Steelers Trounce Raiders -- Rivalry Revived

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Steelers Trounce Raiders -- Rivalry Revived

Nov. 21, 2010

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PITTSBURGH(AP) The Steelers returned to the Steel Curtain days of the 1970s. TheRaiders went back to the bad old days of the last seven years.There were punches and penalties, aSteelers defense that wouldn't stop and a Raiders offense that couldn'tget started. One week after getting embarrassed by the Patriots, a yearafter losing to Oakland, James Harrison and the Steelers tossed aroundthe Raiders like it was a playground pickup game while beating them35-3 on Sunday.Raiders defensive end Richard Seymourpunched Ben Roethlisberger in the jaw with an open hand, but theSteelers never flinched. They shrugged off a club-record 163 yards inpenalties, chased a bewildered quarterback Jason Campbell from the gameand punished the Raiders like the Steel Curtain teams of the '70s didso many opponents.The Steelers (7-3), still tied withBaltimore for the AFC North lead, were motivated by last week's 39-26home-field loss to New England and last year's 27-24 defeat to Oaklandthat all but ruined their season."It definitely was an old school,physical type game from back in the day," linebacker James Farriorsaid. "That's the type of game we wanted to make it, a physical game,and improve from our performance of last week."Harrison, the former AP NFL DefensivePlayer of the Year, did much of the damage with five tackles, twosacks, an interception and a forced fumble. He also took one of theSteelers' six personal foul penalties for slamming Campbell to the turfas the quarterback threw a pass."We didn't worry about the calls," Harrison said. "When you're getting a lot of penalties against you, it brings you together."Seymour, long one of the NFL's topdefensive players, displayed Oakland's frustration by strikingRoethlisberger in the face as the quarterback celebrated his TD pass toSanders late in the second quarter."I've never seen a quarterback get punched since I've been in this league," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.Several Raiders were certain Roethlisberger said something to Seymour."I'm not sure why he ran up on me," Seymour said."I heard that Big Ben said something," defensive lineman Tommy Kelly said. "I guess Big Rich didn't like it."What the Raiders (5-5) most dislikedwas getting shoved around like the Raiders teams that lost at least 11games each season from 2003-09. Oakland fell out of a tie for the AFCWest lead as Kansas City (6-4) beat Arizona 31-13.Oakland averaged 458 yards and 38.6points during its three-game winning streak, but had only 52 yards - 11rushing - as the Steelers opened a 21-3 halftime lead."We played against a really toughdefense today that got after us," said Campbell, who was 7 of 19 for 70yards and an interception. "Once we got behind the 8-ball and they gotall the momentum, they just kept bringing it and bringing it."Campbell never had a chance againsta Steelers defense that forced three turnovers, two that becametouchdowns, had six sacks and limited Darren McFadden to 14 yards on 10carries, 94 below his average. The Steelers have allowed only one100-yard rusher in 44 games.The Raiders were so ineffective, theSteelers had more penalty yards than they had offensive yards untildeep in the third quarter. The Steelers outgained them 431-182 asRoethlisberger threw touchdown passes of 52 yards to Mike Wallace, 22yards to Emmanuel Sanders and 16 yards to Isaac Redman and scrambled 16yards for a touchdown."I don't know how a team can overcome that many penalties, but we did it," Sanders said.Roethlisberger was 18 of 29 for 275yards and had 55 yards rushing. Wallace had his fifth 100-yardreceiving game with 116 yards, and Rashard Mendenhall's 15-yard TD runput Pittsburgh ahead to stay 7-3 in the second quarter.Bruce Gradkowski, who threw threetouchdown passes during the final 8 12 minutes of Oakland's stunningwin in Pittsburgh last season, replaced Campbell but also couldn't getanything going.While the penalties didn't affectPittsburgh's domination, the many calls inflamed their fans. TheHarrison penalty so upset the crowd of 64,987 that it booed for theensuing three plays, and fans began a derisive cheer aimed at refereeTony Corrente."Their defensive guys were hittingour offensive guys and there were no penalties," Harrison said. "Ibelieve if it happened the other way, there would have been a lot morepenalties called and maybe they would have kicked five or six of us outof game."Notes: Oakland had 55 yards inpenalties. ... Oakland's other defensive end, Trevor Scott, tore theACL in his left knee, usually a season-ending injury. ... Steelers CMaurkice Pouncey was pulled in the second half with a thigh injury. ...WR Hines Ward made three catches for 28 yards a week after a concussionsidelined him for the final three quarters against New England, endinghis streak of 186 consecutive games with a reception. ... Oakland stillhasn't won in Pittsburgh in successive seasons. ... Pittsburgh didn'tallow a point in the second half after giving up 29 to New England. ...Shaun Suisham, the Steelers' new kicker, didn't attempt a field goal.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”