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Steelers release Gary Russell
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gary Russell, who scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII, was released by the Steelers today.

Russell made the Steelers as an undrafted rookie in 2007 and became their short-yardage running back midway through the 2008 season. He rushed for 77 yards on 28 carries last season and scored three touchdowns.

His most important score, though, came in the second quarter of the Super Bowl when he ran one yard for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead. He previously lost four yards when he was tackled in the backfield on a first down at Arizona's one on the first series of the game.

Those were Russell's only two carries of the Super Bowl. He also scored a touchdown from one yards in the fourth quarter of the Steelers' 35-24 playoff victory against San Diego.

The Steelers gave no reason for his release.

The team also officially announced the signing of backup quarterback Charlie Batch to a one-year contract. He will receive a $745,000 salary and a signing bonus of $50,000.

First published on April 16, 2009 at 3:10 pm
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