--The Steelers honored six of the nine living members from the 1943 Phil-Pitt Steagles NFL team Saturday night. That World War II-era team was a combination of squads from the Steelers and Eagles. They played two home games in Pittsburgh, three in Philadelphia. Walt Kiesling of the Steelers and Greasy Neale of the Eagles served as co-coaches and both men eventually were voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
--Cowher gathered his team around him after a light morning practice in Latrobe, last week and introduced three spectators to them: St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Dan Haren, Woody Williams and Steve Kline. They were in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates and Kline, a Pennsylvania native, is a big Steelers fan. Steelers players then gave the baseball players a round of applause.
--Jerome Bettis isn't known as the Bus for nothing. The 255-pounder can move a pile.
"With the power back, when there's not much there you can still pull three yards out of it by just blasting up in there," Bettis said. "The power back, it's not that he creates his own hole, but he just kind of extends that soft area that's there, if he can push through there and get three or four yards when really it was a no-gain play."
--All-Pro guard Alan Faneca has no concern that Bettis will perform at a high level this year. "He looks the best since I've been here, and I've been here six years. I mean, when Jerome's in there he's a big guy, we can pound it out, especially late in the game. It's great to have a big guy like that to pound it out and get those yards when you need them."
--The new turf -- DD GrassMaster -- made its debut for a football game at Heinz Field Saturday night vs. the Eagles. The combination natural grass and synthetic weave was developed in Holland. The Broncos played on the same surface in their new stadium in Denver last season.
Rookie defensive end Dan Rumishek, who severely sprained an ankle in the first preseason game, was waived injured. The Steelers re-signed rookie defensive end Roy Attieh from Kent State to fill his spot. Attieh was signed in the spring and released before camp.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: SS Mike Logan was expected to hold onto the starting job for a couple of weeks until No. 1 pick Troy Polamalu got his feet wet then moved him aside. That's not happening. The Steelers have promoted Polamalu to spots on their nickel and dime defense but Logan keeps holding him off in the base defense and, in fact, is securing that position.
OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: TE Jay Riemersma started the second preseason game after Mark Bruener started the first, so the battle still rages ... Amos Zereoue started the second game at RB ahead of Jerome Bettis, but the job still appears to belong to Bettis ... Deshea Townsend may be pushing incumbent right CB Dewayne Washington for playing time ... Todd Fordham has gained ground at right OT over Oliver Ross.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: QB Charlie Batch has done well in practices and in both games. The backup to Tommy Maddox has been sharp and crisp with his passes and he also has run well. He's over a knee injury that bothered him the final two seasons in Detroit. Batch completed 10 of 18 passes for 94 yards Saturday against the Eagles. He also ran three times for 24 yards.
ROOKIE REPORT: Troy Polamalu continues to make progress but has not yet cracked the starting lineup. He does play safety in the nickel and dime defenses ... Alonzo Jackson's illegal block nullified Hank Poteat's 82-yard punt return for a TD against the Eagles, but Coach Bill Cowher praised it as an aggressive play ... QB Brian St. Pierre completed 6 of 12 passes in his second preseason game for 53 yards, two interceptions and a 22.6 passer rating ... Ike Taylor returned a kickoff 55 yards to set up a field goal Saturday vs. the Eagles.
INJURY REPORT: RB Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (hamstring) and TE Jerame Tuman (groin) suffered pulled muscles Saturday that will knock them out of the lineup this week ... LB Jason Gildon had swelling on his knee but no evidence of an injury ... C Jeff Hartings missed the second preseason game with knee soreness but was to resume practice Monday ... OG Kendall Simmons (diabetes) returned to practice last week and played in the second preseason game ... Returning to practice after missing a few days with injuries were C Chukky Okobi (ankle) and WR Lee Mays (shoulder) ... QB Tim Levcic (knee) has not practiced since the first week of camp.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I wish I had good wisdom and experience to bring the guys, but I'm only a punter, so I can just tell them what to do with their money off the field." -- P Josh Miller, at 33 the oldest player on the roster.
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