Ben keeps tabs on former teammate Burress
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has talked in the past about how a tall wide receiver would add another dimension to the passing game.
Tuesday, Roethlisberger stopped just short of lobbying for Plaxico Burress' return to Pittsburgh.
"I've talked to Plax a number of times in the last couple of weeks," Roethlisberger said. "I told him, 'Hey, if you came back here that would be awesome, but I'm just happy to see you playing again' because he's a good guy."
The two were teammates for one season, and the Steelers have not had a wide receiver that is rangy and sure-handed since Burress signed with the New York Giants in 2005.
Burress is eying a comeback after spending the last two years in prison on a weapons charge. The wideout, who last played in 2008, is expected to become an unrestricted free agent shortly after the NFL lockout ends and the Giants grant his release.
The 6-foot-5 Burress had been productive in New York — he caught the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII — before derailing his career after accidentally shooting himself with an unregistered gun.
Roethlisberger, who had been Burress' neighbor in Pittsburgh and remains close to his former target, threw to smaller targets yesterday during the second and final day of his football camp for kids ages 7 to 14.
Roethlisberger moved easily among the pint-sized campers that dotted the football field at Seneca Valley High School, alternately handing out instruction and high-fives. His relaxed and carefree attitude coincided with news that labor peace may be on the horizon.
And it was fitting, too, since the Steelers may be in as good a position as any team once the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987 ends.
The Steelers return most starters from last year's Super Bowl team, and they didn't require the offseason practices — a casualty of the lockout — to install a new offense or defense.
"It's not like we need a rookie center or a new quarterback, someone to learn the offense right away, so I think we are better equipped (to deal with the lockout) than we would be if we were a younger team," Roethlisberger said. "We don't need to fill many spots. I think that translates into a veteran team that can deal with things like this."
Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel agreed.
"I thank God that I'm part of a team that's a veteran team," said Keisel, who served as a coach at Roethlisberger's camp. "We know the playbooks, we know what the coaches expect, we know how to work in the offseason. I've had an eased state of mind because of that."
Steelers defensive players largely have worked out on their own this offseason. The offensive players, meanwhile, have been gathering at different locations to work on timing, among other things. At times, Roethlisberger said, the workouts attracted enough players that they broke up into two groups.
"We got together as an offense quite a few times and went over plays, we did some no-huddle stuff, we got in the huddle," Roethlisberger said. "Linemen, running backs, pretty much everybody was there."
Big Ben's Football Camp
Steelers Brett Keisel showed up to help quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with the kids at Bens' football camp at Seneca Valley High School June 21, 2011.
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.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Steelers notebook: Harrison return complicated by LeBeau, Titans
- Steelers notebook: Team seek ease on West Coast travel
- Steelers re-sign WR Heyward-Bey to 1-year deal
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell could move to replace Polamalu
- Tomlin expects Steelers offense to grow