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mesaSteeler
09-12-2010, 12:56 AM
Defensive line could get a boost against Falcons
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 12, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_699132.html

It won't be a surprise if the Steelers dress all six of their defensive linemen today against the Falcons.

Coach Mike Tomlin generally adds an extra defensive lineman to the 45-man active roster at this time of year because of the warmer weather. Starting left defensive end Aaron Smith said he would welcome a rotation along the line.

"We've got great depth," the 34-year-old said. "There's no reason why I should have to take 60, 70 snaps a game."

Second-year end Ziggy Hood could spell both Smith and right end Brett Keisel.

"He's light years ahead of where he was last year, and he's only going to get better," Smith said of the 2009 first-round pick. "He's going to be a great player for a long time."

Veteran presence

Eight of the Steelers' 11 defensive starters are at least 30 years old.

But nose tackle Casey Hampton, who turned 33 on Sept. 3, said that should be looked at as a positive, not a negative.

"When you're over 30, you know how to play the game," the 10th-year veteran said. "I'll take an older guy who knows what he is doing rather than a younger guy who doesn't know what they are doing."

Halftime trends

Recent history suggests the Steelers better lead at halftime today if they want to win. Atlanta is 18-1 when leading at halftime under third-year coach Mike Smith.

The Steelers are 19-5 at Heinz Field when leading at halftime under Tomlin.