View Full Version : Polamalu, Parker hope to return next week

10-10-2009, 03:56 AM
Steelers Notebook: Polamalu, Parker hope to return next week
Saturday, October 10, 2009
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu worked lightly for the third day in a row, but he is not expected to play tomorrow in Detroit and likely will return Oct. 18 against the Cleveland Browns.

Also, running back Willie Parker did not practice again yesterday and will not play against the Lions, meaning Rashard Mendenhall will make his second consecutive start. Parker said he likely will be able to return next week against the Browns.

Polamalu said his sprained knee is feeling better, but he has not worked with the first-team defense in practice and, until he does, will not play in a game.

Parker's absence does not necessarily mean the Steelers will re-sign Isaac Redman to the 53-man roster for the Lions, like they did against the San Diego Chargers.

Redman was signed last week because the Steelers were without Parker and rookie tight end David Johnson, who also lines up at fullback. But Johnson went through a full practice yesterday and is expected to play against the Lions, meaning the Steelers will have four players available they can line at running back or fullback.
The QB wears pink

Maybe he's just superstitious, but Ben Roethlisberger liked the pink shoes he wore against the Chargers so much he will wear them again against the Lions.

Roethlisberger and several of his teammates wore pink shoes, gloves or wristbands against the Chargers as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But, after passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against San Diego, Roethlisberger got a new pair of pink shoes to wear at Ford Field.

"I like 'em," Roethlisberger said.
Taylor no one-man band

Understand one thing with cornerback Ike Taylor, who is playing as well, if not better, than any corner in the league right now:

Sure, he lines up against all the top receivers in the league and follows them whenever they go on the field. He did that against Cincinnati's Chad Ochocinco and San Diego's Vincent Jackson and will do that tomorrow against the Lions' Calvin Johnson, if Johnson (thigh bruise) is able to play.

But, he doesn't do it all by himself.

The Steelers play a lot of two-deep zone in their secondary, and they will still rotate some of their coverage toward the other team's top receiver in an attempt to take away the big play -- a fact even coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged.

Nonetheless, Taylor sometimes is left by himself on deep routes as he was on two occasions against Jackson, the Chargers' 6-foot-5 receiver. In both instances, though, Taylor broke up throws along the sideline by having good coverage and high-pointing the ball.

Despite his outstanding play, it is highly unlikely Taylor will get picked for the Pro Bowl until he starts holding on to interceptions. He does not have any this season and has only eight in 97 career games.

"No question," Taylor said. "The writing's on the wall. If I could just catch half of the picks I drop, it would be a different story. I'd be across the water [in Hawaii]."
Gadgets, gadgets

The fourth-quarter touchdown pass thrown by running back Mewelde Moore to tight Heath Miller was not the only gadget play the Steelers had prepared for the Chargers.

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes was supposed to throw the ball to Hines Ward on a reverse in the second quarter and looked like he was going to after taking the handoff from Moore.

But Holmes saw that Ward was double-covered on the play and never hesitated, tucking the ball and running for a 7-yard gain.

Television announcers criticized guard Chris Kemoeatu on the play because he did not get downfield to deliver a block. But the reason he did not is because it was a designed pass play, and he would have been penalized if he crossed the line of scrimmage before the ball was thrown.

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