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Steelers rookie Alameda Ta'amu returns after suspension for drunk-driving incident

Steelers rookie Alameda Ta'amu was arrested early Sunday morning on drunk driving charges.

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16 Total Updates since October 14, 2012
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Steelers re-sign Alameda Ta'amu

The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed rookie defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac.

On Monday, the Steelers released Ta'amau, who was arrested in October on drunk driving charges. Ta'amu cleared waivers, allowing Pittsburgh to put him on the practice squad Wednesday.

Wide receiver David Gilbreath replaced Ta'amau on the Steelers roster on Monday.

The 348-pound lineman was a fourth-round draft pick by the Steelers in the 2012 NFL Draft. Ta'amu played four years at Washington, racking up 57 tackles, 16 1/2 tackles for loss and 7 1/2 sacks.

The October incident wasn't Ta'amu's first DUI. He also had a history while at Washington, which caused his stock to drop in the NFL Draft.

The Steelers are 6-3 after edging the Kansas City Chiefs, 16-13, in overtime on Monday night. Pittsburgh, which lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a sprained throwing shoulder, will host the division-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football this week.

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Steelers released troubled NT Ta'amu

The Pittsburgh Steelers cut ties Monday with troubled rookie defensive lineman Alameda Ta'amu, Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Ta'amu was arrested Oct. 14 on numerous charges, including DUI, after fleeing police and crashing into a parked vehicle.

The 22-year-old Ta'amu was replaced on the roster by wide receiver David Gilbreath, who returned two punts for a total of eight yards in the Steelers' 16-13 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night.

Ta'amu was Pittsburgh's fourth-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Steelers took a chance on Ta'amu, who had a history of DUI when he was a lineman for the Washington Huskies.

The risk didn't pay off as Ta'amu struggled in training camp and was suspended after the Oct. 14 incident.

The Steelers, who play the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday night (8:20 p.m. on NBC), were hoping Ta'amu was going to be a possible replacement for Casey Hampton.

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Steelers' Ta'amu appears in court, apologizes

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu waived his right to a hearing on Thursday on charges that he led Pittsburgh police on a chase while intoxicated. Ta'amu also crashed into several parked cars while under the influence, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Ta'amu apologized after his appearance in court, stating:

"Just wanted to say that I'm sorry -- a big mistake that I made on my part, and I'm doing everything possible to make this right. I don't think there's any other word I would say but 'sorry' is the only word I can say right now."

The nose tackle has returned to the team after serving a two-week unpaid suspension following his arrest.

The official report states that police saw a sport utility vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road at 2:30 am on Oct. 21. Several police officers ordered the driver to stop, but Ta'amu refused, forcing the officers to dive out of the way to avoid the oncoming car.

The SUV crashed into multiple parked cars, injuring one person who was still inside their car. The SUV eventually disabled, which caused Ta'amu to flee on foot. After the police caught up with him, Ta'amu resisted being handcuffed, so one officer punched him twice before arresting him and sending him off in a police wagon.

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Alameda Ta'amu apologizes for incident

Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu spoke to the media for the first time since his drunk driving incident on Oct. 14. Ta'amu apologized for the incident that led to him being suspended two games without pay:

"It was just a big mistake," said the Steelers rookie nose tackle. "It was the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. It won't happen again. It was a bad night. I let a lot of people down, my family, fans and especially my teammates. I have to keep moving forward and keep getting better."

Ta'amu still faces felony charges of fleeing the police, aggravated assault while driving drunk and three counts of aggravated assault when he nearly ran down three police officers with his SUV. In addition, he was charged with 10 misdemeanors including resisting arrest, attempting escape, drunken driving and failure to obey traffic laws.

To make room for Ta'amu on the roster, the Steelers released safety Damon Cromartie-Smith. He had been on the practice squad the first seven weeks of the season before playing in last Sunday's 27-12 victory against the Washington Redskins. The Steelers are scheduled to play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, with kickoff scheduled for 4:25 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBS.

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Steelers cut Cromartie-Smith, Ta'amu rejoins team

The Pittsburgh Steelers released safety Damon Cromartie-Smith on Wednesday to make room for rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu on the roster.

Ta'amu rejoined the team on Monday after a two-game suspension for a dangerous drunk driving incident. Ta'amu was arrested on Oct. 14 for multiple felony charges, including nearly running over police officers with his vehicle while drunk. Pittsburgh selected Ta'amu in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft; his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8 at which point he could face more discipline. After rejoining the team the Steelers had a 48-hour roster exemption before having to cut someone.

Cromartie-Smith joined the 53-man roster on Saturday to play special teams in Pittsburgh's 27-12 win over the Washington Redskins. Prior to last week he had been a member of the Steelers' practice squad. If Cromartie-Smith clears waivers, it's expected that Pittsburgh will resign him to the practice squad.

The Steelers take on the New York Giants on Sunday.

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Ta'amu finds out his fate on Wednesday

The Pittsburgh Steelers have until 4 p.m. on Wednesday to decide on their plans with rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu, according to timesonline.com.

At that time, Ta'amu's roster exemption expires, meaning someone will be getting cut to keep the roster at 53 players.

Ta'amu has been a source of consternation within the organization since Oct. 14, when he was arrested on multiple felony charges that include fleeing police, three counts of nearly running over three police officers with his vehicle and aggravated assault while driving drunk.

The defensive lineman also faces 10 misdemeanors which include drunken driving, failure to obey traffic laws, resisting arrest and attempting to escape.

"Obviously, we’re going to do what’s best for us professionally here in an effort to win this game this weekend," coach Mike Tomlin said. "Obviously, he’s still in play. ... We’ve got a decision to make and we’ll make it at the appropriate time."

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Alameda Ta'amu returns to Steelers

Rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu has returned to the Steelers after a two-week suspension following an extremely dangerous drunk driving rampage in mid-October.

We'll see what the Steelers had in mind for Ta'amu. Given the seriousness of the accusations against him, it was a little surprising that he wasn't simply cut. Ta'amu almost ran over a police officer, hit at least five cars, and avoided being shot only because of the number of people around. It also wasn't his first drunk-driving arrest.

Ta'amu didn't make much of an impact this preseason, and he's behind Casey Hampton and Steve McLendon on the depth chart. The Steelers are looking for a long-term replacement for Hampton. They traded up to get Ta'amu in the fourth round of last year's draft, but even before this incident, it wasn't clear that he was their man.

The Steelers received a temporary exemption for Ta'amu, so they did not have to make any other roster moves as they placed him back on the roster.

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Ta'amu's DUI case shows Steelers' hypocrisy

The Steelers abandoned their once revered principles in the handling of the Alameda Ta'amu DUI case. But was there even a "Steeler Way" to begin with, or is it just a myth?

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Steeler fans uneasy about Ta'amu punishment?

While the Steelers prepare for a critical AFC North game against the Bengals in Week 7, the off-the-field controversy sparked by Alameda Ta'amu's alleged DUI is creating plenty of consternation in the Pittsburgh area. Ta'amu was suspended two games by Mike Tomlin and the Steelers organization, a punishment that many feel was insufficient for his wild and dangerous actions.

Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times penned a column blasting the two-game suspension, referring to it as "justice Steelers' style" and calling it an "embarrassment." Ta'amu injured a female bystander when his car rammed into hers, and also forced police to draw their weapons at one point before they struggled to detain the massive defensive tackle. For Bires, after all that, having Ta'amu rejoin the team in two weeks doesn't seem appropriate:

After two weeks, Ta'amu will return to the team almost as if nothing happened. That's a shame.

I won't go as far as saying that the Steelers should have cut him. I have no problem with Ta'amu getting a second chance when the time is right. But he should have been suspended indefinitely, perhaps for the whole season.

Tomlin refused to get into the reasoning for why Ta'amu's actions prompted only a two-game suspension, likely hoping that the discussion would die down. But for Bires, no explanation of the punishment only adds to the insufficiency of the Steelers' response.

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Alameda Ta'amu DUI far worse than Frank Coonelly's

Frank Coonelly's drunk-driving incident was dangerous, but Alameda Ta'amu's sounds like it was far, far worse.

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Ta'amu suspended two games without pay

The Pittsburgh Steelers have suspended rookie nose guard Alameda Ta'amu for two weeks without pay due to hisdrunk driving arrest early on Sunday morning, according to head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday afternoon.

Ta'amu's future with the organization was in doubt following the dangerous events that led to his arrest. According to police reports, Ta'amu was seen driving in the wrong direction and attempted to evade police when they tried to stop him. The report continues: the 22-year-old damaged two cars, almost ran over police officers and would have been shot at had the scene had fewer civilian by-standers.

According to reports, he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.196 percent. He was charged with fleeing police, aggravated assault while driving drunk and three counts of aggravated assault for nearly running down three police officers. In addition, he was charged with 10 misdemeanors.

Ta'amu apologized to his teammates on Monday. The Steelers were not in action on Sunday as they had faced the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.

This story originally appeared at SB Nation.

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Ta'amu was also charged with DUI in 2009

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu may be in bigger trouble than originally expected. According to the Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac, this is the second time Ta'amu has been charged with driving under the influence. His first incident happened in 2009 while he was a player at the University of Washington. Ta'amu later pleaded guilty to negligent driving.

Currently, Ta'amu is facing felony counts of fleeing police and aggravated assault while driving drunk after he was arrested early Sunday morning. He's also charged with 10 misdemeanors, including resisting arrest and attempting to escape. He has a hearing set for Oct. 23.

According to the Post-Gazette, disciplinary action must come from the Steelers organization; however, they have no control over what the law will do.

Ta'amu was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has yet to play in any of Pittsbugh's five regular season games, as he's been inactive for all of them.

On Sunday, the Steelers visit the Cincinnati Bengals for a Sunday night showdown (8 p.m. ET on NBC).

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Ta'amu apologizes to DL teammates following arrest

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive lineman Alameda Ta'amu apologized to his defensive line teammates on Monday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly, after Ta'amu was arrested early Sunday morning for DUI and a number of other charges.

According to reports of the incident, police attempted to stop Ta'amu when he was seen driving the wrong direction, but he fled from them, damaging a number of cars and injuring at least one person in the process. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "testing showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.196 percent."

The 22-year-old rookie nose tackle was Pittsburgh's fourth-round selection in the 2012 NFL draft. Ta'amu has yet to appear in a game for the Steelers thus far in 2012.

The Steelers were not in action on Sunday after losing to the Tennessee Titans, 26-23, on Thursday night. Pittsburgh will be back on the field next Sunday night, Oct. 2, at 8:20 p.m. ET when they travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals on NBC Sunday Night Football.

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Alameda Ta'amu DUI incident could lead to release

Steelers rookie Alameda Ta'amu's arrest Sunday morning for drunk driving could impact his career with the team. The incident seems to go well beyond the usual drunk-driving arrest (which is, of course, itself nothing to sneeze at), as Ta'amu allegedly nearly ran down a police officer, totaled at least two cars, and avoided being shot only because of the number of people around. Seriously, read the report in the link above -- it's a mess.

After the incident, Ta'amu's future with the team is unclear. It's possible to have some bad behavior on one's record and stick on an NFL roster, of course, but Ta'amu is a marginal player, and if the Steelers aren't currently of the opinion he's their nose tackle of the future (and they might not be, as the fourth-round pick didn't make much of an impact in the preseason), they could well him go. He's currently behind both Casey Hampton and Steve McLendon on the depth chart.

For the Steelers, the incident adds to what has been a miserable season so far. The Steelers are now 2-3, having lost against the likes of the Titans and Raiders, and are already dealing with a mess of injuries.

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