--Mike Tomlin picked Baltimore to win the AFC North Division in 2009. The Steelers swept the Ravens in three games last season, all close, including the AFC championship at Heinz Field.
"You have to like Baltimore," Tomlin said. "They won 11 games last year with a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback. They have a good football team. They have a great defense, they have a quarterback who proved he's their quarterback of the future, he's a guy on the rise. You have to respect that."
--Two Steelers linemen were among the top 16 recipients of the NFL's performance-based pay awards. Guard Darnell Stapleton received $311,220 extra in pay, ninth most in the league. Tackle Willie Colon received an extra $267,442, 16th among players getting the boost in salary.
--Hall of Fame receiver John Stallworth is among three new partners approved by the NFL in the Steelers' ownership restructuring. The others are Chicago's Bruce V. Rauner, Chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, and the Varischetti family of Brockway, Pa. Stallworth will become one of only four minority owners in the NFL.
--The Steelers will open the NFL's 2009 schedule with the traditional Thursday night home game that starts Kickoff Weekend, against Tennessee at Heinz Field Sept. 10.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Bring it on! It comes with the territory. I'd rather have that problem than the opposite." -- Coach Mike Tomlin, on his team being a target in 2009 as Super Bowl champ.