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Steelers get a special visit from Senator Casey


By Teresa Varley

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a new target on Monday as he threw a pass to Pennsylvania Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. prior to the team's practice.

Casey, a strong supporter of child care issues, was at St. Vincent College attending a forum on childhood issues at the Fred Rogers Center.

After the forum Casey spent time visiting with Dan, Art, II and Jim Rooney, before making his way to the field for his Steelers debut.

"It's a great honor to be here with Ben and also the Rooney family," said Casey. "I have known them a long time and they have been great friends."

Casey, who took off his suit coat and tie on field, received tips from Roethlisberger on the quarterback position and dropped back and threw a few passes.

"I am just glad Hines Ward didn't show because I am not sure I could reach him," said Casey.

After that he lined up, ran a route, and pulled in Roethlisberger's spiral with ease.

"I only caught one. I figured I would quit while I was ahead," joked Casey.

Casey is the son of the late Governor of Pennsylvania, Robert P. Casey, and knows his dad would have loved to have had the chance to do what he did today.

"My father would have killed to have done this," said Casey. "He was a big Steelers fan like we all are. My daughters won't believe this. I need pictures to prove it

After leaving St. Vincent he was headed to a few other appearances, including throwing at the first pitch at the Altoona Curve game, something he thinks might be more of a challenge than his football moment.

"In some ways I have more pressure because I have to throw out the first ball," said Casey. "This practice would go on with me. Throwing out the first ball is more pressure."

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