Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday with Tomlin

Mike Tomlin sounded much more positive about the situation regarding the availability of safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor today than he did about linebacker Ryan Shazier or nose tackle Steve McLendon.

Tomlin said the decision surrounding the return of those four players from injury would, of course, be determined by their participation in practice this week. But he also noted that Polamalu and Taylor have "decades" of experience while Shazier, in particular, has missed a lot of practice time for a rookie.

The Steelers won't rush Shazier back, though he could see playing time in certain situations this week.

McLendon, meanwhile, has missed three of the past five games with a nagging shoulder injury. If he's able to fully practice this week, it would give the Steelers an interesting decision to make on their defensive line.

Do they sit Cam Thomas, who for reasons beyond my ability to see, continues to see more playing time than rookie Stephon Tuitt and can also serve as the backup nose tackle, or do they sit Tuitt or rookie nose tackle Daniel McCullers?

I know what everyone else feels about the situation, but for whatever reason, the coaching staff remains tied to Thomas.

@ Tomlin said today that cornerback Cortez Allen suffered a broken thumb in practice two days before the team's last game against the Tennessee Titans. Allen played in that game on special teams but had surgery during the bye week.

He's in a cast now and with Taylor coming back, would be bumped to the fifth cornerback spot.

That doesn't mean Allen won't be active against the Saints this weekend. He could still play special teams. But his ability to make any kind of push to get back into the lineup is certainly hampered.

Ironically, the game book from the Tennessee game incorrectly lists Allen as a starter in that game. He was obviously confused with Will Allen, who started at safety in place of Polamalu.


marc said...

I don't recall cortez allen being listed on the injury report before the game against the titans?

after watching the saints against the ravens I'm not as concerned as before. brees was spotty at times and their defense was horrendous. of course, flacco's hail Mary's bailed the ravens out. jimmy graham was the only real threat for the saints.

most importantly, brees struggled when pressured. the steelers must get to the QB in this game.

Anonymous said...

I for one, would love to see the F.O. spend some coin and pick up someone that can help with rushing the passer.. We need a big nasty QB hunter, thus in turn will take some heat off our secondary..

Get a FA and a CB in round one or two then safety. And we better look for a T.E.

Until then, I hope to see 50 cent on the field this Sunday eyeing Graham.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the Steelers getting some D players back, they’ll need them against the Saints passing attack. As a Steeler fan, you have to like how this one’s set up:

• Saints have a short week after the Monday night game.
• Steelers coming off a bye.
• Saints have lost 3 in a row at home.
• A dome team coming to play in the cold weather.

With the AFC playoff picture jammed up at the moment, I sense the Steelers will need to be 11-5 to get in, so this is an important game, heck all of them are important from here on out.