“The Dark Knight Rises” premiered over the weekend, thus launching the silver screen debut of a few Steelers both past and present. I managed to catch a glimpse of Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Keisel, Bretty Keisel’s beard, and Mike Wallace. I certainly hope the Academy keeps these brief, but stirring performances in mind come Oscar season.
- In non-Batman news, the Steelers recently re-signed Max Starks. Starks will provide depth and veteran leadership to an offensive line that has gone under a major overhaul this offseason.
- Speaking of the offensive line, the overhaul continues. The Steelers have cut OT Jonathan Scott. Scott was the starting left tackle at the beginning of the season last year, but was eventually replaced when the Steelers re-signed Max Starks in the middle of the season.
James Harrison will be out for the next several weeks with an orbital fracture around his right eye. Harrison will have surgery Wednesday and will be out “a number of weeks” according to Mike Tomlin. What’s even better? Harrison’s back-up, Jason Worilds is doubtful with a quad strain.
Other injury-rated items of note:
- Aaron Smith has a “mid-foot sprain” and is questionable for Sunday’s game.
- Mewelde Moore has a left ankle sprain and could miss the game.
- Rashard Mendenhall has a right hamstring injury that may only limit his practice time.
- Ben Roethlisberger has a sprained left foot, and may only see limited practice time.
- Doug Legursky, Jonathan Scott, and Bryant McFadden should be well enough to play.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans
Time: 1:00 PM
Site: Reliant Stadium
Last Meeting: 09/07/08, W 38-17
The Steelers look to continue their winning ways and find some consistency this week in Houston. The Texans are no pushovers, so the Steelers will be tested once more.
Questions still surround the Steelers’ offensive line. Doug Legursky and Jonathan Scott are out with injuries. At this point, the only thing keeping the offensive line together are paperclips and unicorn wishes. Last week the Colts took advantage of the weak offensive line by taking away the running game and forcing two Roethlisberger fumbles. The Texans will certainly try to take advantage of the makeshift line this week.
Top Five Burning Questions
- Will the Steelers be able to establish the running game this week?
- Can the Steelers stop the run?
- Can the Steelers create timely turnovers?
- Will Mike Wallace have another game with 100+ yards?
- Will we be treated to the Troy Polamalu Show again this week?
Week three has come and gone and in its wake are more names added to the injury list. In today’s press conference, Mike Tomlin discussed the various injuries:
- Marcus Gilbert briefly left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury. He is expected to practice this week.
- Jonathan Scott is questionable with an ankle sprain.
- Doug Legursky is also questionable with an injured shoulder.
- Brett Keisel sat out Sunday’s game and is questionable this week.
- Mike Wallace suffered a “cartilage injury”, but is expected to play.
- Jerricho Cotchery and Bryant McFadden should be ready this week.
“I am swapping our padded practices up this week,” said Tomlin. “We will go in helmets only on Wednesday and we’ll carry our shoulder pads on Thursday. We believe that approach will help us deal with some of these injuries and be inclusive in terms of practice and give some guys an opportunity to practice on Wednesday and give them another day to participate on Thursday.”
Forget last week, Steelers football is back! The Steelers came out focused and ready to play against a talented Philadelphia Eagles squad.
The Steelers set the tone early with an 80-yard drive that took 7:36 off the clock. The 14-play drive was capped off with a great 29 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.
The Steelers’ next drive started at their own 4-yard line. Roethlisberger led them down the field for a 14 play, 8:15 drive and a 20-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward. As expected, Ward showed off some of his sweet new dance moves in the end zone. I hope next time he picks up and twirls Mike Wallace or Daniel Sepulveda.
On the other side of the ball, the defense came out strong, forcing five turnovers including three picks of Michael Vick. Vick had his revenge though, completely leveling Troy Polamalu during his interception return.
Other items of note:
- Time of possession. The Steelers dominated the clock and held on to the ball for 38:51.
- The running game was rather impressive. Mendenhall was solid with 6 attempts and 28 yards.
- No turnovers committed by the offense.
- Jerricho Cotchery: 2 receptions, 49 yards, and a touchdown.
- 1 for 3 on field goal attempts. I know it was Swayze Waters kicking, but you need to convert those chances.
- Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert left the game with injuries.