Stephens-Howling visiting the Steelers today


The Steelers are hosting some free agents today, but not the kind that will make the fanbase sit up and take notice. Or even wake up, really.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the team is hosting Arizona running back La’Rod Stephens-Howling, along with 49ers linebacker Tavares Gooden and Texans guard Antoine Caldwell.

Of the lot of them, Stephens-Howling is the most interesting, since he’s unlike the rest of the backs on the Steelers roster at the moment. He’s more of a third down back/returner, and would fill the role they envisioned for the released Chris Rainey.

The Pitt product has been a solid special teamer and part-time player for the Cardinals.

34 responses to “Stephens-Howling visiting the Steelers today

  1. I have nothing bad to say about the kid. He was allot of fun to watch in highschool. Hope he doesn’t join this classless organization.

  2. Oh contrare. These are great FAs to be taking a look at. LSH is a necessary piece and Gooden and Caldwell provide great depth allowing them to take a look at players other than Warmack/Cooper or an overrated LB in the first round.

  3. Stephens-Howling will be a great value for whoever signs him. Despite his size he runs hard in traffic, can pass protect pretty well, and has good hands. Good on special teams, too. Was hoping Cards would bring him back but I guess it isn’t happening.

  4. “The Steelers are hosting some free agents today, but not the kind that will make the fanbase sit up and take notice. Or even wake up, really.”

    How long have you followed the NFL? Any free agents the Steelers bring in makes the fan base sit up (and/or wake up). Just because they dont sign those overpriced bid war first day type free agents doesnt mean they dont get anything out of free agency. They simply have a different (proven) model.

  5. “The Hyphen” is a quality player with the biggest heart on the field. I hope he gets another good opportunity. Cards fans were sad to see him go.

  6. I thought the Steelers closed up shop. They are pissing off their fan base by doing nothing this off season. We have money to sign William “Can’t Cover Grandma” Gay but let quality players go. At this time we only need 2 WR’s, TE, RB, NT, DE, 2 LB’s, 2 OL, 2 Back up safeties, a return man and for someone to fire Todd Haley.

  7. Stephens-Howling would be a nice addition. We’re missing some speed in the backfield now that Rainey is gone.

  8. I’ll sit up and take notice when they sit down at the table with James Harrison. It’s mind-boggling to me that a) they’d expect anyone to be thrilled by the prospect of a 30-percent paycut, and b) they wouldn’t be willing to do business with him once he’d reconciled himself to the inevitable. If he was worth $4.5 million plus incentives a few weeks ago, then he’s worth a discussion now. I’ll be a Steelers fan regardless, but until they demonstrate the same business sense they’ve demonstrated in years past, this parade of mediocre free agents doesn’t interest me.

  9. Steeler Nation, let’s all calm down. We have never made a mistake. It always pans out by order of the football Gods, and we’re always in their favor.

  10. Given his size, LSH has no business producing in the NFL at the level he has. He gets all the credit in the world for his heart and incredible work ethic. Of all the players to depart this Cardinals this offseason, he hurt the most. This kid is a gamer.

  11. @steelernationissuperior …

    I admire your optimism. And it’s true that since Dan Rooney took over football operations from the Chief and hired Chuck Noll in the late 60s, the Steelers have been one of the most consistently successful teams in the league. But the front office has made mistakes. Those of us who lived through the 80s can attest to that. The loss of one player is never the end of the world, and no longtime Steelers fan expected us to be aggressive in the free-agent market. As always, I have high hopes for a good draft to fill in the holes. But the reported intransigence of the front office re the Harrison issue is extremely irritating and seems uncharacteristically petty. I believe it’s a mistake–and as a fan, I’m going to call that out.

  12. Get Howling and Gooden, can’t hurt at this point.

    @Deb, the F.O. is too smart to spend any more time on a mediocre backer on the decline. Just let go Deb, it’ll be OK.

  13. Deb,

    Nobody in the NFL has been willing to offer anything close to the offer the Steelers offered Harrison (with or without the paycut with incentives to get it back up to 6.57 mil), why in the world should the Steelers be willing to pay him that? He’s a 35 yr old part time player.

    They were willing to pay him above his market value to retire a Steeler, he said no.

  14. @crownofthehelmet …

    You think a DPOY is a mediocre backer? Impressive football knowledge 🙄

  15. @Stiller43 …

    I know the sequence of events and was extremely critical of James for not recognizing he had no other options but to take the cut. Even so, elite players often have trouble grasping the decline of their talents. It takes a few minutes for reality to set in. Once it set in with Harrison, he came back to the Steelers, hat in hand, and said he was willing to deal. And–reportedly–they slammed the door in his face.

    That’s what I don’t understand. Give the guy a minute to process that he’s no longer the top dog in the linebacking corps. Once he gets it, then work out a deal. He’s still a fierce pass rusher when healthy. He still has a tremendous work ethic. He’s still a team leader–on a team that needs it’s locker-room leaders. Now that he’s finally accepted that he must take a significant paycut, get it done. Don’t just freeze him out. He can still be a valuable asset–at the price you are willing to pay.

  16. Sorry Deb, I gotta agree with the others. Harrison WAS a DPOY but hes not what he used to be. The Steelers obviously knew what the market was worth for him and they were generous with their offer. Time to move on.

  17. What is goofy is all the “immediate gratification” people wanting the steelers to do something NOW. Give it a rest. You “freakout” fans are the same ones the investment people love. Too many bad deals have been made. Just draft people instead of looking for the next free agent. A free agent is free because his team CUT HIM LOOSE. GUYS like Gay and Spaeth a d Sylvester are depth. Harrison is a nonfactor now. He sat on the bench the last couple years with injuries and talking about not being willing to pee on people???? Mendenhall is a mental midget. Wallace is FAST. $13 million per year fast??? No.

  18. The worst decision Dan Rooney ever made was putting Art in charge. We have been on a steady decline ever since. Don’t count the Super Bowls. Those were built under Dan! Gonna get worse before it gets better.

  19. Is deb James Harrison’s wife? That guy WAS A TREMENDOUS PLAYER. sounds like you need to come to grips with that more than he does. He WAS a defensive player of the year. He isn’t now. Forget football knowledge and taste some reality.

  20. I’m shocked the Steelers haven’t signed Bradshaw yet. Unless he’s not healed, that dude screams “Steelers”. I thought the same thing while he was lighting the fire under my team that if he wasn’t a Giant, he’d be a perfect Steeler. Tough, rugged, plays hurt, respected, winner, all traits of that team.

    Most importantly, his best attribute would be protecting BR. Nobody out there is a better pass blocker. This flirting with Howling-Stephens is perplexing to me.

  21. The problem with Harrison is that he’s a 3-4 LB and not used to putting his hand down. At age 35 and with teams moving away from 3-4, that’s what makes his options very limited. If he was versatile and somehow could show that he could rush in a 4-3, teams desperate for pass rushers will snap him up in no time. Heck, if he could rush in a 4-3, I’d love to see him in our rotation with JPP, Tuck and Kiwi playing on a 1 yr manageable deal.

  22. Wow. Most pathetic front office in the league. The Cleveland Browns look like a more competent franchise. Only Pittsburgh could make that happen yet their fans cheer. Could you be more delusional? Cheers!

  23. Deb.

    You’re making huge assumptions without facts. You’re assuming JH came back with hat in hand. What if he came back with a bargaining position that was STILL above what the Steelers were willing to pay? How would you have handled it at that point?

    None of us know ANY of the details because the Steelers are a class org. and keep these kinds of discussions private WHERE THEY SHOULD BE HANDLED.

    We have seen time and again where Steelers are quite willing to take back players who they thought could still help them at a price they thought was fair to them.


  24. No, children, I’m not James Harrison’s wife. And the literate among you probably noticed my comments about his declining skills, so I’m aware that he’s not a DPOY in 2013. But a one-time DPOY cannot be classed as a mediocre backer.

    As I’ve clearly said, James still brings needed skills to the table–skills the Steelers found worthy of $4.5 million plus incentives just a few weeks ago. If he’s useless today, then why was our front office willing to pay $4.5 million plus incentives yesterday? You’d have to question a front office willing to pay that kind of money for useless, wouldn’t you? And if they considered him worth $4.5 million plus incentives on the opening day of free agency, why slam the door in his face now?

    Logic, fellas. It’s a beautiful thing.

  25. @bray72 …

    What’s been reported is that James came back and said he was willing to negotiate and the Steelers said the door is closed. All of my posts have referred to the Steelers “reportedly” refusing to deal, so I am clearly reacting only to that. He turned down the $4.5 million plus incentives; that offer is no longer on the table and he probably would have to sign for much less since no other offers were forthcoming. If James refused to accept a reasonable price based on his current market value, that would be on him. I simply want the Steelers to bring him back to the table. If no deal can be worked out, so be it. And I leave open the possibility that these reports about them refusing to talk to him are erroneous.

  26. @Deb: We’ll see what happens after the draft.
    @Ravenator:You are a true embarrassment to the entire Ravens fan base.

  27. It’s ironic Ravenator leaves “cheers” after each post when he obviously isn’t old enough to drink. What a tool.

    Great discussion in here otherwise. If there’s one thing I’ve learned being a Steeler fan for so many years it’s that the modern Steelers (starting with Cowher) tend to do their best when they are written off and have low expectations. Every time we think they have great talent and will have a great season, they lay a collective egg. On that note and judging by Steeler fan comments here, we should win the SB this year!

  28. To Whom This May Concern:
    James Harrison played part-time last season but still led the team in sacks, with 6.
    Jason Worilds — Harrison’s replacement –received significant playing time last season, filling in for both Harrison and Woodley en route to tying Harrison in total sacks.
    In other words, the younger, healthier, and hungrier Worilds played more often in 2012 than Harrison but still couldn’t surpass him in total sacks for the season. Friends, this does not bode well for the future.
    Harrison has only six seasons of starts under his belt, which makes him an atypical 35-year-old NFL veteran.
    The Steelers need Harrison more than Harrison needs the Steelers. Unless, of course, the offense decides to average 33 points per game.

  29. Raven Nation laughs at this pathetic fan base. Your best player is not even worthy of gracing our practice squad. Enjoy competing with the Ohio teams, the Ravens will walk away with the AFC North.

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