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    Default Random Tidbits

    On the Steelers: Offense needs to improve
    Friday, September 24, 2010
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    The Steelers' offense has gone through more quarterbacks than goal lines after two games, and one of these days it would like to lend a hand to the rest of the team that has delivered two victories.

    "I'd like to score a touchdown, one of these games," coordinator Bruce Arians said.

    The Steelers have scored one, Rashard Mendenhall's 50-yard run on the team's first offensive play in overtime to win the opener against Atlanta. Last Sunday, the Steelers scored none. The team's only touchdown came on rookie Antonio Brown's 89-yard opening kickoff return.

    Sunday in Tampa, quarterback Charlie Batch will start for the first time since 2007 and try to lead the offense into the end zone a time or two.

    "We'll have to produce," Hines Ward declared. "There's no question we have to produce. We're at the bottom of the league in a lot of categories."

    At least they hug the bottom. The Steelers are next to last in passing yards per game (116), next to last in total yards (240.5) and in a last-place tie in touchdowns scored with two, but they are the only offense in the league that has just one touchdown. They also are third from the bottom in sacks allowed at seven.

    One area on offense in which they have improved is the one Art Rooney, their president, prodded them to do better -- on the ground. The Steelers, who ranked 19th in the NFL in rushing last season, are 10th after two games.

    With the way their defense has smothered their first two foes, the offense has gotten away without Ben Roethlisberger and with little production.

    "For us, there's nothing wrong with punting the ball," Ward said. "We know we haven't scored a touchdown. We have a lot of prideful guys. I don't like to be at the bottom of the list. At the same time, you have to be smart about things.

    "We're 2-0 right now without our starting quarterback. We have two more games. We just have to find a way to try to pull it together in these next two games."

    The offense has been good at protecting the ball with just two turnovers in two games while the team's defense has forced eight. Yet Arians does not want them to be so conservative as to go into a shell.

    "We don't want to beat ourselves. We're doing a good job of that, we just haven't competed well enough in critical situations to convert third downs and in the red zone. We dropped four third-down balls that were perfectly thrown and we can't have that if we're going to be any good at all."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]2 more fined[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Two more Steelers were fined for their involvement in a fight near the start of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.

    Ward and guard Chris Kemoeatu were each fined $5,000 by the NFL for separate offenses during a skirmish between the teams after the first play from scrimmage in Nashville.

    Ward said he was fined for "excessive face-masking," and Kemoeatu said he was fined for spearing after he said he came to Ward's defense. The scuffle among a group of players broke up after an incomplete pass to Ward on the right side.

    "It was an incomplete pass, but the guy picked it up and I just held it and the next thing you know, he punches me with the ball," Ward said. "I almost fell, but I grabbed his facemask; everybody was grabbing facemasks.

    "The next thing you know, I'm trying to defend myself [against] three big men."

    His own big man, Kemoeatu, came in to help.

    "There were two or three dudes going after Hines," Kemoeatu said. "I just got the first dude."

    Kemoeatu and the Titans player Ward thought hit him, defensive tackle Tony Brown, were each penalized for personal fouls, canceling each other out.

    Steelers linebacker James Harrison also came away with a $5,000 fine from that game for body-slamming Titans quarterback Vince Young on a sack.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Big scare for line[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Kemoeatu hit the turf in practice Wednesday when a teammate fell into him, and his left knee was injured, but this time the Steelers seemed to have avoided losing another offensive lineman.

    Kemoeatu finished practice, saw the trainers afterward and popped into the locker room saying he would not miss Sunday's game.

    "They checked it out and I'm pretty safe," Kemoeatu said. "I don't think I tore anything. I know I'm going to be good to go on Sunday. I'm definitely playing."

    Good thing because the Steelers already will go with a replacement at right guard for injured Trai Essex, Doug Legursky. Max Starks is back at left tackle after he missed last week's game with a sprained ankle. And then there's more 90-degree heat in Tampa awaiting, the kind in which Steelers offensive linemen were wilting in Tennessee.

    "It's just going to be one of those kinds of years," Arians said. "Whoever plugs in, plugs in and we keep beating."

    The Steelers listed Kemoeatu and Ward (calf) as limited in practice on Thursday.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]A first for Legursky[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Legursky looks forward to his first NFL start, coming a long way to do so. He was not drafted as an undersized guard/tackle from Marshall University in 2008 and made it onto the Steelers' practice squad that year.

    "Everyone who plays in the NFL remembers their first start," Legursky said. "It means a lot to me."

    He made the roster in 2009 and played nine games, leapfrogging third-round draft pick Kraig Urbik as the backup guard/center. He also has been used at times to block from the fullback position in short yardage.

    "Every time we go to put him in any position whether it's fullback, guard or center, he's succeeded," Arians said. "He's just one of those guys you try to run off all the time and you can't. He comes back every time and plays better.

    "I have all the confidence in the world in this guy. He's smart, he's tough, he's what you're looking for."

    Legursky said he never worried when the Steelers drafted a guard high in 2009 or a center on the first round this season.

    "Not being drafted and getting overlooked, you have to have a lot of drive to push through that adversity. You just keep moving forward."

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10267/1089973-66.stm
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    Default Re: Random Tidbits

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Chris Kemoeatu said he "definitely" will play against the Buccaneers even though he hurt his left knee Thursday in practice. "A teammate fell on it, but the (doctors) checked it out and I don't think I tore anything," the Steelers' starting left guard said. "I know I'm going to be good to go on Sunday."

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Starting left tackle Max Starks (ankle) and nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) were full participants in practice yesterday, as was quarterback Byron Leftwich. Leftwich, who sprained his left knee Sept. 2, was not listed on the Steelers' official injury list. "With the (knee) brace and the tape, he looks like normal Byron out there," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "He can make his handoffs and make bootlegs and move around in the pocket. If (Leftwich had to play Sunday) I think he would be fine."

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] With Leftwich set to back up Charlie Batch, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El will serve as the Steelers' emergency quarterback against the Buccaneers. Arians said the Steelers did not sign a quarterback after Dennis Dixon got hurt because they were comfortable with Randle El as the No. 3 signal-caller. "He'll play better than anyone we can (get) off the streets unless they've been in our system," Arians said.

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Buccaneers rookie Cody Grimm, the son of former Southmoreland High School and Pitt star Russ Grimm, will start at free safety against the Steelers. Grimm takes over for Tanard Jackson, who was suspended by the NFL for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] In other injury news, wide receiver Hines Ward (calf) was limited in practice yesterday. Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) and center Jeff Faine (calf) did not practice yesterday.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_701069.html
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    Default Re: Random Tidbits

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    "I'd like to score a touchdown, one of these games," coordinator Bruce Arians said.
    I'D????????? When did BA ever score a TD? j/s

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    "With the (knee) brace and the tape, he looks like normal Byron out there," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said.
    No doubt

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    Listening to the fan today some sports annoucer or media type said the last thirteen times a team was picked to lose their first two games then picked to win their third game, the team lost. Just in case your into those kind of stats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
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    Listening to the fan today some sports annoucer or media type said the last thirteen times a team was picked to lose their first two games then picked to win their third game, the team lost. Just in case your into those kind of stats.
    Not a great stat... Time to break the streak...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
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    I'D????????? When did BA ever score a TD? j/s
    That's quite an alarming statement considering it's coming from our OC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
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    Listening to the fan today some sports annoucer or media type said the last thirteen times a team was picked to lose their first two games then picked to win their third game, the team lost. Just in case your into those kind of stats.
    Aren't we a team that always breaks streaks??

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    Dale Lolley's blog...

    Friday, September 24, 2010
    Who I like - Tampa Bay edition

    Two defenses that have given up a combined 41 points in their first two games will meet Sunday in Tampa.

    But one is for real and the other is a product of having played the Browns and Panthers.

    The Steelers are 4 1/2-point favorites over the Bucs Sunday and that seems like a layup, particularly with Charlie Batch at quarterback.

    What's that? You think I can't be talking about the same Charlie Batch who threw for 25 yards in two and a half quarters last week.

    Batch's numbers would have been much better had his teammates helped him out a bit. He threw some nice passes, moved in the pocket well and got the ball to the correct receiver.

    The touchdowns will still be tough to come by. But with the way the Steelers defense is playing, it doesn't matter.

    Take the Steelers to win, 20-6.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    Aren't we a team that always breaks streaks??
    Dude your right as rain with that and with just ending that stats streak has a lot to do with the Steelers heading in the right direction towards the Super Bowl. I realize it was just Tampa but I see us getting to the Super Bowl this year.

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