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Old 12-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #1
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Default Steelers notes: Another record for Ben: Sacks

Steelers notes: Another record for Ben: Sacks
Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 11:00 pm

PITTSBURGH - No quarterback in Steelers history has been sacked more often than Ben Roethlisberger. But he won't blame his offensive line for that unwanted team record.

"I know that the guys on the O-line take a lot of heat from fans and the media. But I don't think they're worrying about it," he said. "You could probably cut those sacks in half if it wasn't for my style of play."

On Sunday in the Steelers' 35-7 win over Cincinnati, Roethlisberger moved past Terry Bradshaw when he was sacked twice.

Bradshaw was sacked 307 times during his 14-year career. Roethlisberger, who's in his eighth pro season, has now been dropped 308 times.

By comparison, New England's Tom Brady has been sacked 265 times during his 12-year career while Indianapolis' Peyton Manning was sacked 231 times during his first 13 years in the NFL.

"I go into a game to play the way I know how to play," said Roethlisberger. "And I'm still standing here."

Besides passing Bradshaw for most sacks in a career, Roethlisberger also passed the Hall of Fame QB for most career completions as a Steeler. Roethlisberger now has 2,206, which is one more than Bradshaw.

"That's awesome for Ben to have that many completions this early in his career," tackle Max Starks said. "And a lot of those completions are because of the fact he holds onto the ball so long and is able to make something happen with his feet. I know that correlates to his sack total, but very few guys are gifted enough to make plays the way Ben does on the fly.

"As offensive linemen, we appreciate him defending us (when it comes to sacks). But we still think the onus is on us to the do the best we possibly can to protect him and keep him as safe as possible."


In Sunday's game, defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau added a wrinkle in sub packages he uses on obvious passing downs. For six plays when the Bengals had four wide receivers on the field, the Steelers used four cornerbacks in the secondary as well as strong safety Troy Polamalu.

On those six plays, free safety Ryan Clark was replaced by rookie Cortez Allen. He joined starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William Gay and No. 3 corner Keenan Lewis.

"Coach LeBeau just wanted a couple more guys in there who are more experienced as cover guys, just for that scenario" said Allen, a former standout at The Citadel who was taken in the fourth round of this year's draft. "Any time I can contribute in any way, I'll all for it."

Allen is one of two rookie cornerbacks on the roster. Taken ahead of him in the third round of the draft was Curtis Brown, a former Texas star. Both Allen and Brown are seeing a lot of action on special teams. But unlike Allen, Brown has yet to take a snap on defense.

Allen has even passed up veteran Bryant McFadden on the pecking order in the cornerback rotation.


Besides nose tackle Chris Hoke, who's going to miss the rest of the season with a neck injury, four other Steelers missed practice Tuesday: linebackers LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) and Chris Carter (hamstring), wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot) and running back Jonathan Dwyer.

None of them is expected to play in Thursday night's game against the Browns.

After missing three games with a pulled hamstring, Woodley played briefly this past Sunday but took himself out of the game when he felt discomfort in his leg.

Sanders aggravated a foot injury that bothered him in training camp.

On a positive note, right guard Ramon Foster said he's OK after suffering a low ankle sprain against the Bengals. And linebacker Larry Foote is expected back after missing a game with a hamstring pull.
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