ShareThis Page

Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger isn't taking struggling Titans 'D' lightly

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 11:04 p.m.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger takes off on a second-quarter run against the Eagles on Oct. 7, 2012, at Heinz Field. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

• Ben Roethlisberger always tells his offensive teammates he wants to put up at least 30 points. Against the Titans, that might be a modest goal. The first NFL team to allow 30 or more points in its first five games since 1954, Tennessee is allowing a league-high 36.2 points per game — not that Roethlisberger believes that is significant. “I don't care what your record is, who you're playing, or where you're playing, anybody can win, anybody can be good, and anybody can be bad,” Roethlisberger said. “We have to approach this on a short week like it's the best opponent, and we need to play our best no matter what.”

• The Titans (1-4) are struggling offensively yet are manufacturing long-distance plays, with Nate Washington (71 yards), Jared Cook (61 yards) and Craig Stevens (46) all making deep catches. “You've got to minimize big plays … we did that against the Eagles, they're a big play team, we've got pressure up front, sacks and turnovers,” safety Will Allen said. “Hopefully we can do the same thing.” The Eagles' longest play was a 24-yard Michael Vick completion to DeSean Jackson.

James Harrison was surprised after playing every defensive snap against the Eagles, especially given the plan was to rest his still-healing left knee periodically. But his teammates weren't. “We know what we're getting with James; it's just good to have him back out there,” nose tackle Casey Hampton said. Hampton likes how opposing offenses must devote extra preparation time for Harrison, saying, “If he's out there, you definitely have to pay more attention to him.”

• Some alterations by coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau contributed to Lawrence Timmons' big game Sunday against the Eagles. “We brought him (blitzed) a little more in this contest,” Tomlin said, “We're still in the growing stages of the season. We're still adding to our packages and our menu.” Timmons is expected to remain in his altered role at Tennessee, with Larry Foote dropping into coverage more.

Willie Colon is the NFL's most-penalized offensive lineman with eight infractions in four games, including two that were declined or nullified. Three offensive tackles have been flagged seven times: Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini of Seattle and Gabe Carimi of Chicago. Colon, who didn't play guard until this season, was called for holding four times Sunday. Two seasons ago, former Steelers left guard Chris Kemoeatu had 10 penalties called. Colon said his biggest problem is extending his hands while blocking. “If you're outside (the opposing player's) framework and if you're impeding their rushing, if (the officials) see it, they're going to call it, bottom line,” Colon said. “I got to be more technically sound and if they're targeting me, I've got to give them a reason not to target me.”

• Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel's head coach last season. But he didn't have much of a reaction to Cassel being booed by his own fans after getting hurt Sunday. The incident has created considerable debate about the conduct of sports fans. “I didn't hear about it. I'm in Pittsburgh,” Haley said. “I'm worried about the Steelers offense.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.