Steelers notebook: Eagles QB Vick has shined against Pittsburgh
Quarterback Michael Vick will face the Steelers for only the third time in 10 years and the first with Philadelphia.
Vick had two huge games against them with Atlanta — a 34-34 tie in 2002 at Heinz Field in which he led the Falcons back from a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter and a 41-38 win in 2006 when he threw for four touchdowns.
“He has a skill set that is unique,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “He's extremely quick and fast. He can get out of tough spots. He's got a quick release.”
Vick has thrown for 526 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards and a score against the Steelers.
• Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger couldn't contain his excitement during training camp as rookie Chris Rainey excelled as a receiver out of the backfield, a kick returner and a speed back capable of breaking off long runs. But Rainey has been almost invisible during the regular season, carrying six times for 15 yards and returning only one punt, although he has four kickoff returns. He had two carries for 7 yards against Oakland as the Steelers tried four backs — Isaac Redman,Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch and Rainey — in an unsuccessful effort to generate a running game.
• The Steelers will try to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since dropping five in a row late in 2009. They were 12-4 each of the past two seasons. “I think that anybody that's extremely competitive and has been good over an extended period of time, you understand you can't have losing streaks,” Tomlin said. “We're interested in stacking wins. We're stacking zero right now because we lost the last time we played.”
• The Steelers have won following their bye week each of the past four seasons. “It's an opportunity to self-evaluate, see where we are and work on some areas of needed improvement,” Tomlin said. Asked if this bye week came too early, he said, “I haven't run across a bye week that didn't seem to come in a timely manner.”
• Shaun Suisham has something in common with half of the NFL's kickers: He's perfect. Fifteen kickers who have attempted at least five field goals have yet to miss, including Suisham, who's 5 for 5. The Rams' Greg Zuerlein is 12 for 12. Only three kickers are below 75 percent. By contrast, the league average in 1967 was 51 percent.