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SteelCrazy
11-17-2010, 02:51 PM
Nov 17, 2010 - Where is Troy Polamalu and what is going on with the Steelers' pass defense?

Many years ago, baseball analysts realized the importance of statistical analysis and developed sabermetrics. While your eyes can tell you some things, can you really see the difference between a .260 hitter and a .300 hitter? The season is twenty-six weeks long. If a players gets twenty-five at bats a week, that is 650 at bats for the year. One hit every two weeks is the difference. A bloop single here, a bad hop there, and we're talking about the difference between making $2 million and $10 million a year. Unless you see a player every day, it can be difficult to discern such things. Statistics provide some of the details that clarify the picture.

Football is different. The game doesn't revolve around one individual matchup, pitcher vs. batter, the way baseball does. Football is the ultimate team game. Certainly there are one-on-one matchups that take place all over the field, but those matchups are augmented by schemes and formations. On offense, statistics tell us something about quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, but might not tell the whole story. Sunday night Ben Roethlisberger threw for 387 yards and three touchdowns in the Steelers 39-26 loss to the New England Patriots. While superficially impressive, anyone who watched the game knows how meaningless those numbers are. Roethlisberger piled them up when the outcome of the game was already decided. They look nice, but had no impact on the game.

Defensive statistics are even less refined. Sacks, tackles, interceptions and fumble recoveries provide some insight, but different schemes require different players to do different things. If Aaron Smith can occupy two offensive linemen, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons are free to wreak havoc. Smith's numbers don't show up in the box score, but his contribution is obviously essential to the defense's success.

But team statistics do tell a story, and combined with Troy's total lack of impact plays, the conclusion is obvious. Troy Polamalu has disappeared and the Steeler defense can't stop the pass as a result. The perennial All-Pro and heart of the defense had an interception in each of the first two games but hasn't had one since. He was credited with one pass defensed in each of the first two weeks but none since. He hasn't recorded a sack, forced a fumble or recovered a fumble yet this year. A Steeler defense that didn't give up more than 17 points in any of the first five games has given up 20 or more in each of the last four and the pass defense has dropped to 26th in the league, giving up more than 250 yards per game.

Troy himself said he had a terrible game against the Saints and expected to play much better the following week in Cincinnati. Against the Bengals, Pittsburgh jumped out to a comfortable 27-7 lead. But during the second half the Bengals moved the ball virtually at will against a defense that rolled safety coverage toward Chad Ochocinco and allowed Terrell Owens to run free out of the slot against William Gay. Polamalu and Ryan Clark were nowhere to be seen as Carson Palmer drove them down the field three different times, the last ending the game when a pass was dropped on the Steelers five yard line with less than two minutes to go.

This past Sunday Tom Brady threw on the Steelers at will. Brady carved up a secondary that again had no answer for a big receiver, in this case tight end Rob Gronkowski, running out of the slot. Brady threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns, all to Gronkowski, and the game was over in the third quarter. Receivers ran down the middle of the field uncovered all game.

Throughout his career Troy has been a star. He is the guy who makes game-changing plays ever week--the incredible interception against the Falcons in Week 1 or the great leap over the line of scrimmage to stop the Titans late in Week 2. That guy has disappeared. And like last year when his season-ending injury lead to the collapse of the Steelers pass defense, his disappearance is killing the team. Certainly the sub-standard play of Gay, Clark and Bryant McFadden has also contributed. But Troy is the key. If he doesn't improve the Steelers are again going to struggle down the stretch to make the playoffs.

http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/pittsbur ... ss-defense (http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/pittsburgh-steelers/2010/11/17/1817971/troy-polamalu-steelers-pass-defense)

Oviedo
11-17-2010, 03:01 PM
IMO, the Steelers have a very difficult decision to make after next season when Troy's contract expires. Unless he steps up his level of play I would not be surprised to see a Safety drafted in 2011 and Troy not get an extension at the end of the 2011 season.

Timmons' contract also expires after 2011 and he is a bigger priority and probably better investment than Troy.

SteelCrazy
11-17-2010, 03:20 PM
I think the problem is that after many years, people have figured out that he guesses a lot and have done things to get him to guess wrong or just guess one way and they go the other way

BradshawsHairdresser
11-17-2010, 03:23 PM
I think the problem is that after many years, people have figured out that he guesses a lot and have done things to get him to guess wrong or just guess one way and they go the other way

Sounds like you're guessing.


Sorry, I couldn't resist. :D

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-17-2010, 03:24 PM
Something that none of us know, but is critical to the situation, is ... why is Troy back there? It may be that he is under orders to be, to help cover the known deficiencies of Gay, BMac, etc. If that's the case, we're golden.

If it's because he's lost a step, that's another story.

Oviedo
11-17-2010, 03:27 PM
Something that none of us know, but is critical to the situation, is ... why is Troy back there? It may be that he is under orders to be, to help cover the known deficiencies of Gay, BMac, etc. If that's the case, we're golden.

If it's because he's lost a step, that's another story.

As I mentioned in another post I think Troy is back there primarily to keep him healthy and on the field. I don't think the scheme has been adjusted to take this change into account or if it has it has been a bad adjustment and needs to be relooked.

SteelTorch
11-17-2010, 03:29 PM
I love it when articles get the facts wrong. The Bengals had ONE true scoring drive in the 4th quarter. That drive happened to start in great field position after another missed field goal by Jeff Reed.

The other touchdown they scored came from a drive almost completely set up by three big penalties, two of which the league even came out and said were wrong. :roll:

The final drive, they were stopped cold. I'd hardly call that "moving the ball at will". :nono

SteelCrazy
11-17-2010, 03:32 PM
I think the problem is that after many years, people have figured out that he guesses a lot and have done things to get him to guess wrong or just guess one way and they go the other way

Sounds like you're guessing.


Sorry, I couldn't resist. :D

Im not sure if I'm guessing or just realizing.............I guess :?

Dee Dub
11-17-2010, 04:06 PM
No offense...but who ever wrote this knows very little about the game of football.

SteelCzar76
11-17-2010, 04:06 PM
There is no "Fall of Troy". (FIGHT ON!)

Troy is simply outgunned,...he has always been an future hall of fame defensive back surrounded by other "just a guy" (Ike to a lesser degree) DB's in our secondary and for the most part he has been able to save their asses (along with our pass rush) from looking like absolute Clowns.

However,.times have changed,... and the rest of the secondary has regressed to the point of being so poor that even Troy for all of his World Class ability can no longer compensate.

If anything,..him trying to do too much,..to do so (compensate) is in fact negatively effecting his own impact.

But make no mistake about it,.. he is still the best at his position in the NFL. But sadly with they way we handle Free agency and draft,...he may never have the opportunity to play in a secondary where others can handle their jobs at an above average level so that he might as effective again as he is truely capable of being. (Well at least not as a Steeler)

And to be honest I'd rather see him close out a great career somewhere else than sink along with the burning wreckage of the SS.Grits that is slowly becoming our beloved franchise. :lol:

feltdizz
11-17-2010, 04:16 PM
I love it when articles get the facts wrong. The Bengals had ONE true scoring drive in the 4th quarter. That drive happened to start in great field position after another missed field goal by Jeff Reed.

The other touchdown they scored came from a drive almost completely set up by three big penalties, two of which the league even came out and said were wrong. :roll:

The final drive, they were stopped cold. I'd hardly call that "moving the ball at will". :nono

stopped cold implies 3 and out or stopped in convincing fashion. We stopped them at the 12 and it wasn't easy!

Mister Pittsburgh
11-17-2010, 05:48 PM
Problem isn't Troy. Problem is Lebeau & Tomlin.

THE PATRIOTS SHUT OUR PASS DOWN UNTIL THE 4TH QTR WHEN THEY WENT INTO PREVENT, AND THEY DID IT WITH THE FOLLOWING:

A ROOKIE CB
A 2ND YEAR CB
A 2ND YEAR FS
A 4TH YEAR SS

WE GOT OUTCOACHED!

frankthetank1
11-17-2010, 06:00 PM
so the problem is troy not bmac, gay or non existent pass rush? i dont buy that at all. he may be having a sub par year for troy standards but he is still the best SS in the nfl. the problems with the secondary are obvious and with the 3-4 zone blitz if you dont get pressure on a good qb you will get burned. if you give a wr 10 yard cushions all game and the qb has more than a couple of seconds to get the pass off you are going to get beat every time.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-17-2010, 06:25 PM
so the problem is troy not bmac, gay or non existent pass rush? i dont buy that at all. he may be having a sub par year for troy standards but he is still the best SS in the nfl. the problems with the secondary are obvious and with the 3-4 zone blitz if you dont get pressure on a good qb you will get burned. if you give a wr 10 yard cushions all game and the qb has more than a couple of seconds to get the pass off you are going to get beat every time.


:Agree

Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure that one out.

Sorry, game has passed Lebeaus ass by. Troy was his prized toy, the rest of the defense has to play vanilla and generic for Troy to do his thing. Troy got hurt bigtime last year, Troy is no longer his prized toy. Lebeau has no answer once his prized toy is hurt. Rest of defense still plays vanilla, we get beat bad, we suck.

Timmons is now his toy. Rest of defense has to play vanilla so Timmons can do his thing, including Troy. Timmons hurts hip. Defense sucks cause he doesn't have an answer once toy is broken.

I also find it curious that in Tomlins lone year at Minnesota you could not run against that team. But they got their butts kicked still because they played a vanilla zone defense in the secondary. I especially find it curious because Tomlin is a former secondary coach. Maybe he just had good secondary players (Barber & forget pro bowl S) then he goes to Minnesota where they have good Dlinemen, they focus on that and Dline looks awesome but they still lose cause teams throw on them.

ALLD
11-17-2010, 06:38 PM
Troy has an achilles injury.

SteelCzar76
11-17-2010, 07:29 PM
I also find it curious that in Tomlins lone year at Minnesota you could not run against that team. But they got their butts kicked still because they played a vanilla zone defense in the secondary. I especially find it curious because Tomlin is a former secondary coach. Maybe he just had good secondary players (Barber & forget pro bowl S) then he goes to Minnesota where they have good Dlinemen, they focus on that and Dline looks awesome but they still lose cause teams throw on them.



I mentioned the disparity between the Vikings pass and run defense at the time Tomlin was hired,. and no one thought much of it. (They were ranked last in the league against the pass.)

To be honest, i did not dwell on it either as i was actually pulling for the guy (Tomlin) at that point. ( as this was prior to his personnel decision shenanigans.)

But perhaps,...their may indeed be a little more going on there in terms of maybe he's almost a pure motivational coach without any true exceptional grasp of the game from an x's and o's standpoint and or tactical acumen ? Ie: Alot of well articulated Coachspeak and "rah rah" with little or no substance ?

NJ-STEELER
11-17-2010, 07:41 PM
he does need to step up, hasn't played up to expectations last few weeks

i like larry, but he isn't even close to being as important a signing in 2011. only way he is if troy wants to hang them up.


how bout getting some corners that can cover so he doesn't have to play deep safety to stop them from getting burned

NJ-STEELER
11-17-2010, 07:46 PM
I also find it curious that in Tomlins lone year at Minnesota you could not run against that team. But they got their butts kicked still because they played a vanilla zone defense in the secondary. I especially find it curious because Tomlin is a former secondary coach. Maybe he just had good secondary players (Barber & forget pro bowl S) then he goes to Minnesota where they have good Dlinemen, they focus on that and Dline looks awesome but they still lose cause teams throw on them.



I mentioned the disparity between the Vikings pass and run defense at the time Tomlin was hired,. and no one thought much of it. (They were ranked last in the league against the pass.)

To be honest, i did not dwell on it either as i was actually pulling for the guy (Tomlin) at that point. ( as this was prior to his personnel decision shenanigans.)

But perhaps,...their may indeed be a little more going on there in terms of maybe he's almost a pure motivational coach without any true exceptional grasp of the game from an x's and o's standpoint and or tactical acumen ? Ie: Alot of well articulated Coachspeak and "rah rah" with little or no substance ?

dont think thats true.

ike has gotten better since tomlin got here. john lynch has personally credited him extending his career on insights how to playthe pass better.

how about just getting some guys in here that can cover better. i've had enuff ofm these guys they call 'steeler type' DBs (espceically corners) that say they have to great
at coming up to play the run
...we see where thats getting us

NW Steeler
11-17-2010, 08:31 PM
But perhaps,...their may indeed be a little more going on there in terms of maybe he's almost a pure motivational coach without any true exceptional grasp of the game from an x's and o's standpoint and or tactical acumen ? Ie: Alot of well articulated Coachspeak and "rah rah" with little or no substance ?

A LOT of people used to say the same exact thing about Cowher too. We get that you don't like Tomlin. At least you ended this post without any reference to "grits" as is the norm. As far as Troy goes, I think it is ridiculous for you to wish him to move on to another team since you are certain that the Steelers are a sinking ship that has no hope.

BURGH86STEEL
11-17-2010, 08:42 PM
There were subjects similar to this a few seasons ago, trade Troy ect. I don't know how people reach these conclusions based on a few games. Steelers would not be a very good organization with some of the logic that floats around.

SteelCzar76
11-17-2010, 08:44 PM
But perhaps,...their may indeed be a little more going on there in terms of maybe he's almost a pure motivational coach without any true exceptional grasp of the game from an x's and o's standpoint and or tactical acumen ? Ie: Alot of well articulated Coachspeak and "rah rah" with little or no substance ?

A LOT of people used to say the same exact thing about Cowher too. We get that you don't like Tomlin. At least you ended this post without any reference to "grits" as is the norm. As far as Troy goes, I think it is ridiculous for you to wish him to move on to another team since you are certain that the Steelers are a sinking ship that has no hope.

NW,..be easy dude. :lol: The part about wishing to see Troy shine elsewhere was a bit of humor if you will. As well as the part about us being a sinking ship per se.

However in all seriousness,...i do believe Tomlin needs to tighten up his 'eye for personnel' game or it very well could end up costing us to some degree. (Ie: the Ziggy Hoods in the first, the project backers that take five years to develop, the Limas Sweeds, the Bruce Davis's, the William Gay's, the Trading up for punters, the Ryan Mundy's, the Joe Burnetts, the Keenan lewis's, the Stefan Logan's, the Mewelde Moore's, the resigning of Clark, the return of Macfadden and so on)

Maybe not to the extent that Gruden f#cked the Buccaneers,...but a cost nontheless.

Steel Life
11-17-2010, 09:46 PM
Look...it boils down to scheme against your opponent & how you're used. There are games where Troy is dynamic & forces the action because the Coaches have seen this is an opponent where they are susceptible to that & then there are others when it's smarter for him to play back. Remember the last SB?...Troy was All-World during the playoffs & then barely heard from during the game - due to the scheme the team felt they had to run to be successful. Plus, you add the fact that the D-Line is missing two of three starters & that due to that the LBs can't get after the QB, playing it safe in the defensive backfield seems smart. Everyone needs to relax, the Troy we saw dominating the Titans game this season is still there & will be again when the time calls.

hawaiiansteel
11-17-2010, 09:53 PM
Polamalu dealing with a strained right Achilles tendon

November 17th, 2010 by Matt Loede


The Steelers are dealing with yet ANOTHER injury, and this time it’s to the wild man of the defense, Troy Polamalu, who has a strained right Achilles tendon..

Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette says that the ailment is “potentially bothersome.” Coach Mike Tomlin said the team is “probably going to slow (Polamalu) down here in the early portions of the week… with an eye toward practicing in the latter part of the week.”

Tomlin expects Polamalu to play this weekend, which is certainly encouraging, but keep a close eye on this one, as it’s certainly an injury that could get worse. Yet another blow to a team that cannot afford anything else bad to happen as they get ready for the Raiders.

http://www.steelersgab.com/2010/11/17/p ... nt=Twitter (http://www.steelersgab.com/2010/11/17/polamalu-dealing-with-a-strained-right-achilles-tendon/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SteelersGab+%28Steelers+Gab%2 9&utm_content=Twitter)

SteelAbility
11-17-2010, 10:38 PM
Problem isn't Troy. Problem is Lebeau & Tomlin.

THE PATRIOTS SHUT OUR PASS DOWN UNTIL THE 4TH QTR WHEN THEY WENT INTO PREVENT, AND THEY DID IT WITH THE FOLLOWING:

A ROOKIE CB
A 2ND YEAR CB
A 2ND YEAR FS
A 4TH YEAR SS

WE GOT OUTCOACHED!

That's exactly how I saw it. Outcoached and outschemed.

NW Steeler
11-18-2010, 01:15 AM
But perhaps,...their may indeed be a little more going on there in terms of maybe he's almost a pure motivational coach without any true exceptional grasp of the game from an x's and o's standpoint and or tactical acumen ? Ie: Alot of well articulated Coachspeak and "rah rah" with little or no substance ?

A LOT of people used to say the same exact thing about Cowher too. We get that you don't like Tomlin. At least you ended this post without any reference to "grits" as is the norm. As far as Troy goes, I think it is ridiculous for you to wish him to move on to another team since you are certain that the Steelers are a sinking ship that has no hope.

NW,..be easy dude. :lol: The part about wishing to see Troy shine elsewhere was a bit of humor if you will. As well as the part about us being a sinking ship per se.

However in all seriousness,...i do believe Tomlin needs to tighten up his 'eye for personnel' game or it very well could end up costing us to some degree. (Ie: the Ziggy Hoods in the first, the project backers that take five years to develop, the Limas Sweeds, the Bruce Davis's, the William Gay's, the Trading up for punters, the Ryan Mundy's, the Joe Burnetts, the Keenan lewis's, the Stefan Logan's, the Mewelde Moore's, the resigning of Clark, the return of Macfadden and so on)

Maybe not to the extent that Gruden f#cked the Buccaneers,...but a cost nontheless.


I get what you are saying about personnel decisions, and I agree with you to some extent. The draft is a crapshoot and yes, Tomlin does have some head-scratchers amongst his picks. So did previous coaches. Everyone in the league has some good and some bad. The thing that concerns me is that while most of our early round picks have done pretty well as a whole, our 3rd round and later picks have not been good at all. That is where we used to do pretty well in the draft. Then again, how much of that is on Colbert vs. Tomlin?

Shoe
11-18-2010, 11:16 PM
This town is something else boy...

Week 1, he makes a truly spectacular INT of "Matty Ice", and then follows it up with a pick in Week 2--and everyone calls him god. In less than two months, now it's the fall of Troy, and he's lost a step.

F-n who wrote that article? That way, when we get back to solid football this year and Polamalu is back making plays, people can tell said jackass that he needs to STFU.

feltdizz
11-19-2010, 04:00 PM
This town is something else boy...

Week 1, he makes a truly spectacular INT of "Matty Ice", and then follows it up with a pick in Week 2--and everyone calls him god. In less than two months, now it's the fall of Troy, and he's lost a step.

F-n who wrote that article? That way, when we get back to solid football this year and Polamalu is back making plays, people can tell said jackass that he needs to STFU.

I hear you but uh... if he isn't making plays isn't that a "fall" from the norm?

I don't expect Troy to make every play but how many passes has he deflected since week 2?

If he can be called great when he plays well... why can't he be criticized when he doesn't?

hawaiiansteel
11-19-2010, 11:25 PM
Steelers Team Report

Yahoo! Sports

INSIDE SLANT

Troy Polamalu missed practice for the second straight day Thursday with a strained Achilles tendon, and losing him is not something a reeling and limping Steelers defense needs after a 350-yard performance against Tom Brady. The good news: He returned to full duty Friday.

Coach Mike Tomlin said even if he plays, he may not be close to the Tasmanian Devil style of play that has made him a five-time Pro Bowl safety.

In fact, his play has not been up to his standard most of the season after he missed 11 games in 2009 with two separate knee sprains. Polamalu, who had seven interceptions and 11 passes defensed in his last full season of play in 2008, has two interceptions and no passes defensed through nine games this season.

The Steelers defense went south last season with Polamalu and defensive end Aaron Smith each missing 11 games. They’ve been without Smith for the past three games with a torn biceps (they lost two of those) and he will not return until late in the season, if at all.

They also have been without their other starting defensive end, Brett Keisel, for three of the past four games with a hamstring injury. Keisel has participated in practice in a limited manner in each of the past three days.

Hines Ward has practiced hard over the past two days after he left Sunday’s game in the first quarter with a concussion, ending his 186-game streak with a catch, the third longest in NFL history.

“He wanted to prove to everybody he was healthy,” said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, “and, boy, he had two great practices and showed a lot of the younger guys how to do it.”

• The Steelers were buzzing when they returned to work Wednesday after coach Mike Tomlin abruptly canned veteran kicker Jeff Reed the day before.

Many were suspicious about why it was done.

“I hate to see Jeff Reed leave under the circumstances in the middle of the season,” said wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. “I’m sure something other than just kicking had to be involved in that deal.”

That rang especially true because the Steelers replaced Reed with Shaun Suisham, whose statistics do not measure up to Reed’s and who has never kicked in Heinz Field. Suisham also has a reputation for missing crucial kicks. He missed a 23-yarder late in the game for the Redskins in an overtime loss to New Orleans last December. Cut two days later, he signed with Dallas, and missed two in the dome in Minnesota in a Cowboys playoff loss.

“He’s a great kicker,” long-snapper Greg Warren said of Reed. “He’s going to get a call at some point either this year, end of the year, whatever. He’s going to be ready and he’s going to kick well for somebody.”

Suisham has never kicked in Heinz Field, one of the trickiest stadiums in the NFL for kickers with its unpredictable winds and its grass field. One time a punted ball stuck in the Heinz Field mud, point up.

Reed ripped the surface after he missed a 26-yard-field goal Sunday night, saying there was a hole in the ground that prompted that miss. His holder, punter Daniel Sepulveda, confirmed as much.

The kicker affair has drawn attention away from some other Steelers deficiencies, like their inability to run or pass last Sunday—at least until the game was out of hand in the fourth quarter vs. New England. And, of course, their inability to stop Tom Brady, who had 350 yards passing.

“I hope that everybody’s ****ed off,” said linebacker James Farrior, their defensive captain. “The way we played last week was definitely unacceptable. It’s something we can’t have if we’re going to be a championship team. So, I think guys are going to be focused in this week and into practice every day this week and we’re going to come back ready to play.”

The Steelers defense has slipped to No. 9 overall and while they are No. 1 against the run, they rank 26th in the NFL defending the pass. That may be good enough this week because Oakland prefers to run (No. 2 in the league) and has not done well passing (No. 25).

“The Raiders are playing well right now,” Farrior said. “Those guys are looking like a playoff-caliber football team so we’re definitely going to have to be on our game.”

Just as they did last season, the Steelers won six of their first eight games—and then lost game No. 9. They hope things will be much different in 2010, however, because they lost five straight after going 6-2 last season, including a game to Oakland at Heinz Field.

“We definitely want to make sure what happened last year doesn’t happen this year,” Hines Ward said.

Series History: 19th regular-season meeting. Raiders lead series, 10-8. The teams also have split six playoff games. The Raiders, 3-8 at the time, upset the Steelers in Heinz Field, 27-24 to win their second straight in this series. Pittsburgh also lost 20-13 in Oakland in 2006. These two rivals were bitter enemies in the 1970s and even squared off in a court trial.

NOTES, QUOTES

• Coach Mike Tomlin had his players put on full pads for the first time in a Wednesday practice since early in the season.

• With the NFL’s second-ranked running offense coming to Heinz Field, it bears noting that the Steelers defense has allowed just one runner to hit 100 yards rushing against them in the past 43 games. Baltimore’s Ray Rice(notes) ran for 141 yards last December in Heinz Field in a Steelers win.

• Mike Tomlin believes future opponents will look closely at the tape of the Steelers’ 39-26 loss to New England as a how-to lesson. He said he will “acknowledge that we’ve got some unflattering tape out there that might be a window into how to attack us, maybe, if they’re looking.”

• Punter Daniel Sepulveda acknowledged kicker Jeff Reed’s criticism of some fans “bashing” him as he practiced on the sideline Sunday night, but he did so in a positive manner.

“Well, they’re the best fans in the world and they know their football, they pay attention. They care very passionately about football and that’s why we have the best franchise in football and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

By The Numbers: 4—Number of starting line combinations by the Steelers through the first four games. They’ve lost both starting tackles to IR—Max Starks last week and Willie Colon in the summer.

Quote To Note: “I don’t plan on missing any field goals.”—New Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

Kicker Shaun Suisham, signed to replace the waived Jeff Reed on Tuesday, will wear No. 6.

Player Notes

• G Chris Kemoeatu returned to practice full-time on Thursday and is expected to return to start on the left side after he missed one game with a sprained knee and ankle.

• OT Tony Hills filled in for Flozell Adams on the right side in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game when Adams left with a minor ankle injury. “Tony has done fairly well with the opportunities he’s had,” offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said.

• DE Nick Eason has been sick the past two days, and with Brett Keisel going through a limited practice, the Steelers were down to their only healthy tight ends, Ziggy Hood and Steve McLendon.

• TE Heath Miller’s overall numbers are down from last season with 25 receptions, but he now has the longest streak of catching passes on the team at 31 consecutive games.

• QB Ben Roethlisberger’s statistics since he served a four-game suspension to start the season are on pace with his career numbers with 97.1 passer rating (91.7), 62.7 completion percent (63.3) and 8.25 yards per attempt (8.0).

Game Plan: The Steelers defense, No. 1 against the run, takes on the No. 2 run offense and that will be their focus. However, even though the Raiders are 25th passing the ball, the Steelers have had trouble stopping the pass this season, ranking No. 26. So, it’s either strength vs. strength or weakness vs. weakness. And the Raiders killed them through the air in the fourth quarter of their upset victory in Pittsburgh last season. Look for the Steelers to come with the blitz in heavy doses Sunday. On offense, they have not figured out what they are or what they want to be. They’re trying to run, with various success, and they likely will try again on Sunday.

Matchups To Watch: C Maurkice Pouncey (with help from LG Chris Kemoeatu) vs. Raiders DT Richard Seymour. The Steelers may have to double-team him.

WR Mike Wallace, who averages 21.4 yards per catch, vs. three-time Pro Bowl CB Nnamdi Asomugha.

TE Zach Miller, the Raiders’ leading receiver, vs. CB William Gay and Co., who allowed three TDs by Patriots rookie TE Rob Gronkowski.

Injury Impact: S Troy Polamalu (Achilles strain) missed practice until Friday. DE Brett Keisel (hamstring) was limited after missing three of the past four games. G Chris Kemoeatu (ankle, knee) is expected to return after missing one game. LB Lawrence Timmons (hip) also is expected to return after leaving last Sunday’s game.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...s-2010-nfl-pit

JTP53609
11-19-2010, 11:46 PM
I have always like Troy, but I found it hillarious when some people suggested he be placed in the top 10 players of all time on that NFL Network countdown. He is good and for his position he was and still is one of the best, but I think that he is going to become "too experienced" sooner then we think....

NorthCoast
11-20-2010, 11:12 AM
I have always like Troy, but I found it hillarious when some people suggested he be placed in the top 10 players of all time on that NFL Network countdown. He is good and for his position he was and still is one of the best, but I think that he is going to become "too experienced" sooner then we think....

kinda like a star burns brightest just before it burns out....

hawaiiansteel
11-20-2010, 01:53 PM
Polamalu practices, feels no discomfort

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, November 20, 2010


• As planned, safety Troy Polamalu participated in his first practice Friday after missing the first two practices of the week with what was described as an Achilles injury he suffered against New England. "That's what the formula has been so far,'' said Polamalu, who said he felt no discomfort afterward. Asked if he expected to play against Oakland on Sunday at Heinz Field, Polamalu replied, "Obviously, it's up to coach (Mike) Tomlin. We'll leave that decision up to him.''

• Defensive end Nick Eason returned to practice yesterday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday because of illness. Defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) participated in a full practice for the first time all week and is questionable. He said after practice he will probably be a gametime decision. Safety Will Allen (concussion) will miss his second consecutive game. Raiders tight end Zach Miller says he will play despite an injured foot. Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (sprained right ankle), defensive tackle John Henderson (right foot) and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) are also listed as questionable and will be game-time decisions.

• Wide receiver Hines Ward is well off last year's pace, when he led the team with 95 receptions. This season after nine games, Ward is tied with Mike Wallace for the team lead with 30 receptions. Ward's streak of recording at least one catch in 186 consecutive games ended against New England. He suffered a concussion late in the first quarter and didn't return. "People are going to say statistically we're down. Statistically, everybody's down,'' Ward said. "Mike's killing it. He's getting huge opportunities and making plays. When he's going deep like that, he's going to get a chance to make some big plays. The more and more he continues to grow, the more and more we continue to complement each other and open things up for everybody else.''

• Outside linebacker James Harrison was a late addition to last week's injury report prior to the New England game with back spasms. He finished the game with nine tackles. Harrison participated in yesterday's practice, the final practice of the week and the one which usually determines a player's availability for the upcoming game. "I'm doing fine,'' Harrison said. "Everybody deals with pain. That's no excuse.''

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