View Full Version : Steelers safeties battling injuries

Galax Steeler
09-22-2009, 03:53 AM
Perhaps the Steelers might change the name of the position from safety to something else because there just is no safe way to play that post for them these days.

Strong safety? Troy Polamalu and Tyrone Carter looked anything but pictures of strength as they limped around the Steelers' UPMC training facility yesterday. Carter could join Polamalu out of the lineup this week when the Steelers open competition in the AFC North Division at Cincinnati.

Carter came out of the 17-14 loss Sunday in Chicago with a severely bruised left thigh, the result of his thunderous hit on Bears tight end Greg Olsen that left them both shaken. Polamalu will enter the second of his estimated 3-6 weeks on the sideline with a torn left knee MCL.

Next up? The Steelers have some choices. Ryan Mundy is the only other safety listed on the team after free safety Ryan Clark. He could well move into the starting job at strong safety if Carter cannot play. They also have options with two veteran cornerbacks, Deshea Townsend and Keiwan Ratliff. Each can play safety and have practiced there.

Mundy has played in the first two games in some dime defenses, but this is his first season after spending his first year out of WVU on the Steelers' practice squad. If they do not believe he is ready to start, they could put one of their veteran cornerbacks there.

Either way, it has not been a strong start for the Steelers' strong safeties.
Bengals show teeth

As unsuccessful as the Steelers have been in Chicago (1-12), they are nearly as successful in Cincinnati. They won their past eight games in Cincinnati and 10 of the past 11 there. Overall, they have beaten the Bengals in 15 of their past 19 games, including a 2005 playoff game.

But these Bengals have some early bite. The teams enter the game Sunday in Cincinnati tied 1-1, trailing 2-0 Baltimore in the AFC North Division. The Steelers swept all six division games last season then beat Baltimore a third time in the AFC championship game.

"It's going to be a big test for us," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "They won, we lost. The division starts now."

Cincinnati recovered from an Immaculate Reception-like defeat to Denver on a tipped touchdown pass in the opener to beat up Green Bay Sunday, 31-24.

If the Steelers are still trying to find their ground game, the Bengals are in full gear; Cedric Benson ran 29 times for 149 yards against the Packers. And while the Steelers search for productivity on what has been a quiet pass rush, the Bengals are flying high. Right defensive end Antwan Odom had five sacks in Green Bay Sunday, tying a club record.

"That's impressive," said Steelers left tackle Max Starks. "I know he's on my side, so it's going to be a very fun game. Odom's a guy, he has speed, but he likes to be inside most of the time."

The Bengals do not appear to be the pushovers they have been for the Steelers much of this decade. The Steelers especially believe Cincinnati's passing game featuring Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco can do damage one week after Jay Cutler did it for the Bears (27 of 38, 236 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 1 sack and a 104.7 passer rating).

"Carson's back; he's the heart and soul of those guys," Keisel said. "When he's in there, he's a great weapon. And they still have Chad deep."
Clear preference

The Steelers have run 45 times and tried to pass on 84 occasions (including six sacks) in two low-scoring games decided by three points.

It is clear which part of their offense has the coaches' confidence right now. Even in short yardage, the pass or the quarterback is called on to get the job done, not the backs.

Ben Roethlisberger threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Spaeth, and the team's other touchdown came when the quarterback ran a bootleg for 2 yards around left end.

The pass that Santonio Holmes dropped in the end zone with 3:23 left and the score tied came on third-and-2.

"We know we can run the ball," Starks said. "It's just about getting the confidence in the coaches to call those plays."
Holmes banged up

Holmes walked around the Steelers' facility yesterday with a large wrap on his left wrist/hand. It appears he merely was icing down a wrist injury from the game in Chicago.

Holmes injured the wrist when he hit the ground and tried to support himself with his left hand.


Fire Haley
09-22-2009, 09:26 AM
Now Holmes is hurt?


09-22-2009, 09:58 AM
I don't want to see ANY of our guys injured, but if it's going to happen, better at the start of the season than down the stretch.

09-22-2009, 01:58 PM
Anthony Smith where you at?

Anthony Smith was a goon who couldn't cover well enough to stay on the team, much less follow directions given to him by the coaching staff.