Steelers allowed nine sacks last time they visited the City of Brotherly Love

Also, latest from Factory of Sadness, Grimble's gift to his father, 'Little Dawk' all grown up, and more

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger remembers the last time he and the Steelers played in Philadelphia. How could he forget?

"A lot of sacks. Painful," he said. "But it was a long time ago."

Roethlisberger was sacked eight times in a 15-6 loss on Sept. 21, 2008, or exactly seven years prior to Wednesday.

He had already been nursing a sore throwing shoulder from a sack during the opening-day loss to Houston, and Roethlisberger nursed a variety of aches and pains throughout that season, which culminated, of course, in the Steelers' last championship.

Roethlisberger said he can't remember if the Eagles added to or compounded any injuries, "but I remember that game specifically," he said.

Not that he wants to remember it. The Eagles actually had nine sacks in the game. They sacked Byron Leftwich after Brian Dawkins had knocked Roethlisberger out of the game with a sack, forced fumble and recovered fumble with 3:29 left.

On the previous series, the Eagles had forced Roethlisberger into an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone for a safety, and that wasn't recorded as a sack.

It was a brutal day for a Steelers offensive line that consisted of Marvel Smith, Chris Kemoeatu, Justin Hartwig, Kendall Simmons and Willie Colon.

Of course, we all remember Roethlisberger's famous last words while standing on the Super Bowl trophy platform: "Hey, O-line, who's laughing now?"

No one was laughing that day, at least in Pittsburgh.


The statistical and physical comparisons between Roethlisberger and Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz were laid out in yesterday's edition, and here's more:

Roethlisberger and Wentz worked out together during the offseason in California, had dinner together a couple of times and have the same agent. They were also passed up in their respective drafts by the perpetually QB-needy Cleveland Browns.

In Wentz's case, the Browns traded out of the second spot for a cache of draft picks, and on Sunday are expected to start their third quarterback in as many games this season.

Roethlisberger, an Ohio native, was passed over by the Browns in 2004 in favor of tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr.

Roethlisberger was asked if he was surprised when the Browns passed on Wentz.

"Yes," Roethlisberger said. "I thought he was AFC North all the way."

According to a report by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora on Sunday, the Browns organization -- a.k.a. "The Factory of Sadness" -- released six scouts and personnel men three weeks before the draft, and "several" of them had favored Wentz over eventual No. 1 pick Jared Goff.

When the decision was made by the Los Angeles Rams to draft Goff first, the Browns traded the second pick and a fourth-rounder to the Eagles for picks 8, 77 and 100, as well as future first and second-round picks.

Wentz, of course, quarterbacked the Eagles to a win over the Browns in the opener and then led the Eagles to a win over the Chicago Bears this past Monday night.


In practice last season and again last spring, Xavier Grimble looked like the kind of tight end the Steelers sought when they signed Ladarius Green to a four-year contract.

But when the 6-4, 261-pound Grimble got his chance with the pads on this past preseason, he dropped the ball. A couple of times.

Grimble made the team thought and Sunday his diving 20-yard touchdown catch was one of the key plays in the Steelers' 24-16 win.

"I remember catching it. I remember falling down," he said Wednesday. "I just saw the goal line and was like, man, I gotta get in. So I just stretched the ball out and tried to dive. I felt myself get over the line so I was happy about that."

It was Grimble's first NFL catch and his first touchdown since the former Southern Cal Trojan scored against arch-rival UCLA in 2013.

How did it feel?

"It was kind of weird," he said. "I didn't even know I scored. It was one of the weirdest feeling. It didn't really hit me until I got up and everything went kind of quiet. I was just kind of taking a moment, just happy, really pumped up. I expected to make plays like that but I was just happy to get it, get past it and move on and make more plays."

In his excitement, Grimble forgot about the ball, but it was retrieved by a staff member and given to him after the game. Grimble gave it to his dad, who had made the trip to Pittsburgh from his home in Las Vegas.

Grimble was asked to put the touchdown into context with the drops of the preseason.

"I feel like I needed to get both out of my system," he said. "Because it's going to happen and you can't let your emotions go too high or too low, either way it goes. Now that I'm past it all I can grow a lot more and just try to make plays consistently."

Of course, Grimble didn't feel that way at the time of the drops.

"I'm the type of person who's always my own biggest critic, so any ball I drop it haunts me usually for days," he said. "But I've learned you've got to flush it. You've got to move on. It's about the next play."


The aforementioned Dawkins played his 13th and final season in Philadelphia in 2008 and then played three more seasons with the Denver Broncos before retiring. He was named to nine Pro Bowls and this month was nominated for the Hall of Fame class of 2017 in his first season of eligibility. And Dawkins' legacy -- whether he knows it or not -- is coming off perhaps his finest game as the starting strong safety for the Steelers.

Mike Tomlin dubbed Rob Golden "Little Dawk" during Golden's rookie season. That was 2012, when he was an undrafted cornerback/safety out of Arizona. Golden made the team, played in 31 games on special teams the first two seasons, became the special teams captain in 2014, and started three games in place of injured Will Allen last season.

This season, the job's all his, and he's grown up from his "Little Dawk" moniker

"I'm just trying to make a name for myself now," he said. "They're calling me 'Rob G.'"

They might want to call him Donnie Shell if he continues to play the way he did Sunday.

Against the Bengals, Golden had a career-high eight tackles and his first turnover -- Tyler Boyd's fumble recovery -- and broke up a pass.

It's his physicality in the run game that was most impressive, particularly for a guy who played cornerback in college.

"I always was a physical corner when I played corner," he said. "I also played safety for two years at Arizona, played corner for two years, so it's not new to me. It's just a matter of familiarity and getting out there and doing it."


WR Markus Wheaton was a full participant Wednesday, while FB Rosie Nix (back) was limited and C-G Cody Wallace (knee) did not practice. Guards Ramon Foster and Chris Hubbard weren't injured but did not practice.


Steel City Insider Top Stories