View Full Version : Superdome tiebreaker on tap for Steelers, New Orleans

10-31-2010, 07:27 AM
Superdome tiebreaker on tap for Steelers, New Orleans
By John Harris
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fourth-round draft pick Thaddeus Gibson was waived Saturday by the Steelers to make room for defensive end Steve McLendon, who was signed from the practice squad to provide depth on the defensive line.

Gibson can be signed to the practice squad next week if he clears waivers.

McLendon was added, as expected, because of injuries to Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel. Smith had surgery Monday to repair a partially torn triceps muscle, and Keisel isn't expected to play tonight against the New Orleans Saints. Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason are expected to start alongside nose tackle Casey Hampton.

Back to the Big Easy

The Steelers are 2-2 against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

The last time the teams played in New Orleans, the Steelers lost, 32-29, in 2002. The starting quarterbacks in that game were Tommy Maddox and Aaron Brooks.

The Steelers and Saints have met only three times since 1993. However, the teams have an interesting history dating to before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. In 1968, the Steelers and Saints were members of the Century Division. They played twice that season, with the Saints winning both games.

Close to home

There should be quite a gathering at midfield after tonight's game. There are many connections professional and personal between the Steelers and Saints, but several stand out:

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and New Orleans safety Darren Sharper were teammates at William and Mary. Steelers offensive assistant Harold Goodwin is the older brother of New Orleans center Jonathan Goodwin. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau worked on Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' staff when Williams was Buffalo's head coach in 2003.

Eat up

The Steelers' postgame meal will be provided by a catering business run by cornerback Ike Taylor's family. Taylor attended New Orleans' Abramson High School.

The Steelers provide a meal or snack for the players, coaches and administrative staff following every road game. Tonight's menu: baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans and bread pudding.

"They wanted New Orleans-style dishes,'' said Herman Francois, Taylor's uncle who helped raise him. "It is an honor for Ike Taylor's family to serve the Pittsburgh Steelers."

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