Antonio Brown is featured in the latest ESPN The Magazine “Wide Receivers” issue. The article talks about Brown’s “unbelievable route to greatness.” Brown headed into the break on a roll and as the NFL’s hottest receiver. In the 2 games leading up to the bye week, Brown had 27 catches for 423 yards. He’s currently 2nd in the NFL in receiving yards. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley knows that the biggest challenge for the Seahawks will be keeping an eye on Brown, “you know, again his preparation and work…our ability then to put him in a lot of different spots which makes it difficult for defenses to hone in on where he is…they do a lot of work during the week, but again they don’t know exactly where he’s going to be, so I think that’s the big thing is, his ability to move around and again, that’s on him because everybody can’t do that.”

Jeff Gordon didn’t win his 5th NASCAR Championship, but today and tonight at Homestead-Miami Raceway, Gordon raced for the final time. Gordon retires 9th on the all-time list for starts, 3rd on the all-time list for wins, and with more than $150 million in career earnings.
You may or may not be a fan of NASCAR, but if you appreciate greatness, then appreciate Jeff Gordon.  He was great and more for 23 seasons.

Baseball’s MVP awards were announced tonight. The National League MVP is Bryce Harper. Harper was a unanimous choice for the award and becomes the 4th-youngest MVP. Andrew McCutchen, the NL MVP from 2013, finished fifth in the voting. Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays was named American League MVP

The Steelers have already moved past their win over the Cleveland Browns, but on Tuesday, Antonio Brown was buried with more questions about his now-famous end zone flip. Brown says it’s not something he practices, and that it’s tough for some fans to understand how exciting it is to get a touchdown. He also reacted to 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Mary Lou Retton, who tweeted. Way to stick that landing! Perfect 10! #steelersnation. Brown reacted to her praise, “ah yeah that meant a lot..Mary Lou is a past Olympic gold medalist so anytime she says a ten that made me feel real good…I usually do it but I never really stick the landing..this time I got the right amount of height time…Mary Lou said it was a ten so…”

Antonio Brown already has a 284-yard receiving performance this season. He’s acknowledged as perhaps the most exciting player in the NFL. He can do it all. Ben Roethlisberger had an impressive game off the bench in the win over the Browns, but Ben was more impressed with Brown, “A.B. is going to have every record known to man, for Steelers or whatever, when he gets done playing. So he’s just a phenomenal football player…all of his work pays off. He’s just got to stop flipping going into the end zone.”  Brown says Ben told him to stop doing flips. Brown says he’ll take his advice.

The last time Ben Roethlisberger came off the bench was 2004 when Tommy Maddox was hurt. That was Roethlisberger’s first NFL game. He didn’t expect to play today but was activated as the backup, and it became necessary to call his name very quickly. On the Steelers first possession, Landry Jones twisted his left ankle when an offensive lineman stepped on him. Enter #7, and he played like a healthy star, completing 22 of 33 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Despite the pain in his foot, he led the Steelers to a win, “I kind of surprised myself and everybody. I was in a boot on Monday–my foot was basically black and blue. It’s more than just me, it’s the training staff, the doctors and everybody. We were tireless in our rehab and trying to get ready. It was a day-by-day process and I was just telling coach how I felt.”

Ben Roethlisberger was a limited participant at practice today. Ben says he’s still holding out hope he might be able to play against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. He’s out of the walking boot and trying different insoles, but it still might not be enough to make it back by Sunday, “it obviously helps to have the bye week finally my goal is always to try to get better as fast as possible if possible if I feel good enough and coach determines that I’m doing well enough to be out there Sunday, then that’s the goal.”

Some Pittsburgh sports heroes were supporting a good cause on the North Shore on Wednesday night. I was honored to be the emcee of the 18th annual “Gala Pittsburgh Sports Night.” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and Tim Carey, Merchandise Director for the Steelers, were inducted into the North Side Hall of Fame as part of the North Side Friends and Neighbors event. The event is hosted annually by Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik, Steelers Chairman and the former Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, and former Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy. The money raised tonight goes to Northside Catholic school.


Ben Roethlisberger has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game with the Cleveland Browns. Ben said on his radio segment that he won’t say no yet. Roethlisberger, of course is expected to miss anywhere from one week to a few weeks with a mid-foot sprain, but at Mike Tomlin’s weekly news conference today, the coach also did not rule out Ben for Sunday, “we’re evaluating Ben and he’s continuing to be evaluated today. We’ll leave the door ajar for him…but it’s just slightly ajar. I think it’s prudent that we anticipate playing without him and prepare to play with Landry Jones. I know that’s what we’re thinking right now from a staff standpoint.”

The Steelers have dodged a bullet two times in a span of six weeks. Twice they’ve faced perhaps a season-ending injury with Ben Roethlisberger, and twice they’ve been able to avoid that fate. When Roethlisberger went down yesterday, once again everybody thought the worst, but the news that Ben will be out for a few weeks rather than the season is obviously a big relief. Also, the way the Steelers have overcome injuries has been nothing short of amazing. Steelers safety Mike Mitchell explains, “we’re confident in every guy that gets a helmet and to be honest, coach Tomlin really stresses that and i think every guy really buys into that. That’s why we’ve been able to handle the sitaution of injuries so well. We believe in the next man. You would not be a Pittsburgh Steeler if you weren’t a good football player so the fact that you’re here. When you get your opportunity that’s your opportunity to show us what you can do.” 


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