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HometownGal
12-11-2007, 09:13 AM
Interesting article - in more ways than one! :tt02:

Steeling for a test

Defense limps into showdown at Pittsburgh
By Vito Stellino, The Times-Union


Injuries are piling up for the Jaguars' defense.

Middle linebacker Mike Peterson has been sidelined the last three games with a broken hand, and coach Jack Del Rio said that he doesn't think there's "much of a chance" defensive end Reggie Hayward will play against Pittsburgh this Sunday because of a groin injury that sidelined him during the Jaguars' 37-6 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Marcus Stroud suffered what Del Rio described as a "pretty good [ankle] sprain." Stroud's status won't be known until later in the week.

It means the Jaguars could be missing three defensive starters when they go to Pittsburgh and face the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

When Stroud returned from a four-game suspension Sunday, Rob Meier, who had been playing in his spot, started at defensive end. But Meier had to move back inside after Stroud was injured, and Bobby McCray joined the rotation at end.

The Jaguars held Vinny Testaverde to 84 yards passing, but didn't put much heat on him.

They'll need to step up the pressure on Roethlisberger, whose 101.4 passer rating trails only Tom Brady of the Patriots, Tony Romo of the Cowboys and the Jaguars' David Garrard.

Despite their 9-4 record, the Jaguars' defense is still lagging statistically - 27th in passing yardage allowed, 20th in net passing yards per play and 23rd in sacks per pass play. Defensive Paul Spicer has a team-leading 61/2 sacks, which is tied for 29th in the league.

"We're battling," said Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio. "We're doing the best we can. Rob Meier has been strong with Stroud out and Paul Spicer has had a heck of a year."

The Jaguars (9-4) can probably clinch a wild-card playoff spot with victories against the Raiders and Texans in their final two games, regardless of what they do against the Steelers.

But a victory in Pittsburgh would send a signal that the Jaguars are ready for the rigors of playoff football on the road. Since they'll almost certainly be a wild-card team, they're not likely to have a home playoff game.

They've beaten the Steelers the past two seasons, including an overtime victory at Pittsburgh in 2005, when Rashean Mathis returned an interception for a touchdown.

One player who's particularly looking forward to the matchup is running back Fred Taylor, who has gained more than 100 yards rushing for three consecutive games and is making a late push for hist first Pro Bowl appearance.

In nine games against Pittsburgh, Taylor has 768 yards and six touchdowns, including a 234-yard game in 2000.

"It'll be tough," Taylor said of playing at Pittsburgh. "The Steelers do what they do. The smashmouth style. Still love playing the Steelers. Every chance you get an opportunity to play the Steelers, you've got to be excited. The old division we were in. Playing 'em twice a year. Never back down. Knew what they were going to bring. They're going to play great defense. It's going to be cold. The field is nasty. That's football. We're ready for it."

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/121107/jag_224454638.shtml

Mosca
12-11-2007, 09:50 AM
Stellino; he used to be a Pittsburgh writer!

I don't remember much about him; but none of it was bad, either.

Atlanta Dan
12-11-2007, 11:57 AM
Stellino; he used to be a Pittsburgh writer!

I don't remember much about him; but none of it was bad, either.

Stellino wrote for the P-G during the glory days of the 70s (and John Clayton covered the B&G for the now deceased Press in the late 70s).

Some of Vito's work:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07280/823702-66.stm

http://www.pittsburghpost-gazette.com/pg/07280/823700-66.stm

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07280/823701-66.stm?cmpid=sports.xml

19ward86
12-11-2007, 05:03 PM
we need a break, this is a big week for us.

SteelerFanInCA
12-11-2007, 05:12 PM
Man, looks like the injury bug hit them as well. Hopefully we can take advantage of it.

Galax Steeler
12-12-2007, 05:09 AM
At this point we need all the help we can get we have injuries and they do to so no excuses lets just beat them.

Boomerang
12-12-2007, 06:19 AM
AT full strenghth the Jags D is pretty good so the injuries will be a helping hand for us.

klick81
12-12-2007, 10:54 AM
We need to capitalize in every aspect of the game. Only three regular season games left!