More from Ed Bouchette today in Latrobe:
- The continuing saga of Steelers ownership and in whose hands it will wind up may be a gripping one for some fans and the news media.
Players, for the most part, don’t give a hoot.
Here are typical reactions from a few questions tossed out about whether coach Mike Tomlin was correct and that the issue could “possibly” become a distraction for the team.
“No, I don’t have nothing to do with that,’’ offensive tackle Willie Colon said. “Just pay me, that’s all I care about.’’
And this from wide receiver Santonio Holmes: “I doubt if that’s any worry on anybody’s mind right now. We came in to play football; whatever happens inside the organization, happens.”
Why would anyone think the players care? Colon said it perfectly; they care most about being paid. The rest is gravy. Alan Faneca loved living in Pittsburgh, loved playing for the Steelers. But when they did not offer him as much money as he knew he could get elsewhere, he signed on with the New York Jets, who won’t compete for a division title anytime soon as long as Tom Brady remains the quarterback in New England.
Do you think that Antwaan Randle-El cares that Daniel Snyder is his team’s owner rather than Daniel Rooney? Yes, he cares, because Snyder is the one who paid him the outlandish salary demand on the open market.
- Today’s morning practice featured some feistiness on the part of Willie Reid, who enters his third season fighting for a roster spot as a return man/wide receiver.
As part of the latter, Reid caught a pass over the middle and then was popped by safety Anthony (Guaranteed) Smith. Reid did not take kindly to the hit and threw the ball at Smith. The two had to be separated by teammates.
Later, Reid and linebacker Andre Frazier got into it and again had to be separated by teammates. Sometimes, it takes several practices for a couple of fights to break out in training camp and here was Reid involved in two in the first drill at Saint Vincent.
“Those guys didn’t like the way Willie was blocking them and Willie didn’t like the way he got hit,’’ veteran receiver Hines Ward said.
“But it’s training camp, it’s all fun. You just have to be smart about it. ‘Willie, you can’t do that in the game so don’t do it out there, don’t throw the ball at other players.’ That’s the lesson for the day, you can’t throw the ball at people. You just have to find a way to get him back, retaliate and do it in an orderly fahsion where you’re not hindering your team with a penalty. It’s a learning process I talked to Willie about it.”
- Kevin Greene has returned to help work with the Steelers linebackers for the first week of training camp. Greene was here two summers ago for about 10 days in Bill Cowher’s last camp. Greene, who turns 46 Thursday, played three of his 15 NFL seasons with the Steelers from 1993 through 1995. He retired after the 1999 season and his 160 sacks are the most by any linebacker since the sack became an official statistic in the NFL in 1982. His total is behind only defensive ends Bruce Smith and Reggie White.