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mesaSteeler
10-01-2010, 11:39 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_702401.html

Steelers' defensive line benefiting from extra rest

By John Harris
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, October 2, 2010

Defensive line coach John Mitchell is excited about a rotation through the first three games that has reduced the number of snaps for starters Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel. "You don't want to wear them out," Mitchell said. "This is a long season, and you want those guys in November and December feeling good and rested."

Smith, in particular, has benefited from resting for series at a time during the game something he hasn't been able to do throughout most of his 13-year career. "This is the first year I haven't had to play 70 snaps a game," Smith said. "Hopefully, it makes a difference in a long season."

The defensive line rotation will be shortened by one player in Sunday's game against Baltimore at Heinz Field. As expected, nose tackle Chris Hoke (knee) missed another day of practice and won't play against the Ravens. Guard Trai Essex (ankle) and quarterback Dennis Dixon (knee) are also out.

For Baltimore, tackle Jared Gaither (back), linebacker Tavares Gooden (shoulder) and wide receiver Donte Stallworth (foot) are out. Running back Ray Rice (knee), defensive end Cory Redding (head), tackle/guard Tony Moll (hip) and linebacker Edgar Jones (thigh) are questionable.

The NFL announced the fines Friday that Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher and safety Tom Zbikowski have each been fined $5,000 for their actions in Sunday's game against Cleveland. Oher's fine stems from punching Browns defensive end Robaire Smith. Oher hit Smith after Smith shoved Baltimore tight end Todd Heap following a whistle that had stopped play for a false start. Zbikowski tackled Browns running back Peyton Hillis out of bounds at the end of a 48-yard run. The play drew a penalty for unnecessary roughness.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

whatdoiknow
10-01-2010, 11:55 PM
Hoke being out will hurt. Especially since Hampton can get winded pretty fast. I wonder if this means that Mclendon will be activated once again for Sunday ? But Baltimore has a HUGE problem at RT. The last time the Ravens did not have Gaither at RT, Lamar Woodly destroyed Cousins, and now even HE is out. That means regular Guard M.Yanda, who has never played Tackle in his Pro Career, and who is very Unathletic could be " RAPED " by Lamar, and Timmons if he decides to attack Flacco from that angle. And if Yanda goes down, then Tony Moll, a castoff Guard from Green Bay has to play there, and then I can Woodly with say....7 to 10 QB Sacks :-)

MasterOfPuppets
10-02-2010, 12:19 AM
there's going to be a deep class of 3-4 DE's in next years draft if they decide to go that way in the first round.

ricardisimo
10-02-2010, 12:55 AM
I would think NT is more a priority at this point in Hampton's career than DE. We just drafted Ziggy a year ago, after all.

Theoretically, couldn't Ziggy play the nose if Hampton went down?

MasterOfPuppets
10-02-2010, 01:50 AM
I would think NT is more a priority at this point in Hampton's career than DE. We just drafted Ziggy a year ago, after all.

Theoretically, couldn't Ziggy play the nose if Hampton went down?
well just like most years the true NT position isn't very deep. as of now, there's maybe 1 projected as a possible 1st rounder. of course that could change by april... may be 3....may be none....:noidea:
yes if fatsnack went down , hood would be his replacement if hoke isn't available.

lionslicer
10-02-2010, 11:45 AM
I would think NT is more a priority at this point in Hampton's career than DE. We just drafted Ziggy a year ago, after all.

Theoretically, couldn't Ziggy play the nose if Hampton went down?

Ziggy was a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, he's underweight and under strength to be a nose tackle. 4-3 defensive tackles are who 3-4 teams draft to be DE's. And 4-3 DE's are drafted to be outside linebackers. Though I do not know his strength, if he is strong and aggressive enough he could hold the position decently.

Set-Man
10-02-2010, 05:06 PM
I really like their plan to rotate Defensive lineman. Will keep them fresher in the long run. May help prevent Smith from getting another injury. Dude needs to make the pro bowl this year. He deserves it.