Week 17 Injury Report: Polamalu “running” today


According to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers focus heading into their regular season finale is just winning in Miami and letting the rest of the playoff scenario’s take care of it self. A popular topic this week is whether teams like the Bengals and Patriots will sit starters as such moves could have a major impact on the Steelers playoff hopes. For the Steelers, there’s nothing they can do about it. “This is our bed, we created it, ” Mike Tomlin said. “We’re going to lay in it.” On the injury front linebacker Rocky Boiman – (calf strain), running back Willie Parker – (shoulder), and Brett Keisel (neck discomfort) will all be limited early in the week in practice. Meanwhile, Hines Ward has hamstring injuries in both legs. How much Ward has left in him this season remains to be seen. “Hines is miserable,” Mike Tomlin said,Read More »

Woodley elevating his game in second half of the season


By Mike Bires One reason why the Steelers can be dangerous if they get into the playoffs _ and that’s still a big if _ is the possibility of Troy Polamalu lining up again at strong safety. But another reason is LaMarr Woodley’s continued rise toward stardom. Right outside linebacker James Harrison, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, received nationwide claim the past two seasons for the havoc he’s wreaked on opposing defenses. But last year in the playoffs, Woodley, the Steelers’ left outside ‘backer, had a six-to-one edge over Harrison in sacks. “He’s been that kind of guy since he’s been here,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Woodley. “His rookie year, he came on late in the year. Late last year, he was playing good football. He’s a guy that’s on the rise at the appropriate time and that’s what makes him a good player.”Read More »

Townsend to make 1st start of season; Parker to play in final home game @ Heinz Field?


Townsend earns 1st start of the season In a move that should have been considered weeks ago, cornerback Deshea Townsend took first team reps at cornerback all week and will make his first start of the season Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Ravens. Townsend will replace William Gay in the starting lineup. However, in the nickel base defense, Townsend will slide back as the nickel back –position he has played all season. Based on practice this week, Joe Burnett will see his playing time decrease a bit this week. Steelers focus on Ray Rice The Steelers focus this week is on Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice exploited the Steelers in their week 12 matchup and the Steelers primary focus is limiting Rice in the passing game. The Ravens found ways to get Rice matched up against James Farrior in key situations during the previous meeting and they will lookRead More »

Harrison, Ward won’t be at full strength for Sunday’s showdown


The 7-7 Pittsburgh Steelers head into Sunday’s game as a much more confident team than we’ve seen the past couple weeks after last Sunday’s thrilling 37-36 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Steelers have a “pulse” according to head coach Mike Tomlin and this week the team appeared to have a little bit of their swagger back. It was a much looser team in the locker room. In a must win situation against Baltimore, Pittsburgh will not be close to being at full strength and the same can be said for the 8-6 Baltimore Ravens Strong safety Troy Polamalu will miss his 10th game of the season and starting guard Chris Kemoeatu had a minor setback and will miss his second consecutive game. For the Steelers, their concern is with James Harrison and Hines Ward.

Post-Cleveland Judgements


The Pittsburgh Steelers chances of earning a playoff berth took another serious blow Thursday night as the Steelers lost their 5th straight game in what has become a stunning collapse for a team that had the look of being another Super Bowl contender, through the first eight weeks of the season. The AFC playoff picture is bunched up and even if the Steelers found a way to turn things around and win out, which appears very unlikely, their conference losses (6) has them needing Jacksonville to lose 3 games, Baltimore to lose 2 games and the Jets losing 2 games for a chance to clinch the 6th seed. JAX 7-5 (Miami, Indy, at New England, at Cleveland) BAL 6-6 (Detroit, Chicago, at PIT, Oakland) Miami 6-6 (at Jacksonville, at Tennessee, Houston, PIT) NY Jets 6-6 (at Tampa Bay, Atlanta, at Indy, Cincinnati) PIT 6-7 ( Green Bay, Baltimore, at Miami)Read More »

Wednesday Practice Report: Polamalu wearing heavy brace


*Safety Troy Polamalu was on the field today but did not practice. He was wearing a heavy knee brace as the Steelers want his knee somewhat mobilized the next couple days. Polamalu is regarded as “questionable at best” for Sunday’s game against Kansas City but he’s all but certain to miss his 5th game of the season. Tyrone Carter took first team reps today at safety in place of Polamalu. Browns claim Arnold Harrison *The Cleveland Browns claimed linebacker Arnold Harrison who was released by Pittsburgh on Tuesday to make room for Donovan Woods. Woods will be active against Kansas City. Bulletin board material for the Steelers? * The Cincinnati Bengals gave the Steelers plenty of bulletin board material, if the two teams were to meet in the playoffs. Carson Palmer made some comments how the Bengals out-schemed the Steelers and wanted it more but it was the classless actRead More »

Thursday practice report: Parker to play every third series against Cincinnati


By Mike Bires Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports These are tough times for Willie Parker. Even now as he’s close to fully recovering from a nagging turf toe injury, “Fast Willie” isn’t sure how much he’ll be used the rest of the season. With Rashard Mendenhall running so well with the football, he’s firmly entrenched as the featured running back.

Clark remains undecided; Mendenhall working on ball security


Monday Practice Report By Mike Bires If Ryan Clark has already decided not to play in Denver, he and coach Mike Tomlin aren’t saying. On Monday when the Steelers returned to practice after their bye week, Clark refused to address his personal health issue to the media. The highly regarded free safety said, “I’ve got nothing else to say. Ask Coach Tomlin.” As a sickle cell trait carrier, Clark experienced severe health problems the last time the Steelers played at Invesco Field at Mile High. In a loss to the Broncos on Oct. 21, 2007, the combination of over-exerting himself in the game and low oxygen levels in the Rocky Mountain air caused Clark’s blood to negatively affect his spleen.