O NO: Amid growing discontent with new offensive coordinator Joe Walton's touchdown-less offense that threatens to divide even the coaching staff, several Steelers say they will fight to maintain an upbeat attitude.
"Something I will try to do is encourage people to stay positive," veteran offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin said. "We don't want anybody in here quitting."
Apparently, some fellow coaches are unhappy with Walton's reliance on short passes -- nicknamed the "think and dink offense" -- and multiple formations.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday that several coaches exchanged words during and after Sunday's 20-3 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders, dropping the Steelers to 1-2.
"I hope to hell this isn't our personality," defensive line coach Joe Greene said. "I don't want it to be mine."
Quarterback Bubby Brister is already planning what he'll do when the offense scores.
"I'll throw the ball in the stands," he said. "Or I'll pass out." CHARGER HURT: San Diego starting NT Joe Phillips was attacked by three men and severely beaten after leaving a Mission Beach (Calif.) bar, police said.
Phillips, 27, suffered a skull fracture, broken nose, three broken ribs and a broken facial bone near an eye in the attack, police spokesman Bill Robinson said.
"Three males apparently jumped him," said Robinson, adding robbery does not appear to be the motive. "One of the men had steel-toed boots and they struck Mr. Phillips with their fists and with the boots."
Robinson said Phillips was in intensive care at a hospital and has not been able to be questioned.
The assailants remain at large.
The Chargers placed Phillips, 6 feet 5, 275 pounds, on the reserve non-football injury list, meaning he will miss at least a month. They signed free agent DB Michael Brooks. MOVES: The Broncos cut LB Jeroy Robinson and added RB Kerry Porter to the roster. . . . The Bears signed former Buccaneers RB Lars Tate and put RB Mark Green on injured reserve. . . . The Chiefs waived P Kelly Goodburn and re-signed his preseason rival, Bryan Barker. . . . Lions rookie DE Marc Spindler injured his right knee and is expected to join LB Chris Spielman and FS Bennie Blades on the sideline against the Packers on Sunday. . . . Dolphins holdout LB Rick Graf signed a one-year deal for about $225,000 plus incentives. He's already lost $40,000 of it because of games missed.