From Teresa Varley,

Steelers’ players took 46 kids from the New Kensington Salvation Army shopping at Macy’s at Ross Park Mall as a part of Project Bundle-Up, a Salvation Army program that provides winter outerwear for needy children in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“Do you see the hat we just picked out?” said Ben Roethlisberger. “That’s how much fun it is. We get to shop and hang out and have a lot of fun. We all need warm stuff, especially in the winter.”

You can read the rest here.

From Liz Hayes, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The children’s coat department in the Ross Park Mall Macy’s was hot, crowded and noisy Tuesday evening, but there were no complaints from almost 50 Alle-Kiski Valley kids choosing their winter gear.

Having the Pittsburgh Steelers serve as their personal shoppers likely had a lot to do with their good cheer.

About half the team, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, teamed up with the New Kensington Salvation Army and Project Bundle-Up to provide coats, hats, gloves and shoes to needy children from Arnold, Lower Burrell and New Kensington.

Heather Hannan, a spokeswoman for Macy’s, said the company has been participating in Project Bundle-Up since 2001.

“It’s an event this store embraces,” Hannan said.

Each child received a $75 gift card to buy a hat, coat and gloves. Hannan said players have paid for additional items, too.

You can read the rest here.

You can also see a video from the shopping excursion here.

For more on Project Bundle-Up, check out their website here.

Also Today:

Ben speaks to the New Orleans sports media

Q: Now that you’ve been back for a little while. How are you feeling? Are you in the proverbial midseason form?

Ben: “I don’t know. Maybe the bruises on my body are midseason form. I’ve always tried to strive to get better, even later in the year. Things are coming along. We still have a ways to go but (I’m) trying to make progress every week.”

Q: You and your teammates have been in the Saints’ position every week as defending world champions. Can you talk about getting the best shots of other teams every week? Did you guys face that coming off your championships?

Ben: “Yes, you definitely do. A lot of people want to beat the champs. That just goes along with the territory. You’re going to get everybody’s best shot. Everyone wants to get you. A lot of your games are primetime. I don’t think you’d trade it for the championship, but it’s something you have to be prepared for. It’s never an easy thing.”

Q: Are you not necessarily surprised the Saints are having an up and down early season?

Ben: “It’s early. They’re a great football team, one of the best in the league. They have some really great players and coaches and everything. I don’t think it’s time to panic if I’m a Saints fan.”

Q: Is there also something to that with the balance of the NFL, the bounce of a ball might go your way one year and might not the next?

Ben: “Absolutely. Coach (Terry) Hoeppner. My college coach said is that no matter how great a football team is, there’s still an element of luck involved. Whether a ball is going into the end zone, hits and bounces out or hits and bounces in, or do you get one or two feet in. Little things like that sometimes make a difference in one game or one play that could be the turning point in a game.”

Q: Did you feel you needed to re-establish yourself as a leader in Pittsburgh after your suspension, as well as your public image?

Ben: “I don’t think I needed to do too much in the locker room because of the relationships I had with the guys and they all knew and know me. It’s just the perception of people who don’t know, who think they know things, so I think our relationship is so strong in this locker room. That’s what I think is so special, the relationship we all have and the friendship and brotherhood.”

You can read the rest of the interview here.

*Thank you to Trish!