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Old 12-01-2006, 06:59 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: Ravens defeat a blur for Taylor

Steelers Notebook: Ravens defeat a blur for Taylor
Friday, December 01, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cornerbacks are often told they should have short memories. Ike Taylor, though, took it to the extreme.

Taylor does not remember a lot of what happened in Sunday's 27-0 defeat in Baltimore, even though he played extensively in the nickel and dime defensive packages.

That's because Taylor developed a mild concussion from a hit he took on kickoff coverage to start the second half. Taylor said he was aware of what was happening in the game and didn't develop loss of memory -- a post-concussion symptom -- until afterward.

"Some parts of it I remember, but not everything, though," Taylor said. "I knew I was out there when I was out there, but there's not a whole lot I remember."

Taylor was benched and replaced in the starting lineup by Bryant McFadden against the Ravens. He played most of the game in the sub packages and was not listed among the injured after the contest.

However, in his Tuesday news conference, coach Bill Cowher said Taylor had a concussion.

"It came on afterward," Taylor said.

Taylor is not expected to start in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field. But he is listed as probable and will play.

Still not ready

Punt returner Willie Reid, who has missed the past seven games with a midfoot sprain, is listed as questionable on the Steelers' injury report. It is unlikely he will play against the Buccaneers.

Reid has resumed light running but said he has not taken part in any team drills or special teams preparation.

"I ran on it a little bit last week, but nothing much this past week," said Reid, the team's third-round draft choice. "We're just making sure everything stays together. I've come a long way from where I was. I don't want to take any steps backward."

Reid was injured Oct. 8 in San Diego, the only game in which he appeared this season. He returned one punt for 11 yards and one kickoff for 19 yards before going out.

"It's a tough injury, but it happens," Reid said. "You just deal with it. I'm taking it as a positive. I'm getting a chance to see everything from a different perspective, see how everything works, learn the offense more. I'm trying to do as much as I can not being out there."

Ballot box leaders

Safety Troy Polamalu and guard Alan Faneca are the leading vote-getters at their respective positions among fans for the 2007 Pro Bowl.

Polamalu, who is expected to miss the next two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament, has accumulated 197,448 votes at strong safety; Faneca has 139,366 votes. Fan balloting will continue on NFL.com or via Sprint and Nextel wireless services through Dec. 12.

Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning leads all NFL players with 721,342 votes.

Quick hits

C Jeff Hartings (knee/probable) and OLB Clark Haggans (hip/probable) returned to practice and will play against Tampa Bay. ... Because the Steelers play Thursday night, Cowher's weekly news conference has been moved from Tuesday to 11 a.m. Monday.


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Old 12-01-2006, 07:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ravens defeat a blur for Taylor

Steelers notebook

By The Tribune-Review
Friday, December 1, 2006

The Steelers may have to wait another week to get Willie Reid back on the field. The rookie wide receiver/kick returner has been sidelined for nearly two months with a foot injury, and when asked if he will play Sunday against Tampa Bay, Reid said, "I don't think so right now. It's a real tough injury to get over."

Reid practiced Thursday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's 4:15 p.m. game. He hurt his left foot while returning a kickoff in an Oct. 8 game at San Diego and said the injury goes beyond having a sprain.

"It's way more complicated than that," Reid said. "It's a partially torn ligament."

Surgery was ruled out after he got an MRI exam - "I was just under the bar to get surgery," Reid said - but the former Florida State standout has had to play the waiting game. It is one that has become excruciatingly long, since he could probably help the Steelers on punt returns.

"It's still going week to week," Reid said, "and we'll just see how it goes."

• Since Tyrone Carter is replacing Troy Polamalu at strong safety Sunday (and making his first start for the Steelers), it only seems right that he grow out his hair. You know, at least look the part.

"It's coming out of the back of my helmet," Carter said of his locks, "but it can't be like Troy. You can't duplicate him."

The veteran knows that is especially true when it comes to the role Polamalu plays on defense.

"I'll still move around, but Troy does his own thing," Carter said. "It's him. It's not the defense. He has a green light to do a lot of different things that we don't have."

Carter played for Polamalu, who will miss Sunday's game with a knee injury, after the latter suffered a concussion in the first quarter of the New Orleans game. He caused a fumble late in the fourth quarter that the Steelers recovered to preserve a 38-31 win.

"I like being around the ball and trying to make things happen," Carter said.

• Verron Haynes made an appearance yesterday in the Steelers' locker room at their South Side practice facility. Propped up on crutches, Haynes said he started rehabilitation on his knee a couple of weeks ago and added, "every day is an improvement." Haynes tore his ACL in the Steelers' 41-38 loss at Atlanta, and his ability to pick up blitzes as the team's third-down back has been missed. When asked if he will be ready to go when training camp starts next season, Haynes said, "I hope so."

• Center Jeff Hartings (knee) and outside linebacker Clark Haggans (hip) returned to practice yesterday. Both are probable for Sunday's game.

• Buccaneers safety Will Allen (ankle) and tight end Alex Smith (ankle) missed practice yesterday, and each is listed as questionable for the game.


2 - Buccaneers' victories in 24 games with the temperature at kickoff below 40 degrees.

277.8 - Yards per game allowed by Buccaneers' defense in 2005.

340.6 - Yards per game allowed by Buccaneers this season.


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