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Thread: Harrison questionable for tonight with back spasms

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    Default Harrison questionable for tonight with back spasms

    Harrison questionable for tonight's showdown with back spasms
    November 14, 2010
    Herald Standard

    PITTSBURGH - James Harrison woke up Saturday morning with back spasms, so the Steelers put him on the injury list as questionable for tonight's game against the New England Patriots.

    If Harrison can't play, inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons would likely slide over to right outside linebacker with Larry Foote replacing Timmons inside.

    The Steelers already expect to miss two starters in addition to LDE Aaron Smith. RDE Brett Keisel and LG Chris Kemoeatu are doubtful and will be replaced by Nick Eason and Ramon Foster, respectively.

    For the Patriots, backup safety Jarrad Page, G Stephen Neal (shoulder), DT/NT Myron Pryor (back) and RB Fred Taylor (toe) have been ruled out. Listed as questionable are: S Patrick Chung (knee) and DE Mike Wright (groin).

    The Patriots this week have replaced PK Steve Gostkowski with former Bengals PK Shayne Graham. Gostkowski was put on IR with a thigh injury. The last time Graham was in Heinz Field, he missed a 51-yarder but made his next four kicks in an 18-12 Bengals win.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]ALLIGATOR BLOOD:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Last week the Cleveland Browns rushed for 230 yards against the Patriots but inside linebacker Brandon Spikes made a valiant effort to slow the Browns. The rookie from Florida had his fourth 10-tackle game and now has 56 tackles at the halfway point of the season.

    Spikes was a three-year starter and former captain for the Gators, who won the national championship his junior year. At 6-3, 250, Spikes had NFL size, but his speed - 5.0 combine 40 - doomed him to the bottom of the second round of the draft, and it looks like the Patriots got a steal.

    "He's playing really good, same as college. He flies around," said his college teammate, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. "All that 40 stuff doesn't matter when you're out there on the field. He's running down on kickoffs. He can't be that slow."

    Pouncey said he's also looking forward to seeing his close friend and old roommate, Patriots tight end Aaron "Chico" Hernandez, who, with 34 catches for 436 yards, is on pace to break Patriots rookie records for a tight end held by Greg Baty (37 catches, 1986) and Russ Francis (636 yards, 1975).

    The Patriots have a third rookie starter from Florida in DE/OLB Jermaine Cunningham, who has 26 tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles.

    "We had a real good relationship with New England's coach, (Bill) Belichick," Pouncey said. "He and coach (Urban) Meyer are close friends. I guess he knew the kind of players we had and the kind of respect we had for him."

    The Patriots also had their eyes on Pouncey and brought him in for a pre-draft visit.

    "I thought it was going to happen," Pouncey said.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]COACH ON QB, AGAIN:[/HIGH-LIGHT] A reporter from New England had a somewhat humorous exchange with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin this week. It started with a question local reporters here almost every week.

    Reporter: "What's the difference in Ben Roethlisberger on and off the field since he's returned?"

    MT: "How you doing?"

    Reporter: "Good. How are you?"

    MT: "Anybody want to answer that?"

    Reporter: "You've probably heard that question a hundred times."

    MT: "A hundred and one. Um, I think he's appreciative of the mundane, the daily drudgery that goes with playing. I think it's natural that he's probably more appreciative of it now. That's a natural response when something's taken away from you. Other than that he's Ben."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]WRECKING BALL THAT COULD:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Steelers rookie WR Emmanuel Sanders may only weigh 180 pounds, but he's throwing his body around like he's Hines Ward.

    Last week Sanders put his helmet into Bernard Scott's midsection and forced a fumble on the opening kickoff. Soon thereafter, Sanders threw a key downfield block to pad Rashard Mendenhall's 20-yard run and set up a Jeff Reed field goal.

    Sanders is clearly more physical than his size and position would indicate.

    "I like running down and hitting. It's just fun," he said. "You run down there full speed and get an opportunity to hit and cause a fumble? I haven't done that since high school."

    So far, the return specialist/slot receiver has 6 special teams tackles in the 5 games he's been active.

    "I've always been this physical," he said. "That's the Steelers way and that fits right into my game. I love knocking people down."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]MORE KICK COVERAGE:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Another rookie, linebacker Jason Worilds, leads the Steelers with 10 special teams tackles after the coaches counted four last week in Cincinnati.

    "Yes, he's doing very well. He has a great future," said the Steelers' paternalistic special teams coach Al Everest.

    Everest was walking with Worilds down the hall when he was asked the question. Tomlin came around the corner just in time to hear Everest's comment and growled, "He ain't done nothing yet."

    "I know coach," said Everest.

    In limited time with the defense in his first half-season in the league, Worilds has 1 sack and 4 quarterback pressures. He was robbed of a sack/forced fumble a few weeks ago when the last Dolphins play was ruled an intercepted pass by Harrison. But the second-round pick doesn't care about the lost stats.

    "We won," Worilds said. "A sack would've been good maybe at the end of my career if I needed one, but we won. That's all that matters to me."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]TROY ON NEW PATRIOTS:[/HIGH-LIGHT] Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu has played the Patriots when Tom Brady's thrown 43 and 41 passes, and Polmalu has played them when Brady's thrown only 21 passes. How would Polamalu assess the difference in the Patriots' offense over the years?

    "They're more Brady-reliant now," Polamalu said. "Then they were very balanced. Teams they thought were weak against the run, they'd try to attack them with their run offense. But now it's just all about spreading the offense and letting Tom digest the defense and pick and choose where he wants to attack."

    Would Polamalu be surprised by a 50-pass game from Brady tonight?

    "Not at all," he said. "With the way our run defense has been playing, it would be smart."
    "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: Harrison questionable for tonight with back spasms

    Harrison questionable with back spasms
    By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Add another Steelers starter to the list of players that may not play tonight against the visiting New England Patriots.

    Outside linebacker James Harrison, who leads the Steelers with seven sacks, is experiencing back spasms and is questionable for the 8:20 p.m. game.

    Harrison's back issues are a new -- and unwelcome -- development for the injury-plagued Steelers as the three-time Pro Bowler practiced all week. If Harrison in unable to play, the Steelers likely will move inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons to his spot and start Larry Foote alongside James Farrior.

    Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee and ankle) and defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) are expected to miss the game because of injuries. The Steelers are also without starting left tackle Max Starks (neck) for the rest of the season.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Miller role adjusts[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Heath Miller has had three or fewer catches in seven of his eight games this year and just 20 for the season ... and there is a good reason for it.

    Miller has been used more as a blocker, especially lining in the backfield next to Ben Roethlisberger, due to the health of the offensive line.

    Now, with Starks out for the year, Miller doesn't expect his role to change much.

    "I'm sure I'll be used a little bit in all the phases of the game," he said. "I don't expect my role to change a whole lot."

    Miller is on pace for only 40 catches or nearly half as many as last year's 76, the most ever for a Steelers tight end.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Expect no-huddle from Pats[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Last week, the Bengals went no-huddle against the Steelers, and the Patriots will, too.

    The Patriots have been successful running the no-huddle in recent weeks, and Tom Brady will look to use it to create matchup problems with the Steelers.

    "It's been something that we've been decent at," Brady said. "We certainly haven't been great at it; we're still working. I always love being in no-huddle, because you can really get a good tempo going as an offense. You can really start getting a feel for the defense, the speed of what they're doing."
    "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: Harrison questionable for tonight with back spasms

    If Brady throws 50 tonight, they'll gain about 400 yards through the air!!

    Generally, when that occurs, it doesn't bode well for the Pats opponents.

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