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Old 12-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers-Panthers Five Questions

Steelers-Panthers Five Questions
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sp...questions.html
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Thursday December 23, 2010 12:12 AM

Will C.J. Davis get to play tonight against the Steelers?

Davis, a former West Allegheny High School star who later played Pitt, is the Panthers’ backup right guard. Since he was signed Nov. 17, he’s played in a limited capacity the past five games.

Last year, Davis signed with Carolina as an undrafted free agent, but spent his rookie season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. This year, Davis was again placed on IR, but this time right after suffering a training camp concussion. A few days later, he agreed to an injury settlement and it appeared his days with the Panthers were over.

But on Nov. 1, Davis was re-signed to Panthers’ practice squad. Sixteen days later, he was promoted to the active roster.

Davis, who wears No. 71, is one of three former Pitt O-linemen on Carolina’s roster. The others are tackle Jeff Otah, who’s on injured reserve (knee), and Rob Petitti, the backup right tackle.



Who’s the Panthers’ backup quarterback?

Brian St. Pierre, the Steelers fifth-round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.

An eighth-year pro, St. Pierre spent the 2003-2004 and 2006-2007 seasons with the Steelers. From 2008-2009, he was with the Arizona Cardinals.

This year, it seemed St. Pierre’s pro career was over until Nov. 11 when he was signed to Carolina’s practice squad. On Nov. 16, he was promoted to the active roster after Jimmy Clausen sustained a concussion in a loss to Tampa Bay. A week later, St. Pierre made his first NFL start in a 37-13 loss to Baltimore. In that game, he completed 13 of 28 passes for 173 yards, one TD and two interceptions. His passer rating that day was 56.2.



Is there any chance Bill Cowher will be the Panthers’ next head coach?
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Because he owns a home in Raleigh, N.C., it would seem that Cowher, the ex-Steelers coach, would be an obvious successor to John Fox if he is fired as expected.

However, there are no guarantees that Cowher is ready to end his four-year run as a CBS-TV pro football analyst. Plus, there have been reports that he’d be interested in coaching only the New York Giants, Houston Texans or Miami Dolphins. Oddly enough, neither of those teams have a vacancy right now.

When is Aaron Smith going to play again?

When Smith tore a triceps muscle in the Oct. 24 win in Miami, there was hope the Steelers’ veteran defensive end would play in tonight’s game against Carolina, but that is not going to happen. Smith keeps making progress, the Steelers say. For example, he’s able to lift weights again. However, Smith has yet to practice.

In all likelihood, Smith will return when the Steelers play their first postseason game, which could be the weekend of Jan. 15-16 if they win the AFC North.

How did some of the Steelers’ stars fare in the fans portion of the Pro Bowl votes?

Three Steeler defensive players were among the top vote-getters at their respective positions: outside linebacker James Harrison, strong safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker Keyaron Fox as a special teams player. With 530,155 votes, Polamalu received more votes than any other defensive player in the league.

Among all rookies, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was third behind Detroit defensive lineman Ndamukong Su and St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford.

The AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters are determined via three-way vote among fans, players and coaches. Player and coaches cast their ballots Wednesday and today. Rosters for the NFL’s annual all-star game will be announced Tuesday
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