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83-Steelers-43
08-21-2007, 11:06 PM
Steelers plan to be ready when injury strikes
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He walked out of the dining hall of St. Vincent College one day carrying a thick black binder.

Arnold Harrison clearly had been studying during his lunch break, and when asked where he takes his playbook, the left outside linebacker said, "almost everywhere."

With good reason.

Harrison has had to learn multiple positions, and for the first couple of weeks of preseason practice he probably felt like he was on a chessboard as much as a football field. He is among a handful of players that the coaches moved around during training camp; Harrison played both outside linebacker positions as well as on the inside.

Mike Tomlin has backed off a little from what has been one of the buzz phrases of preseason practice, "position flexibility," as he wants players to focus on their primary position. That doesn't mean the first-year coach is any less devoted to the idea since, as he said, injuries are an inevitable, if unfortunate, part of football.

"When things happen during the regular season that are naturally football-related, we're going to create an atmosphere where we don't blink," Tomlin said. "(Injuries) can't become the story. So in order to do that and have that mentality once we get down the road and the season starts, you've got to be willing to explore and give guys opportunities to show some of those things."

Players trying to make the team such as Harrison and fellow linebacker Rian Wallace have helped themselves (and presumably the Steelers) by working at several different positions, and proven veterans also have been a part of the shuffling.

The most notable among them are Max Starks, who saw significant time at left tackle during the Steelers' first two preseason games, and Clark Haggans, who started the first two exhibition games at right outside linebacker.

Starks has started the past two years at right tackle -- he is competing with Willie Colon for the starting job there this season -- and Haggans is the Steelers' starting left outside linebacker.

"I know they're trying to put together a winning formula for this season," said Haggans, who started the two games at right outside linebacker because of injuries to James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons, "and that's what this experimentation process they're doing in the preseason is about."

The New England Patriots are the best example as to why it's important to have contingency plans.

The Patriots were so wracked by injuries in 2003 that they had 42 starters. That didn't stop them winning the Super Bowl, and they defended their title the following season even though nine players started at least one game in their defensive backfield.

In 2005, New England broke the record it had set in 2003 -- the team with the most starters winning a division championship -- when it claimed the AFC East title despite having 45 starters.

"If you're playing in January and February, the reality is somewhere along the line something's come up and somebody's delivered," Tomlin said. "Hopefully none of those things occur, but history and experience tell us that some of those things are going to happen and you've got to be prepared to adjust and move forward."

Hence all of the moving around.

"When you can establish depth like that," strong safety Troy Polamalu said, "it's beneficial for the team."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_523347.html

Preacher
08-21-2007, 11:48 PM
In many ways, I don't like that they are shuffling people around. I wish they would let them play thier positions.

However, It really does make a whole lot of sense!

TackleMeBen
08-22-2007, 12:16 AM
yes it does make sense.. you always should know someone else's job. you never know when you might need to take it over:wink02:

and can they develop a plan to keep ben from opening his mouth and giving the media something to turn around :thumbsup:

Preacher
08-22-2007, 12:24 AM
yes it does make sense.. you always should know someone else's job. you never know when you might need to take it over:wink02:

and can they develop a plan to keep ben from opening his mouth and giving the media something to turn around :thumbsup:

Its fanaca I worry more about then Ben... to be honest.

TackleMeBen
08-22-2007, 12:33 AM
maybe preacher.. but fanababy is on his way out anyway.. so i dont really care what he has to say ...lol

83-Steelers-43
08-22-2007, 12:34 AM
IMO,

I think it's time to get that o-line set instead of shuffling guys around and seeing if they can play other people's positions. That's unless we want to see our o-line lack cohesion come 9/9 while watching Roethlisberger's head pop off. While I know "it's only preseason", that o-line concerns me a bit. I felt we should have had the o-line set before the Redskins game, but I'll take Tomlin's word for it. He's the coach.

tony hipchest
08-22-2007, 12:49 AM
IMO,

I think it's time to get that o-line set instead of shuffling guys around and seeing if they can play other people's positions. That's unless we want to see our o-line lack cohesion come 9/9 while watching Roethlisberger's head pop off. While I know "it's only preseason", that o-line concerns me a bit. I felt we should have had the o-line set before the Redskins game, but I'll take Tomlin's word for it. He's the coach.
you can rest assured the local media is already patting itself on the back for making this happen before the sept. 09 deadline. i hope they gave mickey a lolli-pop and tucked him into bed too. :wink02:

tomlin woulda never figured out that a starting 5 needs to be set w/o their help. although tomlin suggests there are 8 quality guys, im sure the media will let him know which ones are worthy of keeping beyond 07.

im eagerly awaiting cooks articles of why the offensive line failed this season.

TackleMeBen
08-22-2007, 12:50 AM
i would have thought the oline would have been set by now too.. however i do understand the part of learning another position... i guess we will just have to put our faith in tomlin and come 9/9 its brady quinn's head that will be popping off :cheer:

83-Steelers-43
08-22-2007, 12:52 AM
you can rest assured the local media is already patting itself on the back for making this happen before the sept. 09 deadline. i hope they gave mickey a lolli-pop and tucked him into bed too. :wink02:

tomlin woulda never figured out that a starting 5 needs to be set w/o their help. although tomlin suggests there are 8 quality guys, im sure the media will let him know which ones are worthy of keeping beyond 07.

im eagerly awaiting cooks articles of why the offensive line failed this season.

It's Bouchette's and Cook's fault. Evil Pittsburgh media. Damn them to hell.

83-Steelers-43
08-22-2007, 12:53 AM
Maybe Essex can learn how to play DB? Get Max Starks at FS.

Sounds like a plan.

TackleMeBen
08-22-2007, 12:55 AM
tony can you send Cook some cheese so he can stuff it in his mouth..:flap: :wink02:

tony hipchest
08-22-2007, 12:59 AM
It's Bouchette's and Cook's fault. Evil Pittsburgh media. Damn them to hell.well i cant blame them for monday morning qb'ing. thats their jobs. i will blame the rooneys for having coaches convince us that mid round draft pick scrubs were nfl capable, and neglecting the position in the 1st 2 rounds of the draft for the last 5 years.

but then again, that is a whole series of articles. its much easier to blame tomlin who already has shown arms folded on the sidelines.

83-Steelers-43
08-22-2007, 01:02 AM
well i cant blame them for monday morning qb'ing. thats their jobs. i will blame the rooneys for having coaches convince us that mid round draft pick scrubs were nfl capable, and neglecting the position in the 1st 2 rounds of the draft for the last 5 years.

but then again, that is a whole series of articles. its much easier to blame tomlin who already has shown arms folded on the sidelines.

Yeah, but it's Bouchette's and Cook's fault that Tomlin has his arms folded on the sidelines, that we are in Iraq, global warming and why Eddie Griffin is NOT Evel Knieval.

Galax Steeler
08-22-2007, 03:49 AM
i would have thought the oline would have been set by now too.. however i do understand the part of learning another position... i guess we will just have to put our faith in tomlin and come 9/9 its brady quinn's head that will be popping off :cheer:

I to wish the offfensive line was set but I have to agree with you i'm looking forward seeing us kill brady quinn.:sofunny::tt02::tt02:

OneForTheToe
08-22-2007, 12:29 PM
A few more dual responsibilities:



Casey Hampton will be practicing to be the emergency quarterback this week.
Also, Jeff Read will be getting ready to fill in for Steeley McBeam under the title of Spikey McHair.. And finally, Hines will practice doing the play by play for CBS while playing at the same time.
.