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Joe White AP Article on Game


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Here's the national media peice!


Redskins 35, Steelers 34


AP Sports Writer

August 19, 2002

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers first-string defense shut out the Fun 'N Gun. That gave safety Lee Flowers room to talk.

The Steelers eventually lost Sunday night's game 35-34 to the Washington Redskins, but Pittsburgh dominated 17-0 when the starters were playing in the first half.

``I don't think it's going to work in this league,'' said Flowers, asked about the Fun 'N Gun offense that made coach Steve Spurrier so successful at the University of Florida. ``They would've never moved past the 50 unless we allowed them. I don't see the big deal about it. I've seen better offenses than that in my eight-year career. This is not college.''

The Redskins had six turnovers, and the first-team offense had just 123 yards. Washington finally won with second-stringers, third-stringers and players who won't be in the league in a few weeks.

``They could have booed our butts right out of the tunnel in the first half,'' Spurrier said. ``You can find a lot of things to criticize, but that's OK. We weren't very good overall, but somehow or another those guys made enough plays to get one more point tonight -- for whatever it's worth.''

Sage Rosenfels threw three touchdown passes to overcome a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter, with the winning score coming on a 5-yard pass to Darnerien McCants with 2:11 remaining. For players like McCants, who is trying to move up on the depth chart, the backups-vs.-backups argument doesn't hold water.

``It's the NFL. I hope that they have professionals on the field,'' McCants said. ''... I just think that's an excuse.''

The Redskins are 3-0 and have scored 110 points in exhibitions.

``I'm trying to learn how to coach exhibitions,'' Spurrier said. ``I haven't learned yet. I don't know if you try to win or not, but it seems like when we get into battle, we try and win these things.''

Kordell Stewart sustained a mild concussion and Charlie Batch cut his chin, but it didn't matter who the Pittsburgh quarterback was early on. Batch capped an 83-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dan Kreider, and rookie Antwaan Randle El ran 32 yards on a reverse to finish a 99-yard drive -- both against the Redskins' first-string defense. The Steelers gained 221 yards in the first half.

The Steelers, in essence, had reason to be happy about most everything except the final score.

``The group they had out there in the fourth quarter was better than the group we had out there,'' coach Bill Cowher said.

But many of those players won't make the final roster, and Cowher said he was happy his starters' play.

``Yeah, but I don't like losing though,'' Cowher said.

Rosenfels struggled against Pittsburgh's starters in the second quarter -- 6-for-10 for 54 yards with an interception and a fumble -- but returned in the fourth to throw TD passes to Leonard Stephens, Derrius Thompson and McCants. Rosenfels finished 17-for-25 for 244 yards.

Starter Danny Wuerffel played the first quarter and went 2-for-5 for 24 yards with two drops and an interception. Shane Matthews, playing the third quarter, was 14-for-21 for 137 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Stewart was hurt in the first quarter as he neared the sideline after scrambling to the right on a rollout. He was grabbed from behind and slammed headfirst into the ground by linebacker LaVar Arrington.

Stewart, who gained 6 yards on the play, lay on the ground for about a minute. He then walked to the bench and sat with a towel over his head as Batch entered the game in his place.

Batch was hurt when he was hit high by Del Cowsette after throwing a pass in the second quarter. Cowsette was flagged for roughing the passer, and Batch's return was listed as questionable.

Martin then entered the game as Pittsburgh's third quarterback. On Martin's first play, Cowher called a two-handoff reverse to Randle El, who scored to give the Steelers a 14-0 lead.

In between the quarterback injuries, Pittsburgh lost another starter when linebacker Kendrell Bell severely sprained his left ankle and will have to wear a cast for a week. Cowher said he was ``cautiously optimistic'' Bell will be ready for the season opener.

Pittsburgh running back Amos Zereoue and Washington running back Ladell Betts both sprained their right ankles in the third quarter.


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Maybe Cowher feels a little like Mariucci this morning. Guess he's not bagging on the niner coach anymore. Hurts, huh coach?

Anyone who got to watch the game last night knows that he was dying to win that game. I swear, he was furious the whole time. Weak-a$$ed excuses like "They had better players in the end than we did" just shows he's bitter. It killed him inside, and he was burning timeouts and doing everything he could. Not like Gardner, Davis, Steely Dan et al were playing after the first Q.

As for Lee Flowers, he's a yap rapper. Good for him. But saying that they "let" the Redskins cross the fifty is a joke. Guess they were feeling like laying down last night, if they kept letting the Redskins roll up yardage like that. Someone call the waahmbulance.

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