NOTEBOOK: Ellerbe And McKinnie Familiar With Steelers

Posted Dec 3, 2013

Ex-Ravens find it easier to get fired up for Pittsburgh this week.

Last week, Dannell Ellerbe and Bryant McKinnie experienced the intensity of the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets rivalry for the first time. Now they get to face the team that was their biggest rival when they were teammates on the Baltimore Ravens – the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McKinnie actually was still on Baltimore’s roster on October 20th when the Ravens lost at Pittsburgh, 19-16, but he was traded to Miami the next day and started at left tackle the following Sunday for the Dolphins at the New England Patriots. Ellerbe led the Ravens in tackles during last year’s Super Bowl and signed with the Dolphins as a free agent in March, so both know full well what to expect at Heinz Field.

“It’s exciting and the crowd is really going to be into it,” said McKinnie, who is in his 13th NFL season. “They’re going to get into it when they play that “Renegade” song by Styx. They’re going to come out fired up. It’s a home game for them. They tend to play well at home and we’ve just got to go up there and just put together one of our best games of the season.”

Ellerbe spend his first four seasons in Baltimore so he got to face the Steelers eight times in the regular season and once in the playoffs back in 2010, coming out on the losing end of a 31-24 score. So he knows how tough it is to win in Pittsburgh, but he’s not treating this game like any sort of revenge moment or extension of the rivalry.

“They were the enemy but it never really was anything personal to me,” Ellerbe said. “This was a game that you had to get up for, but I wasn’t from Baltimore so it really wasn’t a big rivalry for me. It was just a game I knew we had to win.”

With both teams competing against the Ravens for that sixth and final AFC playoff spot, the intensity will be there regardless.


Running back Daniel Thomas was a sight for sore eyes on the practice field this afternoon after spending all of last week rehabbing his ankle injury. Thomas warmed up and stretched with his teammates before heading to the side to work with the trainers. … Veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson continues to try to work through his groin injury but he doesn’t play on special teams and that’s the unit that was working during the portion of practice open to the media. … Rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor went back inside after warm-ups, likely to get treatment.


The late Michael Jackson kicked things off with “Bad,” over the outside speakers as Head Coach Joe Philbin chose to forego the practice bubble thanks to the cooler fall temperatures. “O.G. Bobby,” by Que, followed that song and Future wrapped it up with “Honest.”


“If we can get a 50-yad pass play to Mike Wallace I’m sure he’ll be happy because he’s going against his former team.” – McKinnie on helping protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill against a Steelers pass defense that has been susceptible to the long ball