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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The faces change sometimes at a dizzying rate.
20-11-2018, 09:16 AM
Post: #1
200
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The faces change sometimes at a dizzying rate.
The results when the Cleveland Browns visit the Pittsburgh Steelers do not.Each fall the https://www.steelerssportshop.com/Ryan-Switzer-Jersey Browns make their way to Heinz Field, typically with a new quarterback and frequently with a new head coach in tow.And each trip ends in similar fashion: with a quiet bus ride back home after another stinging defeat in a rivalry that hasn’t felt like much of one for more than two decades.Your turn Baker Mayfield. And maybe your last chance, Hue Jackson.Cleveland’s rookie quarterback will get his initial shot at the Steelers (3-2-1) on Sunday when the Browns (2-4-1) try win in Pittsburgh for the first time in 15 years.It’s a drought that spans nearly a dozen quarterbacks — from Jeff Garcia to Colt McCoy to DeShone Kizer — and seven head coaches — from Butch Davis to Pat Shurmur to Jackson, who has yet to win a game on the road during his tenure (0-19) and whose status is shaky at best.Unlike his predecessors, however, Mayfield brings a certain swagger that’s hard to quantify but also hard to miss.Pittsburgh safety Sean Davis couldn’t help but notice it on film, particularly the way Mayfield bounced up last week in Tampa Bay after getting hit by Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead , a play that the NFL admitted should have drawn a flag but did not.“He got trucked but he got up and ran into the defender’s face,” Davis said with a laugh. “I kind of like that. When I hit him, he’s not going to run in my face.”Davis then laughed before stressing “I do like him. He’s a good ballplayer. He’s put some good stuff on tape.”So, though, have the first-place Steelers. Pittsburgh has won two straight following a bumpy 1-2-1 start, a stretch that began with a strange 21-all tie in Cleveland in Week 1.The Steelers turned it over six times in the rain and wind, including a fourth-quarter fumble by running back James Conner that sparked a late Browns’ rally and spoiled an otherwise spectacular day by Conner in his first NFL start.Seven weeks later, Conner is still atop the depth chart and thriving in the absence of Le’Veon Bell, who still hasn’t signed his one-year franchise tender. The way Conner is playing — he already has three games of at least 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns — there’s no telling what Bell’s role will be whenever he bothers to show up.In many ways, the Steelers have already moved on from Bell. A victory coming off the bye week against an opponent that’s offered little resistance through the years would provide a momentum boost as Halloween nears. Yet Cleveland believes this isn’t the Same Old Browns. Only one way to find out.Some things to look for as Pittsburgh looks for some separation in the jumbled AFC North while the Browns try to end a 24-game road losing streak, the second-longest in NFL history.BEN BEING BENPittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is an Ohio native and was passed over by the Browns during the 2004 draft. Cleveland opted for tight end Kellen Winslow with the sixth overall pick while the Steelers scooped up Roethlisberger five selections later.All the 36-year-old Roethlisberger has done is go 21-2-1 in 24 starts against the Browns Landry Jones Color Rush Jersey , and that doesn’t include the 2016 victory in which he came off the bench in relief of Landry Jones.Still, he’s eager to atone for his four-interception performance in the opener.“I hate when we turn the football over,” said Roethlisberger, who is tied for the NFL lead in yards passing per game (339). “I hate when we lose football games, but if you look at positives I think we are getting better every week.”ON THE OFFENSIVEAn emotional Jackson raised eyebrows following last week’s tough loss with comments that he intended to get more involved in Cleveland’s offense, starting this week.Jackson’s disappointment with the team’s slow starts — the Browns haven’t scored a touchdown in the first quarter — and overall struggles seemed directed at coordinator Todd Haley. Jackson walked back his remarks the next day, saying he was not being critical and only wanted to offer Haley help.“I have total confidence in Todd and what the staff is doing,” he said. “In those situations, fuming like I was after losing, I had a chance to sit back and see it all. I just wanted to make sure that as an offense we were crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s, and making sure that everything is moving in the right direction.”HALEY’S HOMECOMINGHaley spent six seasons directing Pittsburgh’s high-potent offense before parting with the Steelers following last season’s ugly home playoff loss to Jacksonville. He didn’t always see eye to eye with Roethlisberger, but there were other reasons for the move. Not surprisingly, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin steered clear of any controversy this week about Haley’s departure.“We just decided that it was an opportunity for change,” Tomlin said. “Sometimes, change is good — not only for us but for him. We had a good experience and had a lot of success together. It is my understanding that he is having a good experience over there, as well.” We already know that Antonio Brown has made it to the top of the NFL. Now, he’s made it onto the cover of the video game he played as a youngster while dreaming of getting to the NFL.EA SPORTS unveiled Brown on Wednesday as the cover guy for Madden NFL 19 and Madden NFL Overdrive. The game will be available Aug. 10 worldwide.”To be on the cover is a real honor I’ve wanted to always have because I have so much connection with the game,” says Brown Franco Harris Jersey , an All-Pro receiver the last four seasons and runner-up to Todd Gurley as NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. ”Growing up as a kid I played Madden all the time, was being inspired by the players in the game. And now to be on the cover, it’s a special feeling.”Brown, of course, is a special player, one many of his peers consider the best in the league. The fact he’s a self-made success story endears him to the fans, too.Brown was a sixth-round draft pick (195th overall) in 2010 from Central Michigan, not exactly a college power. He barely got on the field as a rookie, yet by 2011 he was gaining 1,108 yards as Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite new target.From there, Brown has been virtually unstoppable, averaging just under 1,570 yards in receptions, with 52 touchdowns in the last five years. He’s also a dynamic punt returner.The only surprise about Brown being on the Madden cover is it took so long for him to get there.”There’s a lot of milestones athletes dream of,” he says, ”and after being inducted into the Madden 99 Club earlier this year, and now appearing on the cover of this year’s games, it’s clear that business is not just booming Merril Hoge Color Rush Jersey , but I’m also among the all-time greatest with these honors.”Brown believes the Steelers can be a great team this season – why wouldn’t he? – and that Le’Veon Bell’s potential holdout won’t be a detriment. Just like last year, when Bell didn’t reach a long-term contract and also played under the franchise tag, Brown figures even if the star running back reports in September, he’ll have his usual impact.”I think he is going to be excited, he’s a great player and understands whatever he needs to do to be a great player,” Brown says. ”He will be ready to do whatever he has to do.”We’re definitely good enough to win the Super Bowl this year, we got all the goods, all the right people,” Brown adds. ”We just have to make sure we do it right.”One thing Brown does right, according to his peers throughout the league and to NFL fans, is celebrate his big plays. He claims his dances and moves aren’t pre-planned and that they come to him ”naturally, however you feel.”He’s eager for those gyrations to be highlighted in Madden.”AB has taken the league by storm the past few years and is arguably one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL,” said Josh Rabenovets, senior brand director at EA SPORTS. ”His game is hot, he’s got a ton of personality on and off the field. He was an easy choice for the Madden NFL 19 cover.”—
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