Steeler stands by his guarantee

PITTSBURGH --- His head coach told him he shouldn't have done it. His teammates warned him to watch his words. His family hopes he knows what he's getting himself into.


Despite all that clamor, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Anthony Smith isn't taking back his words. He guaranteed a victory over the New England Patriots and, on Thursday, said he's not backing down.

Smith, a second-year safety from Syracuse, insists he's not trying to make a name for himself by boldly guaranteeing the Steelers will halt the Patriots' drive for the NFL's first 16-0 regular season.

"I just felt we're going to go out there, we're going to have a good week of practice and everybody's focused, and we're going to get a victory," Smith said.

In Smith's mind, he merely spoke what everyone else in Pittsburgh's locker room is thinking: The Steelers (9-3) are going to Foxborough on Sunday to win, and nothing else.

Even if some teammates wish Smith hadn't opened his mouth, possibly giving an inspirational lift to a Patriots team that looked tired after rallying in the final minute to beat Baltimore 27-24 on Monday night.

The reaction among the Patriots players was mixed. Rodney Harrison said he's never heard of Smith and doesn't care what he said, but linebacker Junior Seau said such comments do wind up on locker room bulletin boards.

Falcons: The remaining 47 pit bulls seized from suspended star Michael Vick 's dogfighting operation are being placed with rescue organizations.

In Richmond, Va., federal judge Henry E. Hudson signed off on recommendations by the court-appointed guardian for the dogs from Vick's Bad Newz Kennels operation.

TITANS: Suspended NFL player Adam "Pacman" Jones pleaded no contest to a reduced charge in a Las Vegas strip club melee which preceded a triple shooting that left a man paralyzed.

- Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth watched practice for a second day in a row to rest his right hamstring, but coach Jeff Fisher said he hopes Haynesworth will practice today.

COWBOYS: Cornerback Terence Newman has been put on notice by the NFL after indicating his desire for revenge on Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna .

Posted on Newman's locker was a letter he received from the league after making comments about Kitna during a satellite radio interview. Newman refused comment to reporters when he walked through the locker room.

BILLS: Backup running back Anthony Thomas' season is over after he was placed on injured reserve, but starter Marshawn Lynch is expected back for Sunday's game against Miami.

RAMS: Kick returner Dante Hall , who has been hobbled much of the season by a high ankle sprain, was put on injured reserve and is out for the rest of the year, coach Scott Linehan said.



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