McDonald led the Detroit Lions with 79 receptions for 943 yards in 2007.  McDonald lost his position as the Lions’ primary receiving target when they drafted super-human receiver Calvin Johnson.  However, that doesn’t negate the fact that McDonald is a proven NFL receiver.

McDonald has looked consistent but unspectacular so far in Steelers training camp.  But isn’t that exactly what a team needs from their #3 receiver?  After all, if he were spectacular, he would be the #1 or #2 receiver.  When you add in the fact that he can also return punts, I believe that gives McDonald a good chance of making the team.

Dallas Baker- “The touchdown maker” has been anything but since joining the Steelers.  He has scored a grand total of zero touchdowns for the black and gold.  At 6’3″, Baker is a big receiver, so that is a plus.  However, he just hasn’t done anything to catapult himself onto the roster.  Baker spent 2008 on the practice squad, so that says that the Steelers’ coaches believe he has potential.  He has an outside chance of winning the #5 receiver spot, but I don’t foresee that happening.

Touchdown maker?

Touchdown maker?

Martin Nance- At 6’3″, Martin Nance is another big receiver.  He was Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite receiver at Miami of Ohio, so that relationship is probably why he is in Steelers training camp in the first place.  Nance has been very inconsistent in my opinion, and has dropped far too many passes at training camp.  While he is big, he is not particularly fast, and doesn’t get good separation.  He will not make the team.

Steven Black- Going into Steelers training camp I had never heard of the rookie wide receiver from Memphis.  He is 6’3″ and is another big target.  He has caught my attention a few times at training camp.  He has good hands, and is willing to dive for the ball.  However, with all of the competition at WR this year, he has little chance of making the team.

Brandon Williams- Williams is another experienced receiver that the Steelers brought into training camp.  The 3rd year player has been with both the St. Louis Rams and the San Francisco 49ers.  He has never caught a pass in the NFL, and unless an asteroid falls to Earth and kills all of the other wide receivers in training camp, he won’t be catching any for the Steelers this year either.

Tyler Grisham - This kid caught my eyes on the second day of training camp.  I first noticed him because he was so small compared to the other receivers.  But by the end of camp, I was asking “who is that little white guy who keeps diving all over the field catching everything that comes his way?”  When he started putting hard blocks on people, he really caught my eyes.  Some people have said that he reminds them of Wes Welker, but he reminds me of another wide receiver who isn’t big enough, or fast enough, but who is willing to block and manages to catch everything that’s thrown his way.  Has anyone ever heard of a guy named Hines Ward?

Grisham won’t make the team, but this rookie from Clemson has done himself proud in his time at Steelers training camp.  I won’t be the least bit surprised if he makes the Steelers’ practice squad.

Mike Wallace - You probably thought that I forgot about the 3rd round pick out of Mississippi.  Nope, I just saved him for last.  This kid has impressed me more than any other receiver in Steelers training camp.  First of all, he is FAST.  I don’t mean “Santonio Holmes fast”.  Nope, I mean “Willie Parker fast”.  He ran the second fastest time at last year’s NFL combine.  Not only is Wallace fast, but he also has good hands.  I’ve seen him make sliding catches and diving catches at training camp.

Mike Wallace

There is seldom a day at training camp where Wallace doesn’t beat a defensive back…..badly.  He even burns Ike Taylor.  Not many receivers can do that.  I keep having dreams of Big Ben firing long bombs to Wallace.  Each time I have this dream, I wake up with a big smile on my face.

There is a very good chance that this kid could actually come out of training camp as the #3 receiver.  That’s right, I said it.  Mike Wallace might actually win the #3 receiver position.  He’s THAT good.  Even if he doesn’t, he is very likely to become the primary kick returner.  This kid is going to make the team.  No doubt.

Stefan Logans- Logans is primarily a kick returner, but the Steelers have been working him with the wide receivers, so I’ll mention him here.  Logans has NO CHANCE of making the team as a wide receiver.  He will either win a spot as a punt returner, or he will not be wearing black and gold.

So in summary, I believe the 5 receivers who will make the Steelers’ roster will be Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed, Shaun McDonald, and Mike Wallace.

I’ll leave you with one final thought about the Steelers’ wide receivers.  Just picture how exciting the Steelers are going to be in 2-3 years when the starting wide receivers are Santonio Holmes, Limas Sweed, and Mike Wallace.  Yeah, the idea puts a big smile on my face too.

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Notes from Steelers training camp: Day 2

August 02, 2009 By: Admin Category: training camp

August 1, 2009

Steelers Today will be blogging from Latrobe, PA for the next few weeks.  We are here at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp to bring you all the Steelers news that’s fit to print.

Rather than write this in the form of an article, here are my actual notes from today’s open practice.

2:55 PM practice starts.  Things are slow as the players break up into their respective units and walk through drills.  The offense is on one practice field, and the defense is on another.

-Santonio Holmes‘ arms look noticeably bigger.   He’s been pumping iron.

-Who is the short white guy wearing #19 standing with the wide receivers?  He’s standing next to Mike Wallace who is listed as 6’0″, and Mike is at least 3 inches taller than him.

-#19 is Tyler Grisham, a rookie out of Clemson.  He’s listed as 5’11″, but he can’t be much taller than 5’9″.

-Say what you want about Willie Colon, but his legs are massive.  They’re far bigger than any of the other offensive linemen’s.

3:22 PM A horn blows, the fans cheer, and practice gets started in earnest.

-”Big Snack” is very efficient with his motion.  Translation: he stands around when everyone else is running or stretching.

-Frank “The Tank” Summers isn’t as massive as I expected him to be.  Rashard Mendenhall actually looks more powerful.

-Dennis Dixon throws a beautiful spiral, but he looks a bit frail.  He needs to gain some weight.

-Shaun McDonald, Mewelde Moore, Joe Burnett, and Santonio Holmes take turns fielding kickoffs.  Where is Mike Wallace?

-#18 ( rookie WR Steven Black out of Memphis) looks impressive.  He’s big and has already made a few shoestring catches.

-Matt Spaeth looks too tall and lanky to ever be an effective blocker.

-Shaun McDonald is playing like he wants to impress the coaches.  He ran all of his routes very fast, and he makes quick, precise cuts.

-Martin Nance has already dropped too many balls, and they’re not even playing against a defense yet.

-#84 (TE Dezmond Sherrod) is slow and plodding when he runs his routes.

-Santonio Holmes’ status is clearly elevated since his Super Bowl MVP.  The crowd erupts each time he catches a ball.

-The Steelers were blessed with great weather for their first day of open practice.

4:03 PM - Another horn sounds and the defense comes over to join the offense.

-Big Ben’s first pass against the defense is a quick slant to Sean McHugh for a completion.

-Willie Parker broke a long run, and the crowd erupted.

-Jeff Reed is practicing kicking to Dan Sepulveda.  Jeff is kicking across the field (53.3 yards) and Sepulveda is catching the ball.  Reed’s kicks are so accurate that Sepulveda never had to move more than 4 steps to catch the ball.

-Andre Frazier intercepts a pass from Roethlisberger.

-Santonio Holmes looked very elusive dodging and weaving after a short pass from Big Ben.

-#85 (rookie TE David Johnson) looks very effective holding his blocks in drills.

4:28 - The crowd erupted when Hines Ward caught a quick slant pass in traffic.

-Mike Wallace made a pretty sliding catch along the sideline on a pass from Charlie Batch.

-Keyaron Fox intercepted a pass and was chased down by Hines Ward.

-Dennis Dixon threaded a pass to Steve Black that went right between two defenders for a completion.

-If this had been full contact, Donovan Woods would have destroyed Ben Roethlisberger as he came in unblocked on a blitz.

4:34 PM - Another horn blew, and the team split up again for drills.

-Jeff Reed is kicking field goals.  Has he missed one yet?

-Jeff Reed hits 3 straight 47 yard field goals and the horn blows again.

4:42 PM - Keenan Lewis breaks up a long pass from Charlie Batch to Mike Wallace.

-Rookie Andrew Schantz gets in a shot on David Johnson that was probably harder than it should have been on the first day of practice.  The team is not doing any hitting or tackling today.

-The crowd erupted when Dennis Dixon completed a 45 yard pass to #19, rookie WR Tyler Grisham.

-On the next play, Dixon connected with Grisham on a diving catch along the sideline.  This kid has good hands.

-Dixon connects with Steve Black along the opposite sideline.

-Dixon hit David Johnson right in the hands over the middle of the field, but Johnson dropped the ball.

-Dennis Dixon hits Tyler Grisham for another diving catch in traffic.  Who is this kid?
(Note:  The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has picked up on my Tyler Grisham observations.  Read about it here.  Of course I wrote about him 2 days earlier than they did).

-Keenan Lewis intercepted a long pass from Big Ben to Hines Ward.

-Ben overthrows Dallas Baker on a long fade route.

4:56 PM - The #1 offense and #1 defense take the field.

-On the first play, Willie Parker burst through the line and avoided the linebackers on a play that he would have taken all the way for a touchdown in a real game.

-Carey Davis breaks a nice run that would have gained 15 yards.

-Charlie Batch hits Rashard Mendenhall on a short pass behind the line of scrimmage that looks like no gain, but Mendenhall reverses field and picked up 10 yards.

-Ryan Clark intercepts a 20 yard pass from Big Ben that hit Santonio Holmes in the hands and bounced off.

5:07 PM - The final horn blew, and coach Tomlin gathered the team to end practice.

-After huddling together, the team breaks up and practice is over.

-Coach Tomlin leaves the field and runs past fans without signing any autographs.

-Dan Sepulveda is very gracious with fans.  He signs more autographs than any other Steelers player.

-Sepulveda assured me that he is 100% recovered.  When a fans said “We missed you last year”, Supulveda replied “Not as much as I missed the team”.

-Ryan Clark is also very gracious with fans.  Only Sepulveda signs more autographs.

-Ziggy Hood is very good with fans.  He is friendly and humble.  He signs lots of autographs.  Fans are going to like this kid.

If you haven’t read our other Day 2 coverage, be sure to read the following articles:

Fans flock to Steelers training camp

Steelers training camp Day 2 photo gallery

To read our coverage of Day 3 of Steelers training camp please click the link below:

10 observations from Steelers training camp day 3

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New Pittsburgh Steelers store

July 22, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

Like most Pittsburgh Steelers fans, I love Steelers merchandise.  I wave a Terrible Towel when I watch the Steelers play.  I have Steelers license plates on my car.  I wear Steelers jerseys.  I have a Steelers flag outside my home.  Heck, I probably sleep in Steelers pajamas (though I’ll never admit it publicly).

Sometimes when I look for cool new Steelers gear I find that I just can’t find what I’m looking for.  That’s why I decided to do something about it.

If you look at the top of the Steelers Today home page, you’ll see a new tab that says “Buy Steelers Gear”.  If you click there, you’ll be able to buy over 800 Steelers items.  Wow!

I’ve chosen a few really nice items that I think Steelers fans will like.  This is just a small sampling of the great items that you can buy.  If you like these items as much as I do, just click on the image to buy the item.  And the best part is that anything you buy will be sent right to your home. Pretty cool, huh?

Item #1 - Reebok Steelers/Penguins Steel City Champions T-shirt

Item1Click to buy

Item #2 - Reebok Six-Burgh T-shirt

Item 3

Click to buy

Item #3 - Reebok Steelers/Penguins Steel City Champions cap

Item 2Click to buy

Item #4 -  Steelers Ladies white scrapbook love tank top

image 4

Click to buy

Alright, you know you want it, so go ahead and buy it.  I certainly am.