A little bit of this, and a little bit of that as the Steelers prepare to take on the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.Prime time: Monday night's game against the Washington Redskins will not only mark the first NFL regular season game for several players, but it will also mark the first time they play on Monday Night Football.
"I am really excited," said wide receiver Eli Rogers. "It's my first regular season game. It's Monday Night Football. I am pumped. It's doesn't get any better than this. You grow up watching football and think in your mind I am going to be playing on Monday Night Football. Now that I am here, it's surreal."
He isn't the only one feeling that way. Rookie No. 2 pick Sean Davis, who is from Washington, D.C., returns home for his first NFL game.
"I am super excited," said Davis. "It's prime time, the only game on television. It's my first game. You couldn't ask for a better situation."**
Top 10:** Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin kicks off his 10th season at the helm, and nothing but good things are being said about him.
Center Maurkice Pouncey:
"He is a great coach. He is a realist. He keeps everything out front. He works you really hard but he cares about you. You can appreciate a guy who is always honest with you."
Linebacker Arthur Moats:
"He is able to relate to the players. He is very personable. You can tell how genuine he is caring about you on and off the field. His attention to detail also. He is always going to have you prepared for the game.
"But make sure you put this in there. I don't like the fact that he went to William & Mary. Go James Madison Dukes."
Hall of Famer Franco Harris:
"It's hard to believe 10 years. Time flies when you are having fun. He has been great. We know he is a great coach, but he is a great person, a great human being. He has been great for the city of Pittsburgh. We all love him in Pittsburgh."
Second(ary) to none: The goal for the Steelers defense is always to be the best, and safety Mike Mitchell knows that the potential is there. But, it's about making that potential reality.
"I think we can make plays," said Mitchell. "It ticks me off. We don't get as much credit as I think we should. Sometimes we get blamed for things that aren't even us. That is the little bit of dirt that comes with our job. We have a lot of playmakers. I look forward to displaying that. It's not about what you say, it's about what you do. I am looking forward to getting out there with the three brothers I am going to be playing with and do it.
"The goal is to be a world championship caliber defense. I think we have the potential to be that. Potential is one of those funny words I don't like to use. I just want to keep my head down and keep working.
Brotherly love:** Nose tackle Javon Hargrave has always enjoyed watching his younger brother, T.J. Bates play sports, and Bates has also enjoyed watching his older brother. This year it will be easy for the two of them to support each other as Bates is a sophomore on Point Park University's basketball team in Pittsburgh. Bates transferred to Point Park this year, and for Hargrave it's the perfect situation.
"It's good because I have someone I am real close to in the same spot," said Hargrave. "I can look out for him, make sure he is doing the right things. Someone to always talk to. He is always at my place.
"When I was in college we were on two different schedules and far away. Now it's a good feeling that he can come to my games and I can see him play."