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Steelers News 7/11: Joey Porter set young Big Ben straight with “blunt” message

Joey Porter is not one to hold back, and in a recent book by former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, he stated Porter set a young Ben Roethlisberger straight early in his career.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is July, which means football is right around the corner. July 27th the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe, PA for another training camp. Although we still have a few weeks of the “dog days” of the NFL offseason, it doesn’t mean there isn’t news to still be discussed.

We take you around the world wide web to give you your daily dose of black and gold, along with making BTSC your one-stop-shop for all things Steelers.

“Blunt” message from Joey Porter sparked change in young Ben Roethlisberger — Mike Florio — ProFootballTalk

Remember all those rumors about what a jerk Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was during his early years in Pittsburgh? They apparently were true.

Former Steelers assistant Bruce Arians, whose close relationship with Roethlisberger arguably contributed to the team’s decision to “retire” Arians five years ago, explains in The Quarterback Whisperer that Young Ben was a big problem for the Pittsburgh Steelers — and that one key moment changed things.

“During the [2005] season Ben often acted immature, as if all the stories that documented the greatness of ‘Big Ben’ had gone to his head,” Arians writes. “He wasn’t signing as many autographs for teammates as he should; some days he would sign, some days he wouldn’t.”

Late in the year, with playoff hopes dwindling, several veterans addressed the team. Linebacker Joey Porter, according to Arians, singled out Roethlisberger with “blunt language,” telling the quarterback that he “needed to be ‘one of us.'” Per Arians, Roethlisberger instantly “became a different person” and “grew up fast.”

Some would argue that the change was neither immediate nor permanent, but the anecdote from Arians confirms that Roethlisberger was once on the Ryan Leaf track and that, to Roethlisberger’s credit, he changed. Eventually if not immediately.

Cards RB David Johnson hopes Le'Veon Bell gets paid — Connor Orr —

There is an additional pressure on Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell as he approaches the negotiating table with exactly one week left to sign a long-term deal before playing the season under the franchise tag: A handful of other running backs are watching and counting on him to break the bank.

"I hope he gets the deal he deserves," Cardinals running back David Johnson told the MMQB. "I hope it's going to be the type of deal that cornerbacks get and quarterbacks get."

Johnson's thoughts are especially interesting on the matter because, like Bell, he has elevated himself into a class above standard running backs. Last season, Johnson was just 121 yards away from 1,000 receiving yards in addition to his 1,239 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Bell has twice topped 600 receiving yards over the last four seasons, posting a similar season to Johnson's 2016 in 2014 with 1,361 yards rushing and 854 yards receiving.

The new age of hybrid running back deserves a salary structure which takes into consideration all of their additional responsibilities, but as the MMQB correctly pointed out, they do not come up for a second deal until they are roughly 27, an age that typically signifies the beginning of the down arc in a running back's career.

A Devonta Freeman deal in Atlanta could at least help get the ball rolling. While it's not going to move the needle in the way Bell or Johnson hope, there hasn't been much in the way of reported progress after owner Arthur Blank said at the end of June that a deal would be reached soon. Freeman declined to comment on his deal in an interview with ESPN recently because he was leading his free youth football camp.

So for now, the positional traffic jam continues. Does Bell have the star power to open the door for everyone else?

Steelers' Jerome Bettis feels 'taken advantage of' by NFL's concussion behavior — Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis said the NFL has taken advantage of its players by not sharing with them all the information it had about the risk of concussions.

After viewing an innovation expo in Jerusalem that included a presentation from ElMindA, an Israeli neuro-technology company that can help the NFL diagnose concussions, Bettis said Monday he was encouraged by the progress but still perplexed about how transparent the league has been over the years.

“The problem is we don't necessarily know all the things the league is doing. For instance, working with this company here, you don't know if they are working with them closely to try to help solve the problem,” Bettis said. “You definitely feel as though you were taken advantage of in a way that you weren't given that information, and you always want to have the choice of knowing, and when that is taken away from you, you feel as though you were taken advantage of.”

Bettis, the NFL's sixth all-time leading rusher, said he suffered concussions during his 13-year career, adding, “I don't think you'll find many guys that had a long career, played 10-plus years, that didn't have a concussion.”

After years of denials, the NFL eventually acknowledged the link between repeated blows to the head during football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE.

Bettis is one of 18 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who is in Israel for a weeklong visit organized by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. In addition to boosting the fledgling local game, the delegation is touring religious and historical sites, meeting prominent officials and learning about the country's vibrant technology sector.

The delegation, which includes Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Roger Staubach and Mike Singletary, received presentations from 10 companies at the expo. ElMindA, which is at the forefront of the concussion research and has developed a system based on a database of electrophysiological brain recordings that provide personalized functional cognitive mapping, was clearly most relevant to the audience.