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Thread: Steelers to sign Sunny Harris today

      
  1. #16
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    Aaron Smith placed on IR
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009
    By BOB LABRIOLA
    Steelers.com

    During his regular weekly news conference yesterday, Coach Mike Tomlin revealed that Aaron Smith had injured his right shoulder, and that the situation “potentially could be significant.”

    It turned out to be precisely that, and the Steelers placed Smith on the injured reserve list because of the shoulder injury. The injured reserve list means Smith’s season is over.

    When asked yesterday about the team’s options in light of Smith’s injury, Tomlin said, “The usual suspects. Travis Kirschke, Nick Eason and Ziggy Hood.”

    To take Smith’s spot on the roster, the Steelers signed Sunny Harris from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad. Harris was the Steelers’ sixth-round draft pick last April, and when he came to training camp the hope was that he would develop sufficiently to contribute as a practice squad player as a rookie.

    But after a summer in which Harris showed consistent improvement and concluded the preseason in Carolina with a nice game that included a sack, the Panthers claimed him when the Steelers put him on waivers. Because of needs at other positions, Harris subsequently was waived and signed to the Carolina practice squad. The Steelers also had plans to work out veteran Orpheus Roye.

    As the team’s most recent No. 1 draft choice, Hood naturally is attracting the most attention, and Tomlin was asked about the rookie’s readiness for an expanded role.

    “He has played in just about every football game he’s had a helmet on,” said Tomlin. “He has played on special teams in some games, he has had more defensive snaps in others. He played a pretty significant portion of the game this past week (in Detroit). He’s a young guy who’s on the come. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s not out of the oven yet, if you will. We acknowledge that, he acknowledges that. As long as we continue to do that, he’ll continue in the right direction. He’ll continue along those lines in terms of participation, but by no means is Ziggy Hood a potential replacement for Aaron Smith at this point. It will probably be a committee of bodies trying to fill that void.”

    Make no mistake, no Aaron Smith creates a void. Smith has been with the Steelers longer than any players except Hines Ward and Deshea Townsend and long has been considered a key ingredient to the Steelers 3-4 alignment.

    When Smith was injured late in the 2007 and was forced onto the injured reserve list after the seasons 13th game, the Jaguars, Rams and Ravens rushed for 224, 90 and 180 yards, respectively over the last three weeks of the regular season. Smith’s teammates regularly call him the most underrated player on the defense.

    Through five games this season, Smith had 13 tackles, two sacks and 14 pressures, and he also blocked a field goal attempt during the Steelers’ 13-10 win over Tennessee on Sept. 10.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    I think Sweet posted a link from PFT yesterday saying that Smith is done till January.... So it looks as if it might be true, unfortunately.

    Injuries are the one thing that will hold us back, as many of us stated months ago.... Troy was a setback... Smith could be downright debilitating to the squad... We all remember '07... So let's see how they handle it. As you said, they haven't really been performing superbly so far already.
    Yeah...Smith is having surgery and is done for the year...this better wake up the rest of the D and impact the FO that we need more DL.

    Lets hope the O can pick up the D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Yeah...Smith is having surgery and is done for the year...this better wake up the rest of the D and impact the FO that we need more DL.

    Lets hope the O can pick up the D.
    Haven't they been doing that all season??

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    Well while teams will target his replacement at least we get Troy back so they can't target both places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Yeah...Smith is having surgery and is done for the year...this better wake up the rest of the D and impact the FO that we need more DL.

    Lets hope the O can pick up the D.
    Getting 2/3rds of your DL covered in this year's draft might be an accomplishment in the long run. At least an effort was made this year. Hopefully Ziggy performs as expected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    Haven't they been doing that all season??
    Bet ya never thought you'd be saying that this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    Bet ya never thought you'd be saying that this year.
    Never thought I'd be saying that ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by costanza2k1 View Post
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    Getting 2/3rds of your DL covered in this year's draft might be an accomplishment in the long run. At least an effort was made this year. Hopefully Ziggy performs as expected.
    Guess we're gonna find out about the DL newbies. I'll buy what Benny is going at and add that there's no such thing as too much DL depth. Ziggy has been there when needed, but needs to dial it up a bit. Losing Smitty in the run game is a big hole. But I think we are better equipped to handle his loss this time around. The young players from a few years ago are pretty much still here and improved and having Hood and Harris doesn't hurt in the slightest.

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    I was a little surprised Carolina didn't add Harris to its active roster to block the Steelers from signing him away, but the Panthers must not have liked him that much so as to find a way to do it.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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