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Thread: Steelers Team Report..Arians no

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    Default Steelers Team Report..Arians no

    Steelers Team Report
    Yahoo! Sports


    The Steelers have not had much success against the New England Patriots for more than a decade, even at Heinz Field, where two of the best teams in the AFC will clash Sunday night.

    The Patriots have won six of their past eight against the Steelers, starting in 1998, including three of their past four in Pittsburgh, where New England won AFC title games after the 2001 and 2004 seasons on way to Super Bowl championships.

    The Steelers are coming off three consecutive games on the road for the first time in the regular season since 1994, and one thing they’ve been unable to do both recently this season and traditionally against the Patriots is run the ball.

    Without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers got off to a fast start in their running game, something team president Art Rooney proclaimed must improve in 2010. They averaged 150 yards per game through their first three, all victories. They then averaged only 92.8 yards per game in their next four, which they split.

    Pittsburgh’s running game has been slightly improved since last season, when it ranked 19th in the NFL with an average of just 112.1 yards per game. The Steelers have run it more often this season, and coordinator Bruce Arians has used a fullback more.

    “Overall, I think we’re better right now,” Arians said.

    Rashard Mendenhall is on the way to his best season and carries the load with an occasional assist from Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman, whom the Steelers prefer to use in short yardage.

    “I think Rashard is very comfortable with what he’s doing. Mewelde and Red give us very good compliments, they’ve all played enough,” Arians said. “Up front, we’re fairly cohesive; the guys who have had to play have stepped in and played pretty well. When we don’t beat ourselves we’re OK.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]The Steelers’ ground game had become predictable the past two seasons and Arians decided to mix things up this year.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    [HIGH-LIGHT]“We made sure we made it more versatile,” tackle Max Starks said. “We started to get predictable with our run; I think that was one of the biggest things last year, by formations - teams kind of knew what we were going to run when we lined up in certain formations. Now we’re keeping teams more honest and have more options out of each formation.”[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Lineup Watch: With Aaron Smith out until at least late in the season with a torn triceps, Ziggy Hood, the team’s first-round draft choice in 2009, takes over at left defensive end.

    Under The Radar: Rookie center Maurkice Pouncey is the only player on the team who has not missed a snap and he has been so dominant that he’s reminding some of the great Dermontti Dawson, the center on the NFL’s all-decade team of the 1990s and a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist last year.

    “I think he has that athleticism,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who coached both with and against Dawson. “He is probably slightly bigger than what (Dermontti) was. You see that in him and you see the upper body strength against the lower body strength and that’s what it takes to being an effective lineman in the NFL.”

    Player Notes

    • QB Byron Leftwich, No. 2 behind Ben Roethlisberger, still has not played a snap while three others quarterbacks have. Leftwich was supposed to start the season because of Roethlisberger’s suspension but he sprained his MCL in the final preseason game and either Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch played in the first four games.

    • QB Ben Roethlisberger had a higher passer rating through his first three games this season, 103.4, than he had in any season except 2007 when he finished at 104.1.

    • P Daniel Sepulveda is having his best season by far with an average of 46.9 gross and 40.5 net. His career averages are 42.5 and 37.4.

    • LB Lawrence Timmons has needed less than half a season to virtually equal the number of tackles he had all of last season, his first as a starter. He finished with 86 last season and had 83 after seven games this season, to be a runaway team leader.

    • WR Hines Ward has been remarkably steady in his 13th NFL season. He not only leads the Steelers in receptions, but if he maintains his 13.5-yard average per catch after seven games it would be his highest since 2005, when he averaged 14.1.

    Sure was predictable last week on 1st down.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report..Arians no

    Arians unpredictable? Like running straight ahead three times in a row from the half yard line for no touchdown!? Yea no Steeler fans saw that coming...

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