Baltimore Ravens Gourmet Dessert Shop
<img src="../../..../../../images/flash_navbar.gif" width="208" height="399" usemap="#navbar" border="0">

Baltimore Ravens Team Store Pressbox

By Rachael Brandon,

INTRODUCING... Kevin Colbert, a Pittsburgh native who replaced Tom Donahoe as director of football operations. Colbert has big shoes to fill considering that Donahoe was with the organization for 14 years. Colbert is in charge of player acquisitions and transactions, including the draft, free-agent signings and trades, and evaluating pro and college personnel. Since accepting the job in February, Colbert has been busy. He oversaw the draft of wide receiver Plaxico Burress and offensive lineman Marvel Smith, brought in guards Rich Tylski and Tom Myslinski, and kept running back Richard Huntley and wide receivers Will Blackwell and Courtney Hawkins.

NFL INSIDER POWER RATINGS Ratings based on analysis of 1999 team and individual statistics, offseason personnel moves and feedback from respected experts (from NFL Insider's Season Preview issue) Rushing offense: 8.1 Passing offense: 7.0 Rushing defense: 7.1 Passing defense: 9.1 Special teams: 9.5 Coaching: 8.8 Intangibles: 6.8 TOTAL: 56.4 Scale of 1-10; Perfect score=70

ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL... Jerome Bettis has been bothered off and on throughout training camp, first by a sore hip and now by a bruised left knee. He has not practiced since playing briefly in the preseason opener vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Bettis, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first four seasons with the Steelers, is expected to start practice next week, and the Steelers need him. Backups Huntley and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala are also injured.

IMPACT NEWCOMER... Burress came to Pittsburgh facing all the high expectations associated with being a No. 8 overall pick. So far, he's delivered. He debuted with four catches for 60 yards in the Steelers' preseason-opening 38-10 victory over Dallas. The former Michigan State star has been compared to both Keyshawn Johnson and Randy Moss.

"I've always been a confident guy in my talents and that's going to continue to be there so I just want to do well and have an impact this year and hopefully put up some numbers," Burress said upon joining the Steelers.

BREAKING THROUGH... Chad Scott didn't exactly have a bad year last year. He started 12 games at cornerback, with 50 tackles and an interception. But he's had a great camp, by all reports, and he's already thinking of spending some time in Hawaii after the season. Helping initiate cornerback Hank Poteat at practice one day, he let the rookie carry his shoulder pads off the field. "Those pads will be in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl," Scott said, according to the Tribune-Review. "You can carry them one time."

STEELERS AT A GLANCE Head coach: Bill Cowher (eighth year with Pittsburgh) 1999 record: 6-10 (fourth in AFC Central) 1999 rankings: Offense - 22nd overall (304.6 yards/game), 10th run (124.4), 26th pass (180.2) Defense - 11th overall (305.3 yards/game), 26th run (122.4) fourth pass (182.9)

KEY COMINGS DL Kimo von Oelhofen (Bengals) QB Kent Graham (Giants) DL Chris Sullivan (Patriots) G Rich Tylski (Jaguars) G Tom Myslinski (Cowboys) S Brent Alexander (Panthers) DE Gabe Northern (Bills) RB Pepe Pearson

KEY GOINGS OT Justin Strzelczyk DE Orpheus Roye (Browns) QB Mike Tomczak (Lions) CB Chris Oldham (Saints) OL Brenden Stai (Chiefs) LB Carlos Emmons (Eagles) S Travis Davis DT Nolan Harrison (Redskins) C Jim Sweeney (retired) NT Joel Steed (retired)

TOP DRAFT CHOICES WR Plaxico Burress (1st round) OL Marvel Smith (2) DL Kendrick Clancy (3) DB Hank Poteat (3)

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING... The Steelers had 10 players with at least 100 yards receiving last season, and five different players - including quarterback Kordell Stewart - caught a touchdown pass. ... Talk about give and take: The Steelers offense gained 4,874 yards last season, and gave up 4,884. That's a difference of just .7 yards per game. Similarly, the Steelers scored 35 touchdowns and their opponents scored 36.

CAN'T MISS... The Browns come to town on Oct. 22. Whether or not the Browns rivalry ever will be what it once was, there's two reasons this game is big. It's the Browns' final trip to Three Rivers Stadium, and the Browns earned one of just two victories on the whole season here last year. The final game at Three Rivers Stadium is Dec. 16 vs. the Redskins. Regardless of the outcome, it will be an emotional day for the Steelers and their fans.

TO BE ANSWERED... Will Stewart regain past form? Stewart took the league by storm in 1997, throwing for 3,020 yards and 21 touchdowns in his first extended action as a starting quarterback. Since then, however, the former Colorado star has struggled, resulting in two un-Steeler-like losing seasons. If Pittsburgh is to challenge for the AFC Central crown, it will need some consistency from the quarterback position. The Steelers are looking toward Stewart but could turn to former Giants veteran Kent Graham, who was signed during the offseason.

Will Dermontti Dawson be at full strength this year? The Steelers' All-Decade center isn't off to a great start in the new century. Dawson missed most of last season with a hamstring injury, and he has been severely limited throughout camp by the same injury. "Losing Dermontti is like losing our entire line," wide receiver Troy Edwards told the Tribune-Review. Dawson plans to play the season opener, but it's hard to say what shape he'll be in.

Contact Webmaster Privacy Policy