Quickhitters from the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room on Monday:
* Cameron Heyward didn't show up, and neither Stephon Tuitt nor Javon Hargrave had any information about Heyward's injured hamstring. It looks like we'll just wait for the Mike Tomlin press conference Tuesday at noon for this important update.
* Speaking of the Tomlin press conference, I reminded Arthur Moats that James Madison beat William & Mary on Saturday. JMU, of course, is Moats' alma mater, and Tomlin, of W&M, often takes playful jabs at him over it. Moats said he's taking a JMU hat to Tomlin to wear at the press conference.
* A report that Sammie Coates took 17 stitches to patch his finger (and arm, I suppose) was denied by Coates, who had his left hand in a wrap Monday after getting re-stitched. He said he didn't know how many stitches it took, that he looked away, but was astounded by the high number reported. "Seventeen?!" he said, before chuckling. "Nah, I don't think it's 17." The report was later corrected.
* Coates also said the wrap will come off before Wednesday's practice and that he'll play Sunday in Miami.
* Ryan Shazier said his sprained knee is feeling much better, but he has no idea whether he'll be able to play this week. "I'm working my way back. I'm just doing everything I can, all the treatment they're asking me to do," he said.
* Anthony Chickillo celebrated his first career sack and first career forced fumble on the same play Sunday. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick fell on the fumble to prevent Chickillo from recovering. "The sack, forced fumble and recovered fumble is the best play in football," Chickillo said. I told him the worst play in football is the missed extra point that would tie a game in the final minutes against your rival. "Oh, man, don't do it to me," Chickillo said before walking away.
* His Miami Hurricanes, of course, blew a 13-0 lead to rival Florida State, fell behind 20-13, and then scored a touchdown late in the game, only to miss the extra point.
* Finally got to ask Alejandro Villanueva a question about something that's been bugging me for a while. While in second grade, my music teacher taught us to never applaud the National Anthem. I never heard that again, but when I went to West Point for a visit a few years ago the Army band played the Anthem and no one applauded. I asked Big Al if applauding is bad form, and he said it is, that he's been taught never to applaud.
* Chris Hubbard received the highest grade on the team from Pro Football Focus, although there isn't an award that comes with it. "My wife was really proud and happy though," he said. "That's all I needed, man."
* Ramon Foster was given the second-highest grade. He must've set them straight in training camp, where he told PFF writers what he thought about their ratings. "He set them straight, man," said Hubbard.
* Hargave said his conditioning "was pretty good" for all of the extra reps he received in Heyward's absence Sunday. Hargrave played on 32 of 58 snaps against the Jets, a whopping 55 percent for him, whose previous high was 35 percent against the Chiefs.
* Jordan Berry said the coaches saw something about the Jets' field-goal block team that made them think he could run around the edge with a fake. "They didn't rush like we thought they would," said Berry, the holder/punter. "We needed them to be aggressive for the play to work. When they weren't aggressive they made it more difficult." Berry said he ran several fakes at Eastern Kentucky, and he of course was an Australian Rules Football player growing up. Although, on this play he couldn't back up and punt the ball away as he would in the other game. "I'm not lightning-fast like the other guys," he said. "But I've got enough speed to get away with stuff if things go the way we want them to. Obviously in that case they didn't."
* Lawrence Timmons was thinking he should've been credited with the entire sack that was ruled a shared sack with Moats. But when Timmons watched the film he agreed with the expected change which should give Moats all the credit.
* Rookie Jerald Hawkins laments his missed opportunity to get in on the tackle derby, but said there's no way he could've played this season after tearing his labrum while making a tackle following an interception in a preseason game. The second opinion was in agreement with the Steelers.null