Veteran wide receiver Battle-tested on special teams
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 22, 2010

[IMGL]http://i36.tinypic.com/k9c9ph.jpg[/IMGL]EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Dubious might not be the word for it.

But veteran wide receiver Arnaz Battle is working on a unique streak when it comes to offensive coordinators.

"Eight in eight years," Battle said. "Every year you're trying to impress a new face, a new guy that comes in."

Battle, 30, is hoping the stability that proved to be so elusive in San Francisco can be found in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers, in turn, are looking for Battle to help stabilize their kickoff coverage unit, which gave up four touchdowns last season.

The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Battle is a wedge buster, and his reputation as a special teams player is such that it allowed him to stay with the 49ers even after they underwent a youth movement at wide receiver.

Battle, who signed with the Steelers last March after spending seven seasons with the 49ers, had just five catches for 40 yards in 2009.

But he caught 109 passes for 1,286 yards and eight touchdowns while starting in 2006-07, and Battle said he can help the Steelers more than just on special teams.

"I see myself contributing on offense," Battle said. "You need depth at positions, and I feel like with this offense I've grasped several positions."

[HIGH-LIGHT]Dwyer sidelined[/HIGH-LIGHT]

As expected, Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (shoulder) didn't play last night. Also sitting out for the Steelers because of injuries were defensive tackle Steve McLendon (knee) and offensive lineman Chris Scott (foot).

Scott, a fifth-round draft pick in April, is still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

The Giants started third-string quarterback Rhett Bomar last night because of injuries to starter Eli Manning (head laceration) and backup Jim Sorgi (shoulder).

Also out for the Giants were starting guards Chris Snee (knee) and Rich Seubert (hand).

[HIGH-LIGHT]New digs[/HIGH-LIGHT]

The Steelers-Giants game last night was only the second one played at New Meadowlands Stadium.

The Giants and Jets, who share the $1.6 billion stadium, christened their new home Monday when they played a nationally televised game.

The New Meadowlands Stadium naming rights for it have yet to be sold doesn't look much different from old Meadowlands Stadium from a structural standpoint.

There are four state-of-the-art video screens on the second level of the stadium, with two apiece on each end of the field.

The stadium seats are gray, with the neutral color reflecting the fact that it is shared by two teams.

[HIGH-LIGHT]Back on the South Side[/HIGH-LIGHT]

The Steelers are off today and resume practice at their South Side facility Monday.

Coach Mike Tomlin has talked to the players about not easing up just because two-a-day practices and other hardships associated with training camp are in their rearview mirror.

"When you change location and change routine, it's a natural human response that you're shifting focus, and I just want to make sure our team understands that we're not shifting focus," Tomlin said. "We are going to lose some of the things that encompass training camp, but we're still very much in the development of our football team, and our goals and focus remain the same determining who the 53 are and the roles within them."

[HIGH-LIGHT]Extra points[/HIGH-LIGHT]

Cornerback William Gay dropped an interception on the first possession of the game, something that plagued Steelers' defensive backs last season. ... Frank Summers started at fullback last night. ... Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney, who is the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, watched the game last night from the New Meadowlands press box.

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