* With the combine upon us what better place to start than with an historic remembrance. It comes from Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who recalled with Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest recently on "Live at 4" the one-and-done performance of Deion Sanders in 1989:
"He knew he was going to run fast and he ran a 4.29 and he hit the finish line and just kept going – right out of the Hoosier Dome and onto the concourse and he was gone. That was it, he didn't do any drills.
"The story gets better every time we tell it but that actually did happen."
* Now that Ben Roethlisberger has spoken briefly with new OC Todd Haley, we can all sleep a little easier at night. But I'm guessing the issue of how Haley intends to handle the players has yet to be broached in any great detail and that may yet contribute to a few sleepless nights on somebody's part.
Roethlisberger had some thoughts recently on what might work best for Steelers players. Presumably, these are thoughts he'll express to Haley at some point:
"A good coach in my opinion knows how to coach players. It's kind of the same way with me as a quarterback. Each guy gets motivated in a different way. Each guy, from linemen, to wide receivers, running backs, tight ends, they all need to be kind of led in a different way. If I'm upset at one of them or if someone screws up, some guys just need talked to and some guys you have to kind of yell at them. As a good coach you have to know what motivates each player and how you coach each player because not every player is the same. Sometimes when you talk to a guy, that's just as good as screaming and yelling and spitting in his face.
"If he is as good a coach as we've all heard he is, then I think he'll learn how to coach each guy individually and get the best out of each guy."
* Here's Ben on how the Steelers operate and how he believes they should and will continue to operate in the Haley era:
"We've done it around here, at least as long as I've been here, even before I got here. You know, it's about the players. It starts at the top with the Rooneys, and I understand that, and the coaches. But the players know how to do it around here and it's always been that way since I've been here. Whether it was (Alan) Faneca, Joey Porter, Hines (Ward), Jerome (Bettis), they were always kind of the leaders. I don't foresee that changing. I don't think it should. I don't think it will."
* Last, but certainly not least, here's Ben on getting yelled at and how he'd prefer not to be yelled at:
"I've been yelled at plenty. To me, because it's a cerebral position – and Byron (Leftwich) and I have talked about this, and Charlie (Batch) and Dennis (Dixon) – the quarterback position is not one where usually you want to do a lot of screaming because he's kind of the leader and a guy that has to be clear-minded. I've been yelled at. It's not fun to get yelled at. I don't think anybody likes it. But to me you get just as much, if not more, out of me if you just talk to me. Whether I screw up or do good just talk to me and we can work through my reason for getting yelled at."
* Before the next 40 is run at Indy, we leave you with a recent Steve Breaston comment while appearing on the Joe Bendel Show on 970 ESPN.
Here's what Breaston had to say about Haley getting in players' faces in Arizona and Kansas City and how the players were able to deal with it:
"It was the norm. It wasn't anything new. Even in the playoff game that one year with ‘Q' (Anquan Boldin), spats occurred. Larry (Fitzgerald), me, other people on the team, it was nothing new. When you have a competitive guy like coach Haley, who wants to win just as bad as the players, things are going to happen like that. But everybody was on the same page. Everybody knew the goal was to go out there to win and everybody understood coach Haley. That's what he wanted to do.
"Buttin' heads is part of the process. Sometimes, people are going to feel they're right and maybe butt heads. But when you step back for a minute you can move on. We moved on and we were able to build chemistry as a team."
* I can't wait to get to St. Vincent in July/August. There may be more fireworks there than at a Pirates game.