PITTSBURGH – The Steelers have 11 picks in the upcoming 2010 draft which begins on Thursday, and while much speculation surrounds what the team might do with Ben Roethlisberger, especially since they re-acquired Byron Leftwich during a trade on Tuesday, a new scenario has emerged, one in which the team would trade for Tennessee running back LenDale White.
That’s right, the same LenDale White who stomped over a terrible towel after a win during the 2008 season.
“We won’t talk about specific players that may or not be involved in trades with,” Steeler director of football operations Kevin Colbert said during his pre-draft press conference. ” But a normal procedure for us is to talk to every team, and we have and will continue to do that and that will include trading up and trading down. As I said, As a normal procedure it we will contact every team and we have almost done all of that.”
White wants to be traded according to a league source, and on April 15 signed a one year tender with the Titans for $1.8 million, meaning the door is open. There have been concerns about his weight, but White has showed up to Titans practices 35 pounds lighter than last year, where he rushed for only 222 yards after a breakout 200
Although the Titans made no indication if White was going to be traded, General Manager Mike Reinfeldt did not rule anything out by Thursday.
“I think we’re probably in more of a mode to kind of see how it unfolds a little bit,” he said during the Titans press draft presser on Tuesday. “But I think there are teams that are willing to do things already at this point in time.”
If the Titans decide to part ways with White, it is thought he could be got for a fifth round pick, of which the Steelers have five.
The Steelers were thought to originally have had White on their boards during the 2006 draft but instead traded up for Santonio Holmes. Ironically, one of those fifth round picks this year was from Holmes trade to New York.
The Steelers began OTA’s on Tuesday, and one of the big question marks was the receiver slot with Homes now gone. Hines Ward was missing from practice but a player many thought would not be back in the Steelers plans was on the field.
Limas Sweed was back in action, and although he did not speak to reporters, he did issue a statement.
“I am excited to be back on the field and back in the locker room with my teammates,” Sweed said in a statement. “I appreciate all the support I received from the Steelers organization while I dealt with some personal issues at the end of the 2009 season. I have been working diligently and I am focused on the remainder of the offseason in getting myself prepared to have a great 2010 season.”
STEELERS SCHEDULE RELEASED
The Steelers will kick off the 2010 NFL season at Heinz Field against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. Pittsburgh’s nationally televised primetime games at Heinz Field include a game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 8:20 p.m., and a Thursday night game on Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. against the Carolina Panthers. Pittsburgh’s other national prime time games include road contests Sunday, Oct. 31 at New Orleans (8:20 p.m.), Monday, Nov. 8 at Cincinnati (8:30 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 5 at Baltimore (8:20 p.m.).
“I think it is a challenging schedule and we look forward to a lot of exciting games at Heinz Field this season,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “We are also pleased that our many fans across the country will have a number of opportunities to watch us play during prime time throughout the fall.”
In addition to the Steelers’ two home prime time games, Pittsburgh will play six additional contests at Heinz Field, including Week 1 vs. Atlanta and two October games Sunday, Oct. 3 vs. Baltimore (1 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 17 vs. Cleveland (1 p.m.). After three weeks on the road, the Steelers will host New England on Nov. 14 and Oakland on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. Pittsburgh’s final three home games take place in consecutive weeks on Sunday, Dec. 12 vs. Cincinnati (1 p.m.), Sunday, Dec. 19 vs. New York Jets (4:15 p.m.) and Dec. 23 vs. Carolina.
The Steelers’ remaining road games include a Week 2 matchup on Sunday, Sept. 19 at Tennessee (1 p.m.), Sunday, Sept. 26 at Tampa Bay (1 p.m.) and Sunday, Oct. 24 at Miami (1 p.m.). The Steelers will travel to Buffalo on Sunday, Nov. 28 (1 p.m.) and finish the regular season on Sunday, Jan. 2 at Cleveland (1 p.m.).
The Steelers’ annual bye week will be on Oct. 10 (Week 5).
All Sunday games beginning in Week 11 (Nov. 21) through the remainder of the regular season are subject to flexible scheduling and could be moved into the Sunday night time slot (8:20 p.m.). The NFL will provide at least 12 days notice of time changes due to the “flex” scheduling. Week 17 start time changes could be decided on six days notice to ensure a game with playoff implications. Flexible scheduling will not impact Thursday, Saturday or Monday night games.