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Thread: Line will undergo more changes

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    Default Line will undergo more changes

    Line will undergo more changes
    By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer

    PITTSBURGH - The news about the Steelers' offensive line injuries went from bad to worse Wednesday, when left tackle Max Starks was placed on injured reserve with a herniated disc in his neck that will require surgery.

    With an injury suffered by starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu in Monday night's 27-21 victory at Cincinnati, the Steelers (6-2) are dangerously thin along the offensive line heading into Sunday's critical AFC showdown against the New England Patriots (6-2) at Heinz Field.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Coach Mike Tomlin said Jonathan Scott will replace Starks at left tackle, despite the fact starting right tackle Flozell Adams was a five-time Pro Bowl left tackle in Dallas before joining the Steelers this season.

    "I'm not looking for comfort. Flozell has worked exclusively at right tackle since he's been here and done a nice job of it. We brought Jonathan Scott in with the idea that he was a swing tackle,"[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    said Tomlin, noting that he does not think the injury to Starks is career threatening.

    "Flozell is going to play right, and Jonathan is going to play left."

    Scott, a four-year veteran from Texas, was signed in the offseason to provide depth. He played for offensive line coach Sean Kugler in Buffalo last season, making eight starts at either left or right tackle after the Bills' line was beset by injuries.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Scott, 6-6 and 318 pounds, has seen action in every game for the Steelers, including starting at left tackle in place of Starks, who was out with an ankle injury against Tennessee Sept. 19.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    "Everybody wants to be the guy," said Scott, a fifth-round draft pick of Detroit in 2006. "This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills and be a part of this franchise for a long period of time."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Scott's familiarity with what Kugler asks of his offensive linemen should help him with the transition into the starting lineup for the remainder of this season.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    "Our offensive line coach put a point of emphasis on not only communicating, but overcommunicating," said Scott. "There are no secrets."

    There will be no secrets against New England. [HIGH-LIGHT]Scott started at left tackle in Buffalo's second meeting with the Patriots last year, a 17-10 loss, going against linebacker Tully Banta-Cain and Jarvis Green. Banta-Cain had a season-high three of New England's six sacks in that game.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Tomlin said not to read too much into that.

    "I don't know what (Scott's) assignments and help were in that game," he said.

    Scott could be one of two new starters on the left side of the Steelers' line against New England. [HIGH-LIGHT]Kemoeatu suffered a sprained knee against the Bengals and said the injury is still causing him a lot of pain.

    If he can't play, it appears that second-year pro Ramon Foster would start there instead of Doug Legursky.

    Legursky started four games at right guard this season when Trai Essex was out with an ankle injury.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    "I'm preparing as the starter and if everything goes my way, I'll be ready," said Foster, who started four games for Kemoeatu last season. "Doug's the backup center as well, so coach decided to put me up this week. I'll be ready."

    Rookie Chris Scott, a fifth-round draft pick from Tennessee, was activated off of the physically unable to perform list to fill the open roster spot. Scott has been practicing the past three weeks while recovering from a broken bone in his foot suffered prior to training camp.

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

    The Patriots placed kicker Stephen Gostkowski on injured reserve Wednesday with a thigh injury and signed former Cincinnati placekicker Shayne Graham. ... In addition to Kemoeatu, tight end Heath Miller (knee), defensive lineman Brett Keisel (hamstring) and placekicker Jeff Reed (illness) did not practice Wednesday. ... Running backs Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman and safety Will Allen, who each suffered concussions against the Bengals, did participate.
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    Default Re: Line will undergo more changes

    Steelers' O-Line daily affirmation:

    I will sleep well tonight knowing that Scott seems to be a project for Kugler, and has Kugler's confidence... I trust that Kugler has a good handle on our talent (ie Scott), it's been evident thus far! Let's hope the trend continues!!!

    I have no reservations about Legurski playing any of the interior OL positions, and he could end up being a long-term answer at right guard.

    I also trust that keeping Flozell at RT is in the best interest of the team?

    Hidden Content Chuck Norris wears Steelers Pajamas!!!

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