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News » Pittsburgh Steelers Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-27


Pittsburgh Steelers Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-27


Pittsburgh Steelers Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-27
The Steelers may add a running back to their 53-man roster because as of Thursday, they were down two -- Willie Parker is out with a knee injury and Gary Russell was released on Saturday. That left them with three -- new starter Rashard Mendenhall, third-down back Mewelde Moore and fullback/halfback Carey Davis. Russell was signed to their practice squad this week and likely will be put back on the 53.


PLAYER NOTES

--CB Bryant McFadden will make his third straight start at left cornerback for Deshea Townsend, who practiced on Thursday and could suit up.

--SS Troy Polamalu has a bruised thigh but he will start on Monday against the Ravens. Polamalu has three interceptions.

--QB Ben Roethlisberger has been accountable for all four Steelers turnovers -- one interception and three lost fumbles.

--DE Travis Kirschke will start in place of injured Brett Keisel on the right side and also back up new starting NT Chris Hoke, playing for injured Casey Hampton. Kirschke played one season as a nose in the four-man line of the 49ers.

--LB Lawrence Timmons played some snaps in the 3-4 defense last week, replacing Larry Foote, who had 1 1/2 sacks. Foote continues to start but the Steelers are working Timmons into the regular defense more often.

--WR Nate Washington, who led the Steelers last Sunday with his first five receptions of the season, was hobbled somewhat with a knee problem in practice Wednesday but is not on the official injury list.

--ILB Larry Foote had 1.5 sacks against the Eagles and continues to hold off 2007 first-round draft choice Lawrence Timmons. It's the first time he's had more than one sack in a game.

GAME PLAN: The Steelers want to protect their quarterback and run against Baltimore. Trouble is, those are two of the most difficult things to do against the Ravens. They expect a close game, so they likely will operate that way. On defense, they want to stop the run and put pressure and confuse rookie QB Joe Flacco.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Steelers LOLB James Harrison vs. Ravens LT Jared Gaither. Harrison remains the Steelers' best pass rusher even though all three of his sacks came in the opener.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. Ravens LB Bart Scott. Roethlisberger has been roughed up by Scott badly in the past.

Steelers rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall, making his first NFL start, against the NFL's No. 5 rush defense. Mendenhall has no carries the past two games and just 28 yards on 10 in the opener.

INJURY IMPACT: RB Willie Parker will miss at least two games (a bye after that) with a knee sprain. Rookie Rashard Mendenhall will make his first pro starter.

NT Chris Hoke will start for injured Pro Bowler Casey Hampton (groin) and starting right DE Travis Kirschke will back him up. Kirschke will make his second start for Brett Keisel (calf).



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 27, 2008

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Travis Kirschke Name: Travis Kirschke
#90
Position: DE
Age: 33
Experience: 12 years
College: UCLA
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