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Old 12-09-2006, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Steelers notebook: 12/9/06

Steelers notebook

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 9, 2006


? Barring a setback, Hines Ward should return to the starting lineup against Carolina. Ward, the Steelers' leading receiver, had surgery on his left knee on Nov. 27 and has missed the past two games. He said he "probably would have had a chance to play" this week had the Steelers' game been Sunday. The four-time Pro Bowler will have more than a week to get ready for the Steelers' Dec. 17 game against the Panthers. "I'm excited about getting a chance to get back on the field," said Ward, who had only missed one game in his career prior to this season. "At the same time, it's great to see guys like Nate (Washington) and Santonio (Holmes) go out and make huge plays."
Making the first start of his NFL career, Holmes caught four passes for 81 yards Thursday against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. He made a leaping grab in the third quarter that resulted in a 23-yard gain and, eventually, to a Steelers touchdown. Washington caught two passes for 67 yards and snagged a 49-yard TD reception. Holmes and Washington were in the starting lineup because of injuries to Ward and Cedrick Wilson (ankle). "It's only going to make the depth of our team stronger now that Nate's coming along; Santonio's coming along," Ward said.

? Anthony Smith also shined in his first NFL start. The rookie free safety made his first career interception Thursday night and came close to causing another turnover. In the first quarter, he Braylon Edwards after the Browns receiver caught a pass over the middle. Edwards couldn't hang onto the ball, and the referees ruled it the pass incomplete. "I thought he had possession of it," Smith said, "but, obviously, the refs said he didn't. So, what they say goes." Smith, playing for the injured Ryan Clark (groin), intercepted a deep pass intended for Edwards near the end of the third quarter. The wind, Smith said, hung the ball up in the air, and he swooped in for an easy interception. "Anthony Smith, I thought, was really good," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "He made some big hits."

? Cowher gave his team the weekend off. Considering how well the Steelers played against the Browns, Cowher jokingly "told the players that we should move the next game up to Monday, so we could keep playing." The Steelers also are off Monday and will return to practice Tuesday.

? Backup safety and special teams regular Mike Logan has a hamstring injury, Cowher said, but no one else was hurt in Thursday's game.

Digits

10 - Times the Steelers converted on third down in 16 attempts Thursday against the Browns.

18 - Browns' rushing yards in the game.

104 - Rushing yards Willie Parker had in the third quarter.

106.2 - Ben Roethlisberger's quarterback rating after completing 11 of 21 for 225 yards and a touchdown.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_483388.html
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Old 12-09-2006, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers notebook: 12/9/06

I really enjoyed Ben running in that TD! Haven't seen much in the way of "trick plays" this season. That seemed to suprise everyone.
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Old 12-09-2006, 08:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers notebook: 12/9/06

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I really enjoyed Ben running in that TD! Haven't seen much in the way of "trick plays" this season. That seemed to suprise everyone.
I hear ya, Flood! It's so good to see MY Ben back on the field!! Atta boy! I really enjoyed that one, too!! It brought back some great moments of last years run!! Here's to the Revenge Tour 2007!!
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers notebook: 12/9/06

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I hear ya, Flood! It's so good to see MY Ben back on the field!! Atta boy! I really enjoyed that one, too!! It brought back some great moments of last years run!! Here's to the Revenge Tour 2007!!
Nevermind his TD run, I thought his footwork and decision making (when and where to run) in general was ten times better than in games past. While I'm keeping in mind that it was the Browns we were playing, that was the same Brown team who picked him off three times three weeks ago and who also completely shut down our running game.

Hopefully he can keep it up against the Ravens, Bengals and Panthers.
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