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lamberts-lost-tooth
11-08-2008, 05:01 AM
Steelers defense not talking offense
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Steelers players insist that the offense and defense are on the same page, despite the offense's No. 25 league ranking. But how long will members of the league's top-ranked defense remain patient if the offense's struggles continue?

The Steelers, who host the Indianapolis Colts at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Heinz Field, will likely be without Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker, who missed practice all week with a shoulder injury.

Linebacker and defensive captain James Farrior said one of the keys to the Steelers' success this season is a unified locker room.

"We know we're all in this together,'' Farrior said. "Sooner or later, the tide might turn, and a team might score 40 points on us, and we're going to need them.

"We never point fingers in this locker room. It's always been like that.''

Defensive end Aaron Smith concurred with Farrior regarding the positive synergy between the offense and defense.

"Last time I checked, it was a team game,'' Smith said. "They don't just send a defense to the Super Bowl. They don't just send an offense or special teams. We live and die together on this team.''

While attempting to stress team unity, free safety Ryan Clark may have revealed how some defensive players really feel about the offense's inconsistent performance through the first eight games.

"We might have to score because of some of the teams we play," he said. "If you look down the stretch, we play a lot of explosive offenses and a lot of good defenses. Sometimes the difference in those games is when the defense scores or if you can get a score on special teams.''

Right tackle Willie Colon said the offense needs to emphasize the running game - with or without Parker.

"When you go against a team and run a couple of smash-mouth plays, and it's sucessful, you run it until the water runs out of the well,'' Colon said. "Sometimes when you're doing well in the run game and you abort it, and all of a sudden you turn into this passing frenzy, it kind of throws you off.''

Parker carried the ball 21 times for 70 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 23-6 win at Washington after sitting out four games with a sprained left knee. He'll be replaced by Mewelde Moore, who has rushed for 320 yards and three touchdowns and will be making his fourth start in Parker's absence.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_597434.html