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Old 11-03-2006, 08:07 AM   #1
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Default Steelers notebook Nov 3

By The Tribune-Review
Friday, November 3, 2006

John Kuhn has been practicing for the Steelers at running back, fullback and on special teams this week, and he's hopeful that will translate into a spot on the 45-man roster Sunday. The Steelers elevated Kuhn to their 53-man squad following a season-ending knee injury to third-down back Verron Haynes. Kuhn appears to be battling Najeh Davenport and Duce Staley for Haynes' job -- not bad for an undrafted free agent who played his college ball at a Division II school. Kuhn arrived at Steelers training camp last season as a record-setting running back from Shippensburg. He didn't make the team, but he made enough of an impression to get a call when the Steelers needed someone for their practice squad at the end of November. He ended up getting a Super Bowl ring, and on Sunday, he could play in his first NFL game. Kuhn is from York and will have immediate family members at Heinz Field for the Broncos game.
"I'm just trying to keep my head up, keep my nose in the playbook," Kuhn said, "and just be ready when they call my number."

? The Steelers upgraded Casey Hampton from questionable to probable after the Pro Bowl nose tackle practiced again Thursday at the team's South Side facility. Hampton missed last week's game against the Oakland Raiders because of a hamstring problem, but he expects to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field. Assuming Hampton suits up, he will take part in an interesting subplot.

? The Broncos offensive line is known for its chop blocking. The unit's been criticized for it, but it's also recognized as a reason for Denver's perennial success running the ball. The Steelers encountered the same thing when they played Atlanta. Hampton accused the Falcons of dirty play, but he said he generally doesn't have an issue with chop blocking.

"I have a problem when I'm running down the field, and you're taking shots at my knees," Hampton said. "That's just dirty. When you cut within the game, I have no problem with that. That's just their scheme."

? Starting cornerback Deshea Townsend returned to practice yesterday after sitting out Wednesday. Townsend (quadriceps) is listed as probable for Sunday's game

? The Steelers signed running back Carey Davis to their practice squad. He takes the place of Cedric Humes, who was placed on the practice squad's injured reserve.

? Quarterback Charlie Batch took 50 children from a Homestead elementary school to the circus last night at Mellon Arena.



0 - Times the Broncos have lost to the Steelers in November in six games.

2.8 - Yards per carry the Steelers have averaged in past two games against the Broncos.

4.5 - Sacks Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans has after the NFL determined he and Aaron Smith combined on one in last week's Oakland game. Haggans initially was given a full sack.
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