Steelers notebook: Revived offense looks to keep momentum
The Steelers' running game finally is enjoying some success, but backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski said the key to a good offense is adapting game by game.
What worked against the Baltimore Ravens isn't necessarily what will work Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
“It's all about what you can do that (next) game. You've got to keep your book open,” he said. “Whatever is making plays, whoever is making plays for your offense, you've got to keep on it.”
Even with their 141 yards rushing against Baltimore — the most they've had in nearly a year — the Steelers' 446 yards rushing are the second fewest they've had through six games since 1945, when they had 403 yards.
Many of the Steelers know Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor because of his association with former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, who mentored Pryor during his Jeannette High School days.
“Charlie used to bring him around a lot,” Ike Taylor said. “We knew this was going to be the next big hit coming out of Pittsburgh. You'd see Charlie out at a dinner or a function, you'd see him (Pryor).”
In the 40 seasons since they defeated Oakland in the 1974 season AFC championship game, the Steelers have beaten the Raiders on the road only twice: 1984 and 1994. They've lost seven times.
No love lost
Longtime Steelers fans often reminisce about the 1970s games against the Raiders, but no current player was alive at the time.
“I knew about the Immaculate Reception, but I didn't know about the Ice Bowl (1975 AFC title game) and the all the rest of the games, the ‘criminal element' game (in 1976) and stuff like that,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said.
The rivalry was so strong, Raiders defensive back George Atkinson sued Chuck Noll for defamation of character after Noll labeled him as being part of football's “criminal element.” Atkinson lost the case, but the distractions it caused might have led to the Steelers' 9-5 record in 1977, their worst from 1971-80.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.