TribLIVE

| Home


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Steelers notebook: 7th-rounders playing big roles this season

Steelers/NFL Videos

Daily Photo Galleries

By Alan Robinson
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, 1:03 p.m.
 

The Steelers drafted four players in the seventh round in April; two are gone (DB Terrence Frederick, WR Toney Clemons) but the other two are filling key roles. Kelvin Beachum is expected to start at right tackle Sunday in Baltimore now that Mike Adams (ankle) is out indefinitely. David Paulson is effectively the No. 2 tight end.

If Beachum didn't start, the only other viable option was to start rookie David DeCastro at right guard and shift Ramon Foster from guard to right tackle.

But DeCastro hasn't played a down in a regular-season game and has had only one week of practice since injuring his right knee in the preseason. And the Steelers are wary of sending an inexperienced right side of the line against Ravens pass rusher Paul Kruger, who repeatedly overpowered Adams in the Nov. 18 game.

• Former roster or practice squad members Clemons (Jaguars), offensive lineman Ryan Lee (Saints) and Gilreath (Buccaneers) were claimed this week.

• All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu (calf) is expected to go through a full practice Wednesday — his biggest test since he last played Oct. 7. He went through a limited practice Friday. “We're encouraged by his status,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “We are looking to get some guys back potentially, but we are not going to hold our breath.” Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (ankle) is doubtful, meaning Jason Worilds (two sacks vs. Browns) probably will start. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) will resume practicing.

• Not only did James Harrison have a sack and seven tackles Sunday, but the Browns ran five running plays to his side ­— for a combined zero yards. Harrison, still healing from a left knee injury, has played two consecutive strong games with 12 tackles and two sacks. “Each week is better,” Harrison said. “There's a little more explosion back in the knee, but it's not something where I'm expecting to be 100 percent by the end of the year.”

• Tomlin is taking the blame for the eight fumbles in Cleveland, saying it's up to the coaches to instill a protect-the-ball mentality. Tomlin yanked each of his four running backs after they fumbled. “Evidently, they (the don't-fumble messages) are not being relayed strongly enough,” Tomlin said.

­– Alan Robinson

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Car wash explosion, fire injures 2 in McDonald
  2. Groom cited at reception being filmed for reality TV
  3. Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
  4. Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
  5. Energy sector adjusts to global oil plummet
  6. Warning about cop-killer came moments too late
  7. Pouliot scores in NHL debut as Penguins tame Panthers
  8. Kids treated to gifts, peaceful holiday party at Lincoln-Lemington church
  9. Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
  10. Sony hack signals new, public front in cyber warfare
  11. PSU running back Lynch relishes trip back to New York
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.