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Old 08-21-2007, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default Steelers developing injury plan

Steelers plan to be ready when injury strikes
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He walked out of the dining hall of St. Vincent College one day carrying a thick black binder.

Arnold Harrison clearly had been studying during his lunch break, and when asked where he takes his playbook, the left outside linebacker said, "almost everywhere."

With good reason.

Harrison has had to learn multiple positions, and for the first couple of weeks of preseason practice he probably felt like he was on a chessboard as much as a football field. He is among a handful of players that the coaches moved around during training camp; Harrison played both outside linebacker positions as well as on the inside.

Mike Tomlin has backed off a little from what has been one of the buzz phrases of preseason practice, "position flexibility," as he wants players to focus on their primary position. That doesn't mean the first-year coach is any less devoted to the idea since, as he said, injuries are an inevitable, if unfortunate, part of football.

"When things happen during the regular season that are naturally football-related, we're going to create an atmosphere where we don't blink," Tomlin said. "(Injuries) can't become the story. So in order to do that and have that mentality once we get down the road and the season starts, you've got to be willing to explore and give guys opportunities to show some of those things."

Players trying to make the team such as Harrison and fellow linebacker Rian Wallace have helped themselves (and presumably the Steelers) by working at several different positions, and proven veterans also have been a part of the shuffling.

The most notable among them are Max Starks, who saw significant time at left tackle during the Steelers' first two preseason games, and Clark Haggans, who started the first two exhibition games at right outside linebacker.

Starks has started the past two years at right tackle -- he is competing with Willie Colon for the starting job there this season -- and Haggans is the Steelers' starting left outside linebacker.

"I know they're trying to put together a winning formula for this season," said Haggans, who started the two games at right outside linebacker because of injuries to James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons, "and that's what this experimentation process they're doing in the preseason is about."

The New England Patriots are the best example as to why it's important to have contingency plans.

The Patriots were so wracked by injuries in 2003 that they had 42 starters. That didn't stop them winning the Super Bowl, and they defended their title the following season even though nine players started at least one game in their defensive backfield.

In 2005, New England broke the record it had set in 2003 -- the team with the most starters winning a division championship -- when it claimed the AFC East title despite having 45 starters.

"If you're playing in January and February, the reality is somewhere along the line something's come up and somebody's delivered," Tomlin said. "Hopefully none of those things occur, but history and experience tell us that some of those things are going to happen and you've got to be prepared to adjust and move forward."

Hence all of the moving around.

"When you can establish depth like that," strong safety Troy Polamalu said, "it's beneficial for the team."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_523347.html
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

In many ways, I don't like that they are shuffling people around. I wish they would let them play thier positions.

However, It really does make a whole lot of sense!
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

yes it does make sense.. you always should know someone else's job. you never know when you might need to take it over

and can they develop a plan to keep ben from opening his mouth and giving the media something to turn around
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:24 AM   #4
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yes it does make sense.. you always should know someone else's job. you never know when you might need to take it over

and can they develop a plan to keep ben from opening his mouth and giving the media something to turn around
Its fanaca I worry more about then Ben... to be honest.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

maybe preacher.. but fanababy is on his way out anyway.. so i dont really care what he has to say ...lol
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

IMO,

I think it's time to get that o-line set instead of shuffling guys around and seeing if they can play other people's positions. That's unless we want to see our o-line lack cohesion come 9/9 while watching Roethlisberger's head pop off. While I know "it's only preseason", that o-line concerns me a bit. I felt we should have had the o-line set before the Redskins game, but I'll take Tomlin's word for it. He's the coach.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

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IMO,

I think it's time to get that o-line set instead of shuffling guys around and seeing if they can play other people's positions. That's unless we want to see our o-line lack cohesion come 9/9 while watching Roethlisberger's head pop off. While I know "it's only preseason", that o-line concerns me a bit. I felt we should have had the o-line set before the Redskins game, but I'll take Tomlin's word for it. He's the coach.
you can rest assured the local media is already patting itself on the back for making this happen before the sept. 09 deadline. i hope they gave mickey a lolli-pop and tucked him into bed too.

tomlin woulda never figured out that a starting 5 needs to be set w/o their help. although tomlin suggests there are 8 quality guys, im sure the media will let him know which ones are worthy of keeping beyond 07.

im eagerly awaiting cooks articles of why the offensive line failed this season.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

i would have thought the oline would have been set by now too.. however i do understand the part of learning another position... i guess we will just have to put our faith in tomlin and come 9/9 its brady quinn's head that will be popping off
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

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you can rest assured the local media is already patting itself on the back for making this happen before the sept. 09 deadline. i hope they gave mickey a lolli-pop and tucked him into bed too.

tomlin woulda never figured out that a starting 5 needs to be set w/o their help. although tomlin suggests there are 8 quality guys, im sure the media will let him know which ones are worthy of keeping beyond 07.

im eagerly awaiting cooks articles of why the offensive line failed this season.
It's Bouchette's and Cook's fault. Evil Pittsburgh media. Damn them to hell.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers developing injury plan

Maybe Essex can learn how to play DB? Get Max Starks at FS.

Sounds like a plan.
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