Steelers Notebook:

Some of the notes from the Steelers' practice facility on Wednesday:

Pittsburgh – When Weslye Saunders made the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend, the Raleigh News & Observer had all the details.

And why not? Saunders' father Barry is a sports columnist for the paper.

So Saunders grew up with a healthy respect for the media.

"Oh, yeah. I was a journalism major," he said.

Saunders can probably get away with saying he spent more time on his major than on football, because Saunders was kicked off the South Carolina team and missed his senior season. Then he broke his foot and couldn't work out as a draft prospect, and so then he went undrafted and signed with the Steelers in July.

But his luck changed Saturday.

"I was at the hotel waiting," Saunders said of cutdown day. "I tried to walk around downtown all day just to pass time, but that wasn't working. I was looking at my phone every five minutes. But once it was official and I looked online at Steelers Depot to see the final five cuts, I just broke down and cried because at this point last year I was about at the lowest point of my life: kicked off the team at South Carolina, watched my team have the best season in school history, and then this past year has been so much rust. It felt good to have something finally go my way and know I worked towards it and did everything in my power to make it happen. It felt good."


While Saunders was being assailed by draft experts last spring, so was Jimmy Smith, who earned a starting job with the Baltimore Ravens.

Smith is a 6-foot-2 cornerback who slipped in the draft to the Ravens because – as in Saunders' case – of questions about his character. But that didn't matter this preseason when Smith earned the respect of the Ravens' elder statesmen.

"Long and rangy, reminds you of Nnamdi Asomugha," said Ray Lewis. "With his humility, he has a great chance of doing some great things in this league."

What does he need to know about playing the Steelers?

"Don't get beat deep," said Terrell Suggs. "Just always be alert. He has brothers on this team that are going to take care of him. We definitely are going to be watching out for a certain character over there. We'll alert him of him, too. … And if you lineup on No. 17 [WR Mike Wallace], you might want to back up a little bit and tell No. 20 [Ed Reed] to lean to you. Otherwise, it's going to be a long day for you. Just don't get beat deep."


Steelers newcomer Jerricho Cotchery is getting his first real taste of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry, and he's been a bit surprised.

"From the outside looking in, before I even got over here, you understood what an intense rivalry this is," Cotchery said. "But to be honest I've seen the same approach from practice to the preseason games to now, so I really don't know. It's a very professional approach – business as usual."


The only player to miss the Steelers' Wednesday practice in pads was rookie linebacker Chris Carter (hamstring). Limited were Cotchery (hamstring) and rookie tackle Marcus Gilbert (concussion). The Ravens reported no injuries.


The Ravens' new center Andre Gurode on whether this rivalry compares to the Dallas-Washington rivalry he got to know while with the Cowboys:

"I have asked a few of the guys on the team about the rivalry and how deep the disgust between the teams exists – that's a nice way of saying it. The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is pretty serious, but I don't think I have ever seen anything like a rivalry like this."

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