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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday news, notes

Le'Veon Bell, who could barely walk on Monday, was not only walking on Wednesday, but he felt good enough to walk around and watch all two hours of the Steelers' practice.

While that's not exactly a sign that he's going to be ready to play this Saturday against Baltimore, it does bode well for his availability the following week at Denver should the Steelers get past the Ravens.

At this point, the Steelers are still preparing for Josh Harris to start and be backed up by Dri Archer and newly signed Ben Tate.

However, as head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday, that's what the team has to do. It knows what it can do with Bell at running back. The Steelers have had a full season to figure that out.

But if Bell can't go, they have to be prepared.

Bell, by the way, doesn't necessarily need to practice to be ready to play. It's going to come down to a pain tolerance issue since there his no structural damage in his knee.

There is a chance that the Steelers could come up with a limited package of plays for Bell.

@ Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor were both full participants in practice on Wednesday, but don't read too much into that.

Polamalu has gone through full practices in the past couple of weeks, only to be shut down again later. If he can practice Thursday and Friday, it's likely he could play against the Ravens.

Taylor, meanwhile, wasn't nearly as active as Polamalu. At this point, it's going to take an injury to another corner for Taylor to get playing time.

@ Some have suggested that the Steelers' defense is better with Will Allen at safety rather than Polamalu.

Polamalu isn't what he once was, but a playoff game against the Ravens is exactly the kind of stage where Polamalu has shone brightly in the past. Also, the weather could be a factor Saturday, meaning it could be a heavy run game.

Polamalu is still a very effective player in the box.


ibygeorge said...

Who would be better in pass protection, Harris or Tate. Can Tate learn that role soon enough?

Dale Lolley said...

There isn't really anything to learn in terms of pass protection. You either can do it or not.

Anonymous said...

Dale, On a side note, thank you for this blog. I live in GA and your blog is my primary "first visit site" every morning. Hopefully you get some kickbacks for your blog. I don't subscribe to any pay site (maybe I am cheap). This is great to view updates on our team and it is appreciated. Happy New Year and thank you!!!! Norm in Atl, GA

Dale Lolley said...

The "kickback" is my interaction with fans - usually. I enjoy the back and forth. And sometimes it gives me story ideas.

Anonymous said...

As a few posts above me said "thank you for this blog." I thank you too and i live in North GA.

If Bell doesnt play, will he still dress? Just in case the steelers lose a few RBs to injuries or not playing well?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great blog and happy new year

Dale Lolley said...

That's why they signed Tate, as insurance. If Bell is healthy, he'll dress and play. If not, he won't.