The biggest news on Thursday was that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell advised the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger that he is cleared to return to team activities beginning next week. No word on if the suspension has been shortened to 4 games yet, but there is no hurry for that word to come down. The Steelers resume practices on June 1st. Art Rooney II also issued a short statement on the matter.
Scott Brown has a story on new Steelers special teams coordinator, Al Everest. Everest uses an interesting analogy in describing special teams play. "I always say if there\'s 20 hostages, and you save 18, you\'re going to read about the two who got killed." I can\'t wait to watch this unit head hunt this season.
Joe Starkey interviewed Steelers left tackle Max Starks on Thursday about his past season along with some personal topics, and of course his thoughts on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Linebacker James Farrior was also interviewed on the The Fan morning show as well.
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Paul Zeise looks at the uphill battle former Pitt punter Adam Graessle faces to make the Steelers roster. The Steelers will only take 3 kickers to camp so that of course means either Piotr Czech or Graessle will be gone soon. Realistically though, Graessle will be auditioning for other teams if he makes it that far.
Ken Laird reported on Wednesday that rookie receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown have looked impressive during this weeks practices. Laird blogged that both were running with the second team offense, as well as returning kicks. The Steelers really need art least one of them to blossom this year as the #4 or #5 receiver.
The Penguins will host the hated Washington Capitals in the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field on New Years Day, 2011. It will be fun to watch the home of the Steelers converted to an outside ice hockey rank and hopefully it will be super cold and snow flurries on that day for effect. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is expected today to confirm the news. Lets Go Pens!