Steelers Wednesday Notebook:

The Steelers practiced on the South Side for the first time this month. Here's the rundown from Jim Wexell:

PITTSBURGH – Byron Leftwich is considered a stand-up guy, and Wednesday he proved it to reporters.

"I take full responsibility for that," Leftwich said of the Steelers' clock-management fiasco at the end of the first half of Saturday's game against the New York Giants.

Following a Joe Burnett interception, Leftwich drove the Steelers from the Giants' 44 to the 1 with 23 seconds remaining.

With Coach Mike Tomlin shouting from the sideline for Leftwich to spike the ball on first down, Leftwich opted instead to run a quarterback sneak. It was stuffed. The Steelers used their final timeout, threw incomplete, and then ran Mewelde Moore into the middle. He was stopped short of the goal line and the clock ran out.

"I just messed it up," said Leftwich. "I have nothing against spiking the ball. Nothing. I messed it up."

What did the coaches say about it?

"I think if it was the regular season it'd have been a whole lot worse," he said. "But those things go both ways. There are no guarantees, like you should spike the ball on the ground. There's no 100 percent. It was a situation where I tried to get in and we didn't get in. Like I said, I'm glad it was a preseason game. It won't happen again. We, as a team, learned a lot from that situation."


Earlier this week, former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher told The Associated Press about Ben Roethlisberger's wayward days as a young player, but also said that he believes Roethlisberger to be "a good person" whose recent suspension was "an eye-opener to him, kind of a slap in the face."

Here's what Roethlisberger had to say Wednesday:

"Anytime a Hall of Fame coach gives that fatherly advice, it's an honor."


Last week, Roethlisberger approached rookie Maurkice Pouncey after practice and asked him to work on the center exchange.

Roethlisberger told reporters about it, but Pouncey didn't think anything of it -- until he heard from his mother Lisa.

"My mom called me to tell me," Pouncey said. "I didn't even know he said it till my mom told me, and I was like ‘That's crazy. Someone I've always wanted to play with asked me to take some extra snaps.'"


It's been an important camp for last year's forgotten third-round draft pick Kraig Urbik, a 6-5, 323-pound guard. But Urbik has played well this preseason, particularly Saturday in New York where he played 24 snaps.

"I only had one minus," said Urbik. "I had a pretty good game, played physical. I played pretty well."

Urbik played right and left guard and was part of two second-team scoring drives. He's also worked extensively at center and will give veteran starter Justin Hartwig a run for one of the final roster spots.

"I feel like I've definitely improved, and I'm able to play three positions," Urbik said. "I feel like I'm a lot better as an overall player over the last year. I feel much better."


Earlier this week, the Steelers re-signed long-snapper Matt Stewart, who's also registered 258 tackles as a linebacker in the league.

Current Steelers long-snapper Greg Warren has had two knee surgeries the last two years, but said he's "100 percent healthy," and added, "my snaps have been as good as ever."

So, why did the Steelers just sign a long-snapper they'd cut earlier in the summer?

"I was hoping you'd tell me," said Warren, who pointed out that both players make similar $600,000-plus salaries.

"Maybe it has to do with his versatility," a concerned Warren said.


For one last note about the offensive line, right guard Trai Essex was asked if he's had any communication problems due to right tackle Flozell Adams being deaf in his right ear.

"He's heard all my calls so far," Essex said.


Sports Illustrated yesterday released its selections for the top NFL players by jersey number. The Steelers have eight players on the list: Rod Woodson (26), Jerome Bettis (36), Troy Polamalu (43), Mel Blount (47), Jack Lambert (58), Jack Ham (59), L.C. Greenwood (68) and Kevin Greene (91). The Steelers have eight players. The Chicago Bears top the list with nine.


James Harrison: "I'm a person who's selfish, to be honest with you. I'm focused on me, and I would hope everybody else would be focused on themselves because if you're focused on yourself then you can make yourself a better player and in turn make the team better."

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