Notebook: Vertigo?

It came right out of the Monday Night Football booth last Friday night: Ben Roethlisberger suffers from vertigo. Roethlisberger commented yesterday; meanwhile, the Steelers, as expected, signed a new tight end.

PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger's ears must've been burning as he played last Friday night – at least from the way the analysts in the TV booth were discussing him.

Joe Theismann said, more than once, that Roethlisberger didn't look comfortable and that he should've stayed in the game longer.

"That's fine," Roethlisberger said Tuesday.

The other analyst, Tony Kornheiser, reported that Roethlisberger has suffered with vertigo since his motorcycle accident. That wasn't so fine, even though it's the truth.

"I don't know where he got that from," Roethlisberger said. "I told him that I had vertigo, but I haven't had any in a long time. I think they took it from the fact that I said I may get it once a week."

Does he still suffer from vertigo once a week?

"Maybe," Roethlisberger said. "If I roll over in bed or something."

Roethlisberger was pressed on the first issue: Was Theismann right? How can Roethlisberger be ready for four quarters when he's only played four series this preseason?

"I feel comfortable," he said. "I feel that I'll be able to make it through a whole game. I'm lighter than I was and I feel that in the fourth quarter I'll be okay."

NEW TIGHT END

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Bill Cowher said yesterday at his weekly press conference that the lingering hamstring injury to Jerame Tuman would affect the final composition of the roster, and later in the day Cowher followed through on his promise. The Steelers signed veteran tight end Tim Euhus and released undrafted Penn State rookie Isaac Smolko.

The 6-5, 249-pound Euhus (pronounced YOU-us) was a fourth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2004. He started five games that year and played in 12 before a knee injury ended his season.

Last year, Euhus missed the first five games with a shoulder injury but played in 11 games, started three, and caught three passes for 17 yards. He was traded to the New Orleans Saints last June for linebacker Courtney Watson, but was released by the Saints on Monday.

A former basketball and football player at Oregon State, Euhus has 14 career catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

HAMSTRUNG

Four players will miss Thursday's game because of injuries.

Right tackle Max Starks injured his knee "the other day," according to Cowher, who said, "he should be okay." Cowher was unsure whether rookie Willie Colon or second-year man Trai Essex would replace Starks on Thursday, but Essex practiced with the first team Tuesday.

Three players will miss the game because of hamstring injuries: Hines Ward, Jerame Tuman and rookie cornerback Anthony Madison.

Ward underwent an MRI and the results are encouraging. He's on course to return in time for the opener.

Roethlisberger was asked how long it will take to get his timing down with Ward.

"Hines and I will be off about the first day. By Day Two we'll be on the same page," he said.

Tuman also believes he'll be ready for the opener. Thursday's game will mark three weeks since he last practiced.

"I've been working two, three times a day without trying to regress," he said. "There's not a game plan for a hamstring. There are so many different muscle fibers and tendons in there. Not one's the same and nobody has a sure-fire plan how to fix them, but it's definitely coming along. Mine's definitely on track to be ready for the opener."

QUOTABLE

Cowher on the importance of this game for players on the roster bubble: "I think if you talk about being a consistent football team and wanting consistent players, you have to be careful about taking too big of a last impression or first impression. You want someone who what you see is what you are going to get, play in and play out, week in and week out. It could be just a game and the matchup that existed that particular night. I think it's more about the whole process than it is any one incident."


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