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Print

Receivers aim for better outing

Posted Nov 30, 2011

Coach Mike Tomlin said in his weekly press conference that the team’s wide receivers needed to get more separation and make more competitive catches following Sunday night’s game in Kansas City.

His comments were ones that the receivers completely agreed with.

“We definitely didn’t go out and give our best performance last week,” said Emmanuel Sanders. “We have another opportunity coming up this week. We have a whole week of practice to continuously get better. We are going to do that. We are going to perform better than we did last week.”

The Steelers were three for 11 on third down conversions, with them unable to connect in the passing game to convert many of them, much of that to the credit of the Chiefs defense.

“There were some opportunities to make plays out there, those guys did a great job of attacking the ball, but at all costs you got to just try to make a play for the team and make those competitive catches,” said Jerricho Cotchery. “We knew going into the game they had a very good secondary, it’s not talked about as much how good their secondary is, but we knew that those guys attack the ball pretty well, so it was going to be up to us to pluck the ball out of the air whenever you get an opportunity. They made the plays in the game and we didn’t.”

Mike Wallace said he was disappointed that he missed two balls that could have resulted in touchdowns, and if that were the case then the receivers wouldn’t even be a topic this week.

“We need to make every catch that comes our way,” said Wallace. “Open, not open, it doesn’t matter. We need to do that.

“I think Ben (Roethlisberger) made some good throws. Two of those passes I dropped. It’s more a part of me just catching the ball. I think he has been doing a great job of giving me opportunities and putting it in the right place. I just have to come down with it. Its plays I usually make. It’s just me. I will get it together.”

* * *

Sanders said he felt good after returning to action against the Chiefs on Sunday night and his knee continues to improve.

"I am getting better by the day,” said Sanders. “My knee is getting stronger by the day. I was ecstatic to play in the last game and get back out here with the guys and have some fun.”

Sanders missed the last two games after having the knee scoped, but returned to action against Kansas City and had two receptions for 25 yards.

“The knee felt really good,” said Sanders. “I was out there playing and didn’t feel any pain. I didn’t feel anything. I got a shot before the game and it felt good.

“I was excited to get back out there after missing two games. I had fun.”

* * *

Almost every week Steelers defenders have been asked about turnovers, or the lack thereof, and they kept preaching that they come in bunches and sooner or later would happen.

Against the Chiefs that was definitely the case as they came up with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Cornerback Keenan Lewis came up with biggest of all the turnovers when he intercepted Tyler Palko to seal the game with 28 seconds left to play.

“It definitely came in bunches this week,” said Lewis, who plans on giving the ball to his mother. “It’s just a magical thing I want to say. I hope we keep it going for another five games.”

* * *

Sanders, Wallace and Antonio Brown have dubbed themselves “Young Money,” and the trio has another person wanting to join the group.

Tight end Weslye Saunders, who scored his first NFL touchdown against the Chiefs, is trying to join the crew.

“He is coming along. We are thinking about it,” joked Wallace. “His touchdown was a nice play. We usually get long touchdowns, but he kind of looks like a receiver. We might have to make an exception for him because we like the guy.”

* * *

Roethlisberger said while he still has pain in his thumb, he had no setbacks after playing against the Chiefs and going through practice on Wednesday.

“It’s good,” said Roethlisberger. “No major setbacks. I am moving forward. It gets a little better every week.”

Roethlisberger indicated he thinks the thumb is something that will be a factor for a while, but he won’t let it impact his play.

“It’s a little bit of everything, having the strength to hold on to it, to pump fake and to zip it in there,” he said. “People don’t realize the thumb is one of the last things, as the ball is coming off your hand, it’s one of the things that’s balancing and holding the ball in your hand. It’s going to be painful but it’s nothing I can’t deal with.

“It’s going to be a factor the rest of the year but you know me and I don’t make excuses. You just go out and play the game regardless of inclement weather, injuries or whatever it is.”

* * *

The Steelers re-signed linebacker Mortty Ivy to the practice squad and waived wide receiver Jamar Newsome.

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