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Old 01-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 12:22 AM EST


PITTSBURGH — Even though published reports suggest that Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson won’t play again this year, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and his defensive assistants think otherwise.

“We’re preparing for him. We expect him to play,” Tomlin said. “I’m not familiar with him personally, but guys like him find a way to play. If we prepare anyway other than to see him, it wouldn’t be smart.”

With Tomlinson hampered by a groin injury, there’s a good chance Darren Sproles will start Sunday against the Steelers.

Tomlinson started in this past Sunday’s 23-17 overtime wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts, but only carried five times in the first quarter. Sproles stepped in and gained 105 yards on 22 carries. He scored two touchdowns, including a 22-yard game-winner.

So why is Tomlin so sure that Tomlinson will play when all reports from San Diego suggest otherwise?

“Guys like him defy the odds. They do. And that’s why he is who he is,” Tomlin said. “I anticipate him being there. That way, we’re not surprised when he (does play).”

REDEMPTION

The Chargers (9-8) have advanced to the AFC divisional round of the playoffs by beating teams they lost to earlier in the year.

Two weeks ago, they clinched the AFC West title by routing Denver, 52-21. In Week 2, the Chargers lost to the Broncos, 39-38, thanks in part to a blown call by referee Ed Hochuli.

Last week in the wild-card round, the Chargers avenged a 23-20 home loss to Indianapolis.

Next up are the Steelers, who beat the Chargers 11-10 on Nov. 16 at Heinz Field.

“From a physical standpoint and a weather standpoint, I’m expecting a game just like the one (in November),” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “Through 17 games, that’s definitely the best defense we’ve faced. They force you to make mistakes. We did it the last time we played them. It will be a key for us to stay away from those mistakes.”

This season, Rivers led the NFL with a 105.5 passer rating. But in that loss to the Steelers, he completed only 15 of 26 passes for 159 yards, no TDs and two interceptions. His 44.4 passer rating was his lowest of the season.

Meanwhile, coach Norv Turner also wants a shot of redemption. He’s 0-3 lifetime against the Steelers (0-1 when he coached the Washington Redskins, 0-1 when he coached the Oakland Raiders and 0-1 as coach of the Chargers).

BIG BOBBLER

Not that he’s the blame, but Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has the dubious distinction of leading the NFL with 14 fumbles. And of those fumbles, seven were recovered by the opposition.

In fairness to Roethlisberger, five of his lost fumbles occurred while he was getting sacked. Roethlisberger was sacked 46 times this season, just one less than league leader Matt Cassel of the New England Patriots.

Right behind Roethlisberger in fumbles was Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. Romo lost seven of his 13 fumbles.

JaMarcus Russell of the Oakland Raiders and Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals fumbled 12 and 11 times, respectively. They each lost seven fumbles.

Combined with his 15 interceptions, Roethlisberger turned the ball over 22 times, a league high.

FINALLY HEALTHY

For the first time all season, the Steelers don’t have any one on their injury report.

Of the 53 men on their active roster, all are healthy enough to participate in Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers.

Even free safety Ryan Clark is expected to start despite dislocating his shoulder breaking in the Dec. 21 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

“Ryan is going to be fine,” Tomlin said.

Likewise for Roethlisberger, who will start despite suffering a concussion in the regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns.


http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...2643419142.txt
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Yeah... sure Mike.

I guarantee Lebeau is spending his time focusing on fundamentals... in order to stop Sproles.

LT is not playing. If he did play... we'd have even less of a chance of winning. I think he should officially shut it down for the season. Start rehabbing and hope to make a career revival next year.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post

Combined with his 15 interceptions, Roethlisberger turned the ball over 22 times, a league high.

I already knew this but just seeing it again terrifies me.

and....it really does sound like LT won't play and if he does he'll be extremely limited. Regardless....wise move by Tomlin to prepare for everything.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
Combined with his 15 interceptions, Roethlisberger turned the ball over 22 times, a league high.
brett favre has 24 turnovers [22 picks (led the nfl) and 2 fumbles] ... what does he mean by league high?
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

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Originally Posted by Rhee Rhee View Post
brett favre has 24 turnovers [22 picks (led the nfl) and 2 fumbles] ... what does he mean by league high?
This Mike Bires dude didn't really write this article - he stole it from Goodell's staff.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

LT not a factor in this one for sure
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Its the playoffs, you prepare for everything.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Quote:
Of the 53 men on their active roster, all are healthy enough to participate in Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

You see...

What's happening here is this.

Norv Turner assumes that Steelers won't prepare for L.T.
Norv Turner plans to use L.T. (knowing Steelers are not ready)
Mike Tomlin reports to media that Steelers will be ready for L.T.
Mike Tomlin does not actually prepare for L.T.
Norv Turner reads article
Norv Turner realizes that the surprise attack is compromised and shuts down L.T. for Sunday

One less R.B. to worry about.

Mike Tomlin are genuz 4 be-ying tricksy

And that's EXACTLY how it happened.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Report: Team preparing for LT

Here's what's actually happening:
-LTs leg is a complete mess
-LT is not playing in this game
-Sproles has been the best Running Back on this team all season long
-Sproles is going to be the guy the defense prepares for the most
-Tomlin is just being thorough because he's a good coach
-Norv has no intention of playing LT; he's not even going to factor into the gameplan
-Norv is not laying his cards on the table, even though every guy at the table knows what he's holding.
-LT will be a cheerleader Sunday.
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