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    Default Steelers ready to hit road

    10/19/2010
    Steelers ready to hit road
    By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer dlolley@observer-reporter.com

    PITTSBURGH - With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's return from his four-game suspension out of the way following Sunday's 28-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers head into arguably the most difficult portion of their season.

    First up is a game at Miami Sunday. Pittsburgh (4-1) will follow that with three consecutive games in prime time: at New Orleans and Cincinnati, then at home against New England.

    The combined record of those four teams is 13-8, and only the 2-3 Bengals own a losing record. Cincinnati, the defending AFC North champions, beat the Steelers twice last year.

    "We have a tough road. I'm going to enjoy this right now, then start focusing on what we have ahead," Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith said. "But we've got to be prepared for tough road games."

    It was important for Roethlisberger to play in a game so he could get acclimated to the speed of the regular season after sitting out the first month.

    Roethlisberger was 16 of 27 for 257 yards, had three touchdowns and one interception against the Browns and got better as the game wore on.

    The defense, which helped carry the team during his absence, was glad to be playing with a healthy lead in the fourth quarter. Cleveland didn't score its first touchdown until after the Steelers had taken a 21-3 lead.

    "When your offense puts points on the board, it forces the opposing offense to try to throw the ball," linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "That allows us to rush them a little bit, to get some sacks (and) to get some interceptions."

    Roethlisberger said his excitement over his return from his NFL-mandated suspension led to some of the early missed throws.

    "The ball was coming out what we call hot, coming out high and strong," Roethlisberger said. "We left some things out there."

    The Steelers hope he's gotten that out of his system, particularly heading into this stretch of games. Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati all have defenses that rank in the top 13 in the league in yards allowed per game. The Saints and Dolphins each rank in the top nine.

    "I didn't really want him to be flawless coming back," said wide receiver Mike Wallace, who caught Roethlisberger's first touchdown pass. "Then, we wouldn't really have anything to work on.

    "He had a really good game, but he missed a couple of throws that I'm happy he missed because we have some things to work on instead of thinking everything is all good. I think it's going to make for a better team, because come Wednesday, when we go back to practice, we're going to work even harder."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Odds and end zones[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers are one of just six teams allowing fewer than 300 yards of offense per game. ... The Steelers are allowing an NFL-low 12 points per game. ... The Steelers have attempted an NFL-low 108 passes. ... Punter Daniel Sepulveda ranks fifth in the NFL with a 46.7-yard gross average, and sixth with a 40.2-yard net average.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/...ng-on-the-road
    "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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    Default Re: Steelers ready to hit road

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010
    Tuesday with Tomlin, preparing for the road show

    The Steelers will not have Brett Keisel available this weekend when they travel to Miami. He'll be out with a hamstring injury.

    Coach Mike Tomlin is opening things up at the position to see if Ziggy Hood or Nick Eason step up their game to fill that role. But that's nothing new for Tomlin, who likes to pit one player against another rather than simply elevating a guy into a starting role.

    Trai Essex is expected return to practice this week after missing the past couple of games with an ankle injury. Doug Legursky has been starting in his place and has played reasonably well. But he suffered an MCL sprain against Cleveland - and returned to the game.

    The healthier man will probably start.

    Rashard Mendenhall has a bruised shoulder and will sit out early in the week. Tomlin admitted to being concerned with Mendenhall's heavy workload and - as I said on another post this week - look for Isaac Redman to spell him a little more often moving forward in an attempt to keep him a little more fresh.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/
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    Default Re: Steelers ready to hit road

    Ready to be road warriors
    10-19-2010
    By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com

    The Steelers embark on what could be one of the toughest stretches of their schedule this week when they travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on Sunday. It will be first of three straight road games for the black and gold, something that is never easy in the NFL.

    “Three straight on the road, it’s going to be tough,” said linebacker James Farrior. “There is a tough challenge ahead of us. We just have to stay focused, take it one game at a time. Miami is next week. That’s all we have to focus on.”

    The Dolphins are coming off a 23-20 overtime win on the road against the Green Bay Packers, improving their record to 3-2 and the energy from that is expected to carry over into Sunday’s game in Miami.

    “You look at the games ahead, it starts in Miami,” said tackle Max Starks. “We will be going in there to a hyped-up Miami team that is successful right now. They are playing pretty good. They pulled a big win out against the Packers. It’s going to be a tough, hostile crowd down in Miami.

    “The biggest thing is to go in there, have a great attitude, and study extra hard because you know it’s going to be noisy and loud and you have to contain that crowd noise to be successful. It’s easy to do it at home, the crowd is quiet and you can run everything you want to in your offense. This is where it really counts.”

    The Steelers are 2-0 on the road so far this season, winning in Tennessee and Tampa. Pulling out road wins is a must if they are going to go far this year.

    “When you put it in to perspective, in order to be successful and to make it to our ultimate goal, the playoffs, you realize there is going to be a gritty part of the schedule,” said Starks. “Right now we are getting into that gritty part.”

    A stretch like this often times reveals what a team is made of, and it’s a challenge that the team is ready for.

    “This is the part of the schedule where you really find the identity of your team,” said Starks. “You can see how this team is going to be this year based off the next couple of weeks. I think we are ready for it. We have had to do it before. Every team is going to have that patch. We just have to be better than the rest of them.

    “When you look at it, you know what your base is. We have set a great foundation, but now you find how deep your team goes, to be able to go on the road and pull out victories. I think that is the biggest thing. It’s not just about home dominance, but how you do on the road going in to other people’s stadiums. You realize at some point you are going to have to do that to get to your ultimate goal – the biggest game of them all is an away game.”

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...1-8287ca6c8f83
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    Default Re: Steelers ready to hit road

    Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel will not play Sunday in Miami because of a hamstring injury, coach Mike Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference.

    Nick Eason or Ziggy Hood will replace Keisel in the starting lineup, Tomlin said.

    The Steelers may also be a little shorthanded at right guard against the Dolphins.

    Trai Essex is still recovering from a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Sunday.

    Doug Legursky, who has started the last three games at right guard, sustained a sprained knee last Sunday though he returned to the game against the Browns.

    Tomlin said he doesn't expect Legursky to be limited by the injury this week in practice.

    Tomlin said today that he supports the NFL's stricter enforcement of the helmet-to-helmet contact rule, including the suspension of players who are disciplined by the NFL for violating the rule.

    "I'm a proponent of players safety," Tomlin said.
    "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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