Steelers' Tomlin doesn't name starting fullback
By Scott Brown and John Harris
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin talked a lot but said little about the situation at fullback today during his weekly news conference. He did not commit to starting Carey Davis, who is first on the depth chart, or Dan Kreider, when the Steelers host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. In fact, Tomlin said Matt Spaeth could get the starting nod if the Steelers open the 1 p.m. game at Heinz Field in a two-tight end set. Davis started the Steelers' season opener last Sunday, but Kreider also played in the team's 34-7 win over Cleveland. Tomlin said both Davis and Kreider won't necessarily be active for every game. The makeup of the Steelers' 45-man roster for games will be determined by injuries as well as the team's game plan.
? Former Steelers center Chukky Okobi said yesterday he will sign a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, who are coached by former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
"Pittsburgh will always be a part of me, but I've gotta move on," Okobi, a Pittsburgh native, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "After everything that went down here, I didn't really fit in."
Okobi, who started seven games in six seasons with the Steelers, was released Sept. 1. Okobi is expected to contend for playing time right away since starting center Al Johnson was injured in Arizona's Monday night game against San Francisco. In Arizona, Okobi will also be reunited with assistant coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who held the same position with the Steelers.
? If the New England Patriots are indeed guilty of trying to steal signals last Sunday by videotaping the New York Jets' defensive coach, Tomlin won't be surprised.
"Usually where there's smoke, there's fire," Tomlin said. "Those rumors are usually founded on something. It's not really shocking, no."
Tomlin was asked if the Steelers take measures to prevent opponents from stealing their signals.
"We do, but we'd like to keep our methods private so we can continue to be successful," Tomlin said laughing.
? Tomlin said he doesn't think the Bills will be distracted, even though one of Buffalo's players sustained a serious spine injury last Sunday. Tight end Kevin Everett fractured his cervical spine while making a tackle on special teams in Buffalo's 15-14 loss to the Denver Broncos.
"I wish that young man the very best," Tomlin said. "I'm sure that sent shockwaves around this league, not just in Buffalo. But those guys are professionals. I expect those guys to get it together from a professionalism standpoint and be ready to play come Sunday."
? Injury report: Starting cornerback Deshea Townsend is hampered by a minor groin injury, but he is expected to play Sunday.
"Maybe he'll miss a day or two of preparation," Tomlin said.
Steelers' rank in the NFL (tied with the Bengals) in turnover margin.
Sacks Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel has had since 2003, second only to Jason Taylor during that time.