View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: 12/14/06

12-13-2006, 11:33 PM
Steelers Notebook: Ward says he's ready for Carolina
Thursday, December 14, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It appears wide receiver Hines Ward will make good on his word and return to the starting lineup Sunday in Charlotte, N.C.

The Steelers upgraded Ward and free safety Ryan Clark to probable for the game against the Carolina Panthers after they went through a full practice yesterday.

Ward and Clark first were listed Monday as questionable by coach Bill Cowher. Ward missed the past two games after knee surgery. Clark missed the game Thursday against Cleveland with a groin injury.

Both should start Sunday in Carolina.

"I'm going," Ward said. "I didn't do all this rehab for nothing."

That might not be the case for strong safety Troy Polamalu or wide receiver Cedrick Wilson. Each remained doubtful and did not practice yesterday. Polamalu has missed the past two games with a MCL knee sprain; Tyrone Carter replaced him as the starter. Wilson missed the game Thursday with a high ankle sprain, and rookie Santonio Holmes replaced him.

Fox not happy about rules

Carolina coach John Fox does not like the rules that are being applied to protect quarterbacks in the NFL.

"There has been a lot of emphasis put in that area," Fox said yesterday. "I am not sure that this protection is really protecting them as much as it is maybe not protecting the integrity of the game."

Delhomme misses practice

The Panthers list quarterback Jake Delhomme as one of seven players on their injury list, all questionable. Delhomme missed the loss Sunday to the New York Giants with a right thumb injury. Chris Weinke made his first start in four years and ran his record to 1-16 as a starter for Carolina.

Delhomme did not practice yesterday.

"He's still listed day-to-day," Weinke said. "Talking to him, it seems to be getting better."

Weinke threw 61 passes against the Giants.

"That was tough," he said. "I haven't thrown that many balls in four years."

Hear no evil

The Steelers made a surprising admission after they lost in Indianapolis, 26-7, last season when the noisy dome crowd gave their offense so many problems -- they did not use a silent count as many teams do in such places.

They switched to it for their next road game in Minnesota's dome and then used it again for their return trip to Indianapolis in the playoffs.

It has been all silent count all the time on the road this year, according to offensive tackle Max Starks.

"Now we use it routinely because it makes it easier, instead of trying to sit there and keying. After the Indy game, we didn't want to have anything like that ever happen again. If it gets semi-loud, we go straight to the silent count."

Quick hits

The 529 yards in total offense Thursday against Cleveland were the most posted by the Steelers since they hung 556 on Cincinnati Nov. 19, 1995. It was the fifth time they went over 450 yards in a game, three more than they did that last season. ... Ward needs just 4 yards rushing to become the career leader among Steelers receivers. Louis Lipps holds the lead with 388. Ward has not had a carry in the regular season since Dec. 4, 2005, although he did run once in the AFC title game for 4 yards and once in the Super Bowl for another 18 . . . Ward also needs 184 receiving yards to become the second Steeler to reach 8,000 yards. John Stallworth had 8,723 yards.


12-13-2006, 11:39 PM
Steelers notebook

By The Tribune-Review
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward returned to practice Wednesday and said he will definitely play against the Panthers. Cedrick Wilson, the Steelers' other starting wide receiver missed practice because of an ankle sprain and is listed as doubtful. Safety Mike Logan (hamstring) also missed practice and is doubtful. Center Jeff Hartings (knee) is probable. Panthers starting cornerbacks Chris Gamble (thigh) and Ken Lucas (thigh) missed practice yesterday, as did tight end Kris Mangum (hip), running back Nick Goings (shoulder) and wide receiver Taye Biddle. All are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.

? Troy Polamalu (knee) missed practice yesterday and still is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. The All-Pro safety sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a 27-0 loss to the Ravens and has missed the past two games. Polamalu said yesterday that if he plays before the MCL sprain has healed enough to prevent further knee damage, he is susceptible to tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. If that happens, Polamalu said, he might not be ready for the start of training camp next year. Polamalu said he didn't know when he would be able to play again.

Asked if he will be able to play again this season, Polamalu said, "I'm the wrong person to ask about the future. I'm living day-to-day."

Free safety Ryan Clark looks like he'll return Sunday. Clark, who missed this past Thursday's game with a bad groin, has been upgraded from questionable to probable. Anthony Smith started in place of Clark against the Browns and made his first NFL interception and had several big hits

? The Panthers may again be without starting quarterback Jake Delhomme again Sunday. Delhomme, who missed this past Sunday's game because of a bad thumb on his throwing hand, didn't practice yesterday and is not expected to practice today. He is listed as questionable. Chris Weinke threw for a franchise-record 423 yards in place of Delhomme, but the 2000 Heisman Trophy winner also got picked off three times, and the Panthers lost, 27-13, to the Giants. Panthers coach John Fox said Delhomme will start against the Steelers if he is "physically able." Deshea Townsend said the Steelers have watched film of both quarterbacks. The veteran cornerback said containing explosive wide receiver Steve Smith will be the Steelers' top priority no matter who is under center for the Panthers.

"They do a good job of moving him around, and they just look for match-ups," Townsend said. "It's hard to point out where he's going to be. It's our job to create confusion. Show something and give them something else."


1 - 100-yard receiving game Ward needs to move into sole possession of second place on the Steelers' all-time list.

3 - Victories the Steelers have this season against teams that have won six or more games.

28.6 - Percentage of third downs the Panthers have allowed opponents to convert this season, which is tops in the NFL.

- By Scott Brown


12-14-2006, 05:43 AM
I'm liking that 3rd down stat the Panthers have...I think the Steelers will take advantage of that