Steelers notebook: Browns' Haden quick to praise WR Brown
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 6:03 p.m.
As Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was walking off the field Sunday, Browns cornerback Joe Haden ran up to him — not to complain, but to compliment.
“He had very positive things to say about him (Antonio Brown),” Haley said.
Brown had the biggest game this season (6 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD) again Haden, who came in allowing only 30 yards per game. Haley has coached receivers such as Larry Fitzgerald and Keyshawn Johnson and, while he won't compare any of them, he is heaping considerable praise on Brown, the first NFL receiver to hit the 80-catch mark this season.
“He is having a very, very good year, and he's a big part of us turning this around,” Haley said. “He comes out every day trying to be the best he can be. It was a big challenge for him last week, playing a really good corner in Joe Haden, and he clearly held his own.”
• Ben Roethlisberger is taking the “one game at a time” mantra to a new level. He is declining to discuss the Steelers' three-game winning streak, saying, “We're 0-0. We don't even know what the last game was. We're looking to this one (Ravens) game because that's all that matters and that's the only thing we can control. There's no hot streak, there's no win streak, there's no streak. We're looking for our first win this week.” Roethlisberger took the approach following the 0-4 start and has stayed with it since. “I'm just going to keep answering the same way. We're trying to get one win,” he said. “That's all that matters.”
• The Browns sent tape of Steelers cornerback William Gay's hit to QB Jason Campbell's head to the NFL office for clarification; they'll trying to determine why there was no penalty.
Gay struck Campbell in the face mask, causing his head to snap back as he fumbled. Campbell apparently sustained his concussion when his head slammed into the turf.
The Browns believe the hit was worse than the penalized hit by the 49ers' Ahmad Brooks on Saints QB Drew Brees the week before. Brooks also was fined $15,750.
• Defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) practiced Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, improving his chances of playing against the Ravens, but linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) was limited. Keisel and Woodley both missed the past two games. Also limited were right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), tight end Heath Miller (rested) and safety Troy Polamalu (rested).
• Successfully running the no-huddle offense will be more difficult because of the crowd noise in Baltimore, according to Ben Roethlisberger. “We'll have to figure out how to communicate,” he said. “We'll call a muddle huddle where the line kind of turns around and it will look like a huddle, but it will be the same mode of no-huddle. (It's) just being alert for audibles and checks; (making sure) everybody hears me and is on the same page.”
• Ravens running back Ray Rice is having the worst season of his career with a 2.9 yards per carry and one run of 20 yards or longer. But he worries Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. “Ray Rice is one of best backs who ever played,” LeBeau said. “As long as he is in there, they're going to have a good one in the run game.” In 10 games against the Steelers, Rice has a 59.4 yards per game average and one TD run; he had 45 yards on 15 carries against them earlier this season.
• Mike Tomlin on playing the Ravens in Baltimore on Thanksgiving: “ We're going into the lions den.” The Steelers are 3-3 there under Tomlin.
• Le'Veon Bell was surprised by the amount of on-field talking the Ravens did during their 20-17 loss in Pittsburgh on Oct. 20. “There was a lot, from the first play to the last,” Bell said. “I love it, I enjoy it, I embrace it. There are plenty of guys in the NFL who are real funny; if they weren't playing in the NFL, they'd be stand-up comedians. You can't repeat nothing that was said. You just can't do that.”
• Cornerback Curtis Brown, out for the season with an ACL injury, went on the injured reserve list, and cornerback Isaiah Green was activated off the practice squad. Green has made multiple trips on and off the roster as the result of various injuries.
• Polamalu is the Steelers' nominee for the third annual Salute to Service presented to an NFL player for his efforts in working for and honoring those who serve in the military. Polamalu set up a foundation that works extensively for veterans' causes and is named for his grandfather, a World War II veteran.
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