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fordfixer
09-10-2008, 12:46 AM
Scouting Report: Pittsburgh Steelers
by Tony Grossi

http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.s ... h_ste.html (http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2008/09/scouting_report_pittsburgh_ste.html)

Tuesday September 09, 2008, 7:29 PM

Sunday 8:15 p.m. in Cleveland Browns Stadium

Record: 1-0.

Last game: Beat Houston, 38-17, in Pittsburgh.

Coach: Mike Tomlin, 11-7, second year.

Series record: Steelers lead, 57-55 (counting postseason).

Last meeting: Steelers won, 31-28, Nov. 11, in Pittsburgh.

League rankings: Offense is 19th (fourth rushing, 30th passing), defense is sixth (seventh rushing, 10th passing) and turnover differential is plus-2.

Offensive overview: For 33 years, the Steelers had three centers. Now they're on their third one in three years. Justin Hartwig was signed in free agency after Sean Mahan flopped last season. By promoting 344-pound Chris Kemoeatu to left guard, the team feels it has fortified protection -- and run-blocking -- problems that resulted in 93 sacks of Ben Roethlisberger the past two years. Tomlin wants to maintain the time-honored formula of throwing to gain a lead and mashing Willie Parker and rookie Rashard Mendenhall to put teams away. Mendenhall, who had fumbling problems in preseason, had 10 carries in the opener. One change has former Viking Mewelde Moore playing as the third-down back. They like his receiving ability.
Gene J. Puskar/Associated PressTroy Polamalu (43) and teammate Bryant McFadden (left) corralled Houston's Andre Johnson in a lopsided victory over the Texans on Sunday.
Defensive overview: A veteran-laden defensive line remains the heart of the unit. Tomlin seeks to keep it fresh by rotating six players, including former Brown Nick Eason. Second-year linebacker LaMarr Woodley has replaced the departed Clark Haggans at the spot opposite Pro Bowler James Harrison. Tomlin is incorporating 2007 No. 1 pick Lawrence Timmons in a variety of roles -- in the nickel defense and also as a backup inside and outside. Safety Troy Polamalu is at full health and playing like a fourth linebacker again. Corners Ike Taylor and Deshea Townsend can be beat in single coverage if quarterbacks have time to throw. The return of free safety Ryan Clark after an injury-plagued 2007 patches up a weakness in the deep secondary.

Special teams overview: Mitch Berger, 36 and in his 13th NFL season, beat out Paul Ernster in the competition to replace injured punter Dan Sepulveda. He only had to punt three times in the opener. Kicker Jeff Reed is coming off his best season (23 of 25 in field goals and 44 of 44 in extra points). Moore is the new punt returner and Mendenhall is handling kickoffs. The coverage units -- gashed for two long returns by Josh Cribbs in the game in Heinz Field last year -- have been beefed up and were strong against Houston in the opener.

Players to watch:

Ben Roethlisberger: The Ohio-born quarterback has never lost to the Browns and is 9-0 playing in Cleveland and Cincinnati; he is 7-0 against the Browns and 17-4 overall in AFC North games.

Willie Parker: In five starts against the Browns, Fast Willie has averaged 122.6 yards a game and 5.2 yards a carry; he showed his repaired knee is fine last week with 138 yards against Houston.

Casey Hampton: The former college teammate of Shaun Rogers proved concerns about his weight and condition were unfounded; the nose tackle helped hold the Texans to a rushing average of 3.8 yards.

Injury report: QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder), OT Marvel Smith (groin) and CB Deshea Townsend (heel) are expected to be limited in practice today.

Small world: Former Browns coaches with the Steelers: linebackers coach Keith Butler, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, defensive line coach John Mitchell and offensive line coach Larry Zierlein ... Former Browns with the Steelers: defensive linemen

SteelerOfDeVille
09-10-2008, 12:05 PM
Willie Parker: In five starts against the Browns, Fast Willie has averaged 122.6 yards a game and 5.2 yards a carry; he showed his repaired knee is fine last week with 138 yards against Houston.
actually a decent write up (i skimmed it)... i know it's nitpicky, but,..... "repaired knee".

calmkiller
09-10-2008, 12:46 PM
Also it says that Troy is playing like a 4th linebacker. We run a 3-4 not a 4-3 so he would be a 5th linebacker.

SteelTorch
09-10-2008, 09:23 PM
Also it says that Troy is playing like a 4th linebacker. We run a 3-4 not a 4-3 so he would be a 5th linebacker.
Maybe they're not counting Larry Foote. :lol: