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Old 12-18-2007, 06:02 AM   #1
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Default News on injury front isn't all bad

News on injury front isn't all bad
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Although they could lose three starters for Thursday's game to injuries, the Steelers did receive some good news.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor seem to be OK and ready to play against the St. Louis Rams.

Roethlisberger, who missed two practices with a sore arm last week and entered Sunday's game against Jacksonville as questionable, "was no worse for the wear, as was Troy, which is encouraging," coach Mike Tomlin said. "Those were two guys going into the game in less than ideal circumstances, as are a lot of people in this business at this time of year. But for those guys to come out of the game no worse for the wear was a good sign for us."

Polamalu had missed the previous three games with a sprained knee but played the entire game against the Jaguars and was credited with a team-high seven solo tackles, 10 in all.

Taylor left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury he said happened in the second quarter. He was limping in the locker room after the game.

"I think Ike's injuries are really minor," Tomlin said. "He hasn't been examined [by the medical staff] yet, but I don't think it will prohibit him from participating on Thursday night."

Backup linebacker and special teams captain Clint Kriewaldt "has stinger issues that will make him questionable on a short week," Tomlin said.

Return man Allen Rossum left the game after a blow to the head, but Tomlin said "tests were positive in terms of the mild concussion he received."

Rams tough
The Steelers will battle a double witching situation for them when they play in St. Louis. Not only have they lost four of six on the road this season, they have never beaten the Rams in their home.

The Rams are 11-0-1 against the Steelers at home, whether they called it Cleveland or Los Angeles. This will be the first time the Steelers play them in St. Louis, where the Rams moved from Los Angeles in 1994.

The series began in 1938 when they were the Cleveland Rams, who did not lose a game against the Steelers until '56, when they had moved to Los Angeles. That win -- in Pittsburgh -- ended a 10-game losing streak to the Rams over 18 years.

The Rams moved to Los Angeles after the 1945 season, then moved from there to a stadium in Anaheim while continuing to keep the Los Angeles name. The Steelers last played the Rams on the road in '93, when Jerome Bettis was a rookie -- playing for the Los Angeles Rams.

The Steelers last won in St. Louis in 1979, when they beat the Cardinals, 24-21.

Short on sacks
After starting the season with a rush, the Steelers have just 33 sacks with two games to go, threatening to have their fewest sacks in 17 years.

After they managed 39 sacks last season, director of football operations Kevin Colbert last spring cited an improved pass rush as a priority.

The Steelers at one point led the league in sacks. They had 19 after six games, but only 14 in their next eight, including one in their past three.

"We've got to do a better job of rushing the passer," Tomlin said. "We got home at times. We missed [Jaguars quarterback David Garrard] in the backfield one time. People have gotten the ball out on us pretty quickly. It's been some things. When people run the ball as well as they ran the ball [Sunday], it makes it tough to pin your ears back and generate a rush."

The Steelers' low under the 15-year tenure of coach Bill Cowher was 35 sacks in 2003. They had 34 in 1990.

On the other hand, Roethlisberger has been under a heavy pass rush much of the season. He has been sacked 43 times, just three fewer than last season, which was the most since Cliff Stoudt's club-record 51 sacks in 1983. Roethlisberger was sacked eight times in the past two games
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: News on injury front isn't all bad

If Haggans out, I think that gives us a great chance to see the Rooks perform a little bit! Go Woodley and Timmons!
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: News on injury front isn't all bad

I'm looking forward to seeing Woodley start. Let's see what this guy can do.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: News on injury front isn't all bad

Quote:
"We've got to do a better job of rushing the passer," Tomlin said
I've been B & M'ing about the lack of a pass rush for the last 5 games. I want to see the return of our infamous "Blitzburgh". No better time to start piling up those sacks than against Mark Bulger. All the D has to do with him is get to him, put a hand on him and blow - down he will go. He is one of the most fragile QB's in the NFL.
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