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Old 12-01-2007, 06:52 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: Sod in 'outstanding' condition for Bengals game

Steelers Notebook: Sod in 'outstanding' condition for Bengals game
Saturday, December 01, 2007
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said the sod at Heinz Field is in "outstanding" condition for the game against the Cincinnati Bengals and that the team will take extra precaution to prevent some of the problems that existed in Monday night's soggy debacle against the Miami Dolphins.

The forecast for tomorrow night is rain turning to snow, according to the National Weather Service.

The Steelers will use an extra layer of tarpaulin to cover the field, an attempt to prevent water from leaking through the seams of the existing tarp, as it did Monday night.

The Steelers had the field aerated and rolled after the game against the Dolphins and have used blowers in an attempt to dry the sod.

To help simulate the conditions at Heinz Field, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had extra water pumped on the grass practice field in Cincinnati yesterday, according to the team's official Web site, Bengals.com.

The soggy surface might have led to a season-ending injury to fullback Dan Kreider, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he said he stepped in a hole on the field.

"It's really hard to say," Kreider said yesterday. "There was no swelling, that's the funny thing. The doctors said [the ligament] might have already been torn before that."

Tight end signed

The decision to sign tight end Jon Dekker to the active roster to replace Kreider was an easy one: The Steelers needed a third tight end to replace injured Jerame Tuman and an emergency fullback if something happened to Carey Davis.

Dekker, an undrafted free agent from Princeton who has spent the past two seasons on the practice squad, fills the role on both counts.

More immediately, with Max Starks expected to start at left tackle for Smith, Dekker will be needed for some of the three-tight end packages -- a role the 6-foot-8, 345-pound Starks had filled since Tuman was injured.

"It was the next move for us," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "He knows how we like to play football. I've seen him improve so much since he's been here."

Carter starting again

Tyrone Carter is expected to start his second game in a row at strong safety for injured Troy Polamalu (knee), even though Polamalu did some light work in practice for the first time this week.

Polamalu did not work with the first team and was limited to trotting around the field. He is one of three starters expected to miss a second game in a row. WR Santonio Holmes (ankle) won't play, and Polamalu and LT Marvel Smith (back) are listed as doubtful.

Carter had a team-high 12 tackles against the Dolphins (11 solo) and was singled out by coach Mike Tomlin as one of the players who "jumped out on tape."

Avoiding pressure

Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 16 times in the past three games by teams that ranked at or near the bottom of the league in sacks.

The Bengals are not near the bottom, but their 18 sacks are still fifth fewest in the AFC.

"We get sacked for a lot of different reasons," Roethlisberger said.

"You can only expect linemen to block for so long. We have to study more this week and be able to, when they do bring extra guys, throw the ball and get rid of it and give it to the receivers."

Quick hits

Fans can donate new, unwrapped toys to the annual Steelers/Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive before tomorrow's game. Uniformed Marines will have a vehicle on Art Rooney Avenue for the collection. Bins also will be at gates A and C of Heinz Field from 5 p.m. until 15 minutes after the scheduled 8:15 p.m. kickoff. It is asked that no "weapon" toys be included.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Sod in 'outstanding' condition for Bengals game

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Fans can donate new, unwrapped toys to the annual Steelers/Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive before tomorrow's game. It is asked that no "weapon" toys be included.
Is that so security can differentiate between the fans and the Bengals players?
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Sod in 'outstanding' condition for Bengals game

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
Is that so security can differentiate between the fans and the Bengals players?
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Sod in 'outstanding' condition for Bengals game

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To help simulate the conditions at Heinz Field, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had extra water pumped on the grass practice field in Cincinnati yesterday, according to the team's official Web site, Bengals.com.
I'm sure since the Bungles players are so well known at the big house, the warden let them use their field.
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