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Old 11-17-2007, 05:27 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: Woodley to miss Jets

Steelers Notebook: Woodley to miss Jets
Saturday, November 17, 2007
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Scratch rookie linebacker LaMarr Woodley and his balky hamstring, but the rest of the ailing Steelers practiced yesterday and were deemed healthy enough to play the New York Jets tomorrow.

Woodley was the only wounded player to miss practice, his third consecutive absence. Fullback Dan Kreider missed yesterday for personal reasons, but he is expected to rejoin the Steelers and be available for the 4:05 p.m. game in Giants Stadium.

Halfback Willie Parker (groin) and linebacker Andre Frazier (hip) practiced and were listed as probable, although both are expected to play.

As for the Jets, only fullback Stacy Tutt (knee) missed practice yesterday, and he was ruled out of the game. Receiver Chris Davis (shoulder) and defensive lineman Dewayne Robinson (knee) were listed as questionable after limited practice. Probable after fully practicing are: tight ends Chris Baker (back) and Joe Kowalewski (shoulder); receiver Brad Smith (back); tackle Anthony Clement (knee); defensive end C.J. Mosley (shoulder); and quarterback Chad Pennington (ankle), who will be replaced by Kellen Clemens.

Remember when

The previous time the Steelers visited the Jets inside Giants Stadium, linebacker James Farrior was in his second Steelers season after leaving the Jets as a free agent. He wishes he could forget Dec. 14, 2003.

"It wasn't fun. We lost," Farrior snarled.

It was a shutout loss to the Jets and Curtis Martin, who ran into the Steelers' defense 30 times for 174 yards and finished with 228 total yards. Doug Brien kicked two field goals, Jeff Reed missed two, and the Steelers were officially ousted from the playoff race that day. "What was that score, like 6-nothing? Yeah, I remember that one."

Tomorrow is Curtis Martin Day, when the teams reconvene in the Meadowlands, and the former Pitt standout remains an enduring memory of that loss four years ago. "That's all you could do in that type of weather, run the ball. And we couldn't stop them."

Funny, but then-Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mullarkey was criticized for trying to throw through the first-half snow and second-half rain. Tommy Maddox completed just 16 of 38 passes for 137 yards. The Steelers were shut out for the first time in three years.

They weren't shut out again through the ensuing three years, a span of 42 games ended with not one but two shutouts last season -- against Jacksonville and Baltimore.

"Too cold. Too much snow. Too much sleet and ice for my pleasure," recalled guard Kendall Simmons. "You didn't have any footing. And we still threw the ball, like, 40 times."

Isn't that special

In Woodley's absence, linebacker James Harrison continued to work on the slightly reconfigured kickoff team, which also saw cornerback Ike Taylor replace Allen Rossum. This special team got several minutes of overtime work yesterday, including time with coach Mike Tomlin on the field and taking an active role with the unit that yielded 100- and 90-yard returns to Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs last week.
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