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Old 12-21-2007, 04:36 AM   #1
lamberts-lost-tooth
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Default Steelers' Haggans starts despite injury

Steelers' Haggans starts despite injury
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 21, 2007


Clark Haggans started Thursday night against the Rams despite spraining his left knee less than a week earlier. He and rookie LaMarr Woodley alternated at left outside linebacker.Left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and linebackers Clint Kriewaldt (neck) and Andre Frazier (groin) didn't play because of injuries. Max Starks started in place of Smith at left tackle. As expected Tyrone Carter started for Anthony Smith at free safety. Smith made a key play early in the game on special teams, as he recovered an Allen Rossum fumble deep in Steelers' territory after the Rams had punted. Joining Smith, Kriewaldt and Frazier on the inactive list for the Steelers were running back Gary Russell, guard/center Darnell Stapleton, tight end Jon Dekker, defensive end Ryan McBean and quarterback Brian St. Pierre.

? The Rams made a couple of lineup changes last night with Brett Romberg replacing Andy McCollum as the starting center, and Derek Stanley returning kickoffs in place of Brandon Williams. Stanley had a 49-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, setting up a Rams' touchdown. Rams inactives for the game were wide receiver Marques Hagans, running back Rich Alexis, cornerback Eric Bassey, center Nick Leckey, offensive tackles Rob Pettiti, a former Pitt standout, and Mark LeVoir, defensive end Trevor Johnson and quarterback Brock Berlin.

? The Rams retired future Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk's number at halftime. The running back rushed for 12,279, won a NFL MVP Award and played in seven Pro Bowls before retiring last March.

? He stood tall in the pocket, knowing he was going to take a hit. His pass, which looked like it might scrape the catwalk inside the Edward Jones Dome, dropped into the arms of Santonio Holmes and resulted in an 83-yard gain. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger waited exactly one play last night to show why he got selected to the Pro Bowl earlier this week.It was the first time he had been honored as such, but it doesn't figure to be the last time since Roethlisberger, who threw three touchdown passes in the first half last night, is just 25 years old.

"He's just scratching the surface," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said of Roethlisberger. "His knowledge of the game has increased tremendously, and (the Steelers) really look forward to what he can do and become."
Roethlisberger broke the Steelers' single-season record for touchdown passes this past Sunday.

? The Steelers only had the NFL's leading rusher for a couple of plays last night, but the running game didn't suffer after Pro Bowler Willie Parker left the game with a broken right leg. Najeh Davenport had more than 100 yards rushing and receiving combined in the first half, as well as a touchdown. He caught a 32-yard pass from Daniel Sepulveda off a fake punt, setting up a 21-yard Jeff Reed field goal at the beginning of the second quarter. Davenport caught a 12-yard touchdown pass near the end of the quarter. He had 65 yards on 12 carries in the first half.

? Wide recever Willie Reid left the game in the second half with a shoulder injury.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Digits
5 - Nate Washington's touchdown receptions this season.

146 - Consecutive games in which Hines Ward has caught at least one pass.
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