Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stewart Suffering Growing Pains

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stewart Suffering Growing Pains

Article excerpt

Pittsburgh Steelers teammates first noticed a change in the

huddle. The Quarterback Formerly Known as Slash didn't get

quicker, stronger, or even necessarily better.

It was Kordell Stewart's face that changed two weeks ago

against the Washington Redskins. In the third quarter, Stewart

-- struggling in his second NFL start at quarterback -- stood in

the huddle.

The following was heard by teammates:

"OK, guys. Let's get going."

They looked. And they saw the face.

"It's a flat-out rat face," Steelers wide receiver Charles

Johnson said afterward. "I can't even do it if I use my hands,

but he can make his face into a rat. Everyone laughed."

Which was the reaction the third-year quarterback wanted.

Stewart hasn't yet fulfilled -- or even approached -- the

potential that prompted Steelers coach Bill Cowher to name him

a starter in training camp, but Cowher likes what he sees, and

the ability to lead is one reason why.

"There are signs all the time," Cowher said as the Steelers

(1-1) prepared to play the Jaguars (2-0) Monday at 9 p.m. at

Alltel Stadium. "You saw signs from the preseason as well --

just being around him.

"With any young quarterback, there's a degree of patience that

has to be exhibited. He's going to get better with experience. I

have full confidence that he'll be able to continue to make

those strides.

"He's a very charismatic young man who has a lot of

confidence."

What he does not yet have is a lot of performance. The Steelers

did relax in that game against the Redskins two weeks ago for

their first victory of the season, but in his two starts,

Stewart has completed 21-of-45 passes for 186 yards with one

touchdown and two interceptions.

His quarterback rating of 47. …

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