View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: Nearly all starters set to play

12-03-2008, 04:46 AM
Steelers Notebook: Nearly all starters set to play
McFadden returns; Keisel, Smith still out
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, who has missed the past six games with a broken right forearm, should return to play Sunday for the Steelers against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday.

Tomlin said the Steelers' injury situation involving starters is a good one, although defensive end Brett Keisel will miss another game with a sprained left knee ligament, and offensive tackle Marvel Smith will miss his eighth consecutive game with a back injury.

Keisel's replacement at right end, Travis Kirschke, "was the only in-game injury to speak of," Tomlin said. "He experienced some back discomfort; we will see where he is in terms of his practice availability [today]."

Tomlin said there has not been talk about placing Smith on injured reserve.

"No, that is not a question at this time," Tomlin said. "Marvel is a veteran player -- a high-quality person and player. If we have an opportunity to get a contribution from him as we move forward, then we, of course, are going to try to pursue that if we can."

Linebacker James Harrison, who had a hyper-extended back in Sunday's game in New England, is not on the injury report this week.

"James is fine; James is great," Tomlin said. "Based upon his performance in the second half, I don't think that we need to list him with the group of injured players."

Parker-Moore rotation
Willie Parker does not grace Tomlin's list of injured this week after he ran for 87 yards in New England on 16 carries.

"It is not an issue and it is probably not 100 percent, either," Tomlin said of Parker's previously sprained knee. "That is December football. We expect him to be able to play for us. We need to do whatever we can to let him get to the game in the best condition that he can be in. Whether or not that includes a Wednesday practice remains to be seen."

Parker started in New England, then shared time at halfback with Mewelde Moore, who chipped in with 12 carries for 67 yards in New England. That rotation could continue.

"We will evaluate that this week," Tomlin said. "There is no doubt that that was a successful venture for us last week. Mewelde is a good player who has shown that he is capable of helping us win. We all know what Willie is capable of doing. I am sure that we are going to continue to see both of those guys in some fashion. The minute details of the rotation just have not been worked out yet for this week."

Timmons' interception
Tomlin said he did not throw the red flag to challenge the call on Lawrence Timmons' 89-yard interception return late in Sunday's game because "he was down in the field of play."

It appeared Timmons was going to score after he intercepted Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel and broke into the open field. But Timmons tired and was caught and tackled just short of the goal line by tight end Ben Watson.

"He fell in pieces," Tomlin said, to laughter at his news conference. "His knee hit and then his body hit."

Two plays later, Gary Russell scored from the 1.

Taylor, Fox draw heat
The coach was not happy with two personal fouls committed by cornerback Ike Taylor for taunting and linebacker Keyaron Fox for pushing a Patriots player after a play Sunday.

"The self-inflicted wounds from a penalty standpoint, particularly the post-snap penalties, we don't desire to be that kind of football team," Tomlin said. "We have to correct that; I expect us to correct those types of things quickly.

"When you give up 15-yard chunks of real estate after the whistle is blown, that is not going to help you win football games against good people


12-04-2008, 05:53 AM
That is great injury news and very excited about getting McFadden back. Great to hear that as of now we only have 2 starters out of action in Smith and Keisel. At this point I just think it would make more sense to just put Smith on IR. I don't see him contributing this season anymore with his back issue.

12-04-2008, 11:56 AM
Getting Mcfadden back is huge. He's had quite a fine season.

I need a good luck charm so the Steelers don't hit by the injury bug for the rest of the year.

12-04-2008, 12:37 PM
Its great to hear that this team is getting healthy.

12-04-2008, 01:56 PM
Getting Mcfadden back is huge. He's had quite a fine season.

I need a good luck charm so the Steelers don't hit by the injury bug for the rest of the year.

Just curious-who will McFadden likely be covering more? TO or Roy11? Also-does he cover the slot well?

The Duke
12-04-2008, 02:06 PM
Just curious-who will McFadden likely be covering more? TO or Roy11? Also-does he cover the slot well?

Since he's coming back from injury I'd say it will be a rotation to ease him back into the game

Have him at times with williams( good matchup with his size), at times at the slot. Willie Gay and Townsend rotating too, like last week

I believe at this point Gay will get the start, if that means much

Though if he was healthy I'm sure he'd cover Williams most of the game

12-04-2008, 03:06 PM
Well, I just hope Keisel can make it back for the playoffs. That would be huge.

Smith I think we can write off as a lost cause. Even if he miraculously recovered, who knows if he'd be able to play any good?

Dino 6 Rings
12-04-2008, 04:45 PM
So wait a second...as we get into the last quarter of the season and begin our playoff push, you mean we are actually getting healthier instead of more injured like last season?

This can't be good news.


I got a feeling....

12-04-2008, 05:17 PM
i think that b-mac would most likely go up against roy... he still a newbie in the off.. and ike will go straight up w/ t.o

12-05-2008, 07:18 PM
I believe McFadden will be eased back into action. Until he gets his football legs under him I expect Gay to start again. I could definitely see McFadden shadowing Roy Williams at times during the game.

12-05-2008, 07:22 PM
still can't beleive this game wasn't the other primetime game.. it's a shame

12-05-2008, 07:36 PM
Compare the Steelers' health to the Cowboys situation. Marion Barber is probably not going to play, which not only hurts their running game, they take a step back in having a replacement being counted on to pick up blitzes. RB Felix Jones is already on IR, so they are down to 3rd and 4th stringers. And with one less back, he's not going to be as fresh, so the running game will suffer even more - and Dallas becomes one-dimensional. That puts them into predictable play calling, and for a reminder of what happens when opponents are forced in to passing situations, just review the second half of last week's game.

On defense S Roy Williams is on IR, CB Terrance Newman is back from an early season injury but CB Mike Jenkins is out, and CB Adam Jones has shown nothing special to warrant his aggravation this year.

All good signs for another Steeler victory.

12-06-2008, 02:15 PM
still can't beleive this game wasn't the other primetime game.. it's a shame

You are correct. No doubt this should be a prime time game but the Fox executives are smart enough to realize this game is going to draw a huge following beginning at 4:15 tomorrow.