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Nov 14, 2012 9:54pm
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PITTSBURGH —Mike Wallace has one of offensive co-ordinator Todd Haleys
playbooks. Antonio Brown Womens Jersey . What the
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver doesnt have is a new long-term contract. Until
the Pro Bowler gets one, dont expect to see Wallace running drills alongside his
teammates. The Steelers began organized team activities on Tuesday and while
attendance for the voluntary workouts was high—even All-Pro safety
Troy Polamalu showed up—the focus remained very much on the speedy receiver
who remains home in New Orleans. The restricted free agent has yet to sign his
one-year tender of around $2.7 million in hopes of trying to secure a lengthier
deal. Both sides remain positive one will get done. Neither appears to be in a
hurry. “Itll be over, (just) a little bit of short-term misery,” coach Mike
Tomlin said. “It wont be significant in the big scheme of things hopefully.”
Wallace missed the opportunity to get the first on-field look at Pittsburghs
new-look offence under Haley, who took over in February, replacing longtime
co-ordinator Bruce Arians. The changes, judging by the first day at least, are
sweeping. From the terminology to the blocking schemes to the receiver routes,
quarterback Ben Roethlisberger likened Haleys system to learning a new language.
Right now, the Steelers are at the equivalent of saying “hello.” Anything else
might be asking for too much. The process has Roethlisberger feeling like a
rookie again, so much so he asked receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders
to be patient and stop looking for the ball. “I tried to tell (them) dont get
frustrated because I know youre used to getting a lot more balls, but this is
how it was my rookie year,” Roethlisberger said. “I know what one guy does and I
go to him. If hes not open, I start scrambling.” Which actually, is the wrong
choice. Haley was brought in to give the offence some balance and take some of
the pressure off the franchise quarterback. The Steelers passed the ball on 56
per cent of their offensive plays last year—right about the NFL average—
but the team would prefer Roethlisberger not drop back so much in order to avoid
the kind of punishment that forced him to play most of the 2011 season with a
series of injuries. “I know that Im supposed to get rid of the ball, stay in the
pockets and not get hits,” Roethlisberger said. “I guess I better learn where
the protections are coming from so I dont get hit.” Pittsburgh drafted a pair of
offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft—Stanford guard
David DeCastro and Ohio State tackle Mike Adams—and theres a good chance both
will be starting when the Steelers open the season in Denver on Sept. 9. Under
NFL rules, the rookies will miss OTAs until their schoolwork is done. But proof
the line is in the midst of a makeover was evident. Former right tackle
Willie Colon lined up at left guard, with Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. The
moves free up DeCastro to start at right guard with Adams getting the first shot
at protecting Roethlisbergers blind side. The line wasnt the only place where
changes were noticeable. Tuesday marked the first time in a decade the Steelers
began OTAs without linebacker James Farrior, wide receiver Hines Ward and
defensive end Aaron Smith, all who were either released or retired during a
bumpy off-season for one of the leagues most stable clubs. All that movement is
one of the reasons Polamalu opted to head east from his off-season home on the
West Coast early. Polamalu rarely shows up at the beginning of OTAs, preferring
to work out on his own until minicamp. Not this year. “I think its my time to
just be around the team a little bit more,” he said. The Steelers could use the
stability. While change is part of the game, the departure of Farrior and Smith
also created an emotional void in the huddle. Farriors locker is empty and the
team gave his familiar No. 51 to rookie linebacker Sean Spence. “Its already
weird,” linebacker Larry Foote said. “I just look in the locker room and they
gave the little, young linebacker (Farriors) number. His locker is gone. But
thats how it is, youve got to move on.” The Steelers are eager to move forward
after a 12-4 season ended with a shocking 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the
wild card round, capping a year in which they never quite looked like the team
that won the AFC in 2010. The road back to the Super Bowl began on Tuesday.
Though Wallaces absence was noted, there was hardly a sense of panic. Contract
disputes in Pittsburgh are a rarity. Wallace will be back at work at some point.
If its later, so be it, though his teammates would prefer it be sooner. “Youre
always going to miss something,” Sanders said. “Whether its camaraderie of the
teammates or just the physical aspect of (implementing) the playbook. But Mike
is one of those guys thats going to get in here and hit the ground running.” Maurkice Pouncey Jersey . With their
attention back to addressing their biggest need going into free agency, the
Titans agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with Kamerion Wimbley. James Harrison Youth Jersey . —Ricky
Stenhouse Jr. http://www.pittsburghsteelersforsale.com/troy-polamalu-jerseys
. —Canadian wrestlers earned three gold medals and three tickets to the London
Games at the FILA Pan-American Olympic Qualifying tournament Saturday. Ryan Clark Jersey . Cabrera went 4 for 4 to
hike his average to .369 and has 73 hits, most in the majors. He also stole two
bases. Cain (5-2) allowed two runs, one earned, and won for the fourth start in
a row. Santiago Casilla gave up one hit in 1 1-3 scoreless innings for his 12th
save in 13 chances. Hines Ward Womens Jersey . Dr. Lewis Yocum
will perform the operation in California, the team announced on Tuesday. While
Tomlins ulnar collateral ligament is not completely torn, its been compromised
to the point where surgery is necessary to correct the problem. HELSINKI,
Finland—The Czech Republic scored three goals in the opening period to win
bronze at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. David Krejci scored the winner in
the final minute of the first in a 3-2 win over defending champion Finland on
Sunday. Finland outshot the Czechs 14-1 in the last period but the Czech defence
and goaltender Jakub Stepanek held on to finish with 34 saves. “It feels pretty
good,” said Krejci. “The loss against Slovakia yesterday hurt. We let the final
slip away, but thats how it goes. At this tournament, it comes down to one game
and it didnt worrk for us yesterday. Emmanuel Sanders Jersey. “We regrouped pretty
well last night and today, and the bronze medal feels pretty good right now.”
Petr Prucha and Jiri Novotny added the other goals for the Czechs. Mika Pyorala
scored in the first and Jussi Jokinen added a second in the third for Finland.
The result ended Finnish captain Mikko Koivus 11-tournament medal streak. “We
wanted to show our fans all we had,” said Koivu. “We wanted to finish in a good
way. Were proud to be members of the team, but thats sports. Sometimes you win,
sometimes you lose.” ’ ’ ’