Monday, December 20, 2010

Good news from Tomlin

Mike Tomlin was the bearer of good tidings today as he said defensive end Aaron Smith, strong safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller could all be available for Thursday night's game against Carolina.

I don't expect any of them to play - with the possible exception of Miller - but it's positive that the team is even considering it at this point.

Smith will be fitted with a shoulder sling to help protect his surgically repaired triceps. But with just one full day of practice and a walkthrough on Wednesday, it's unlikely the Steelers will rush him back.

Polamalu said he was feeling better after Sunday's 22-17 loss to New York, but is kind of in the same situation as Smith after not practicing last week. Plus, as Tomlin noted, backup Ryan Mundy played well in Polamalu's absence.

Miller practiced on Wednesday and Friday last week. If he can get through practice Tuesday without his recurring headache problems as a result of a concussion three weeks ago, he could play against Carolina.

Tomlin also did not rule out a switch to Trai Essex at left tackle - though he said it was too early for him to commit to such a move.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

more false hope from Dale ;)

Anonymous said...

Dale - I heard Miller will likely play. Spaeth had an OK game, he dropped a couple but played well overall. Why can’t he ever be a factor when Heath Miller is in the lineup? Why not utilize BOTH of them like the Patriots do with Hernandez and Gostkowski or like the Saints and Graham and Shockey? I guess that is too complicated for Arians the genious

Anonymous said...

it's simple, cause the steelers need one of them to be blocking cause of this bad oline. When they are both on the field and you see heath catching passes, there's spaeth blocking (not good blocking by him usually but still). When heath's alone on the field most of the time he's blocking too

Not EVERYTHING is arians fault

I'm sure he would love nothing more than to be able to use both in the passing game. Arians love those slants, and tight ends excel at that

And DJ is too raw. I don't think I have seen him come in without heath, or spaeth in the last two games, on the field. And he's more often than not blocking

Anonymous said...

DJ played a whole game without Spaeth or Miller

Anonymous said...

They should be able to handle Carolina short-handed, but we had better hope Troy is back against Cleveland or we WILL lose that game.

Anonymous said...

"DJ played a whole game without Spaeth or Miller"

that's right, but only due to injury

Anonymous said...

"They should be able to handle Carolina short-handed, but we had better hope Troy is back against Cleveland or we WILL lose that game."

True, though if we win and the Browns can beat the Ravens in Cleveland (with McCoy starting it's a possibility) we would get the #2 seed after this weekend anyway. Then Troy can sit the Cleveland game with no worries.

Anonymous said...

That would be ideal, though I'm not expecting the Browns or the Ravens to do the Steelers any favors. I wouldn't even put it past Holmgren and the Browns to lose on purpose just to screw over the Steelers.

Dale Lolley said...

Mangini is coaching for his job. They're not tanking the game.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Bengals beat the Ravens once this year as well.

adamg said...

Cleveland already nearly beat the Ravens in Baltimore, so them winning in Cleveland isn't out of the question.

marc said...

the browns won't rollover for anyone and neither will carolina. both teams have nothing to lose and these last two games are like their playoff games for the year. what better way to close out the season than to knock off a top team.

the steelers better be ready to play.

Dale Lolley said...

Carolina on a short week with a rookie QB doesn't add up to a win. Two days to study this defense - even without Polamalu - isn't enough.

Anonymous said...

I understand your logic...2 days isn't enough time for a rookie QB to study this D, but let me tell you what scares me.

1. Lack of Focus - I worry we come out just completely unprepared and take the team lightly. McCoy nickle and dimed us to death. Yeah they lost, but the rookie still was somewhat productive. If we are not focused this could be a repeat of the Oakland Raiders from a few years back.

2. I worry that this team could pull a shutout on D and give away enough points by turnovers and special team play that we end up losing. This offense is just not good right now in any way shape or form. A pick 6 and a return for a TD could outscore this team right now, especially if they take Carolina lightly.

marc said...

what scares me the most is a team that has nothing to lose. the panthers could pull out all kinds of trick plays, go for it on 4th down, fire deep balls all game long, etc.

additionally, the panthers might not be that good, but they're schedule consists of 10 games versus solid playoff teams. they won't be scared of the steelers.

joe said...

while i think every steeler fan likes a smith, how effective will he be ?
with this terrible offense, i take no team for granted.

as for the heath comments, if he was on a team that used him as a receiver (pats) he would be tearing it up. it's a shame we don't utilize him more like that

Dale Lolley said...

"McCoy nickle and dimed us to death."

Ah, the Steelers won that game 28-10, so I wouldn't say he nickel and dimed them to death.
Claussen has two TD passes in 243 attempts. He has two interceptions returned for TDs against him, so he's thrown as many TD passes to the opposing team as he has his own.

He's also been sacked 27 times, which means he's being sacked more than once per every 10 pass attempts.

The Steelers need this game, they won't take it lightly.

marc said...

just to put things into perspective, #7 has been sacked once every 11.5 pass attempts.

Dale Lolley said...

No. 7 has also shown that he can overcome those sacks. Clausen has not.

Anonymous said...

Any team in the NFL can beat another on a given day but are we really worried about Carolina?

If you asked me to handpick an opponent and venue for the Steelers this week it would be Carolina coming to Pittsburgh with the rookie Claussen in a short week.

Vaflyer said...

Nickle and Dimed us to death. Well, I apparently don't use the scoreboard as my measurement here. 23 for 33 for 281 yards is pretty much moving the ball. That is more passing yards against us than Ben has in 8 of his 10 games this year. Yeah, he made mistakes and didn't put up a ton of points, but they moved the ball pretty well against us. He must be from the BA school of offenses, lots of yards just NO POINTS.