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Steelers notebook: Mendenhall, Redman, Dwyer sit out practice

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By Alan Robinson
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 8:18 p.m.

No Rashard Mendenhall, no Isaac Redman, no Jonathan Dwyer.

The Steelers were without their top three running backs Wednesday as they resumed practicing, Mendenhall (Achilles) and Redman (ankle) with injuries that sidelined them last week. Dwyer was out for personal reasons.

Kicker Shaun Suisham (ankle) was added to the injury list.

Maurkice Pouncey's right knee was heavily wrapped, but the 2011 All-Pro center went through practice without problems and is certain he will return Sunday. He hasn't played since injuring his MCL in the first quarter in Tennessee on Oct. 11.

“I've had 12 days off, so it's feeling pretty good,” Pouncey said.

Redskins' defense porous

While quarterback Robert Griffin III is a unique talent, the Redskins (3-4) certainly aren't unbeatable.

The Bengals, who mounted little offensively against the Steelers last weekend, won in Washington, 38-31, as Andy Dalton threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns.

Maybe the way to shut down RGIII is to keep the ball out of his hands. The Redskins' defense has allowed five touchdown passes of 34 yards or longer, including an Eli Manning to Victor Cruz 77-yarder Sunday for the Giants.

Chris Rainey, arguably the Steelers' fastest offensive player, said he would be mimicking Griffin in practice.

Moss still a threat

Santana Moss was a high-profile pickup when the Redskins acquired him in a 2005 trade with the Jets, and he had a career-high 84 receptions that season.

He fills a lesser role now in an offense that revolves around Griffin and running back Alfred Morris, who is second in the NFL in rushing. But former teammate Ryan Clark said Moss (19 catches, four TDs, 15.3 yards per catch) remains a threat as a slot receiver.

“He's much more savvy, his route running is a lot better, and he's shown a lot more toughness,” Clark said.

Still going

Call them the Steelers' iron men: Left guard Willie Colon, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and left tackle Max Starks have yet to miss an offensive snap. Tight end Heath Miller and linebacker Lawrence Timmons have missed only one snap.

The Chief honored

A plaque honoring Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. to displayed near Rooney Field at Duquesne University was unveiled Wednesday.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's “Hometown Hall of Famers” program is honoring the Hall of Famers in the communities where they got their start. Former Steelers players Mel Blount and John Stallworth recently had plaques unveiled in their hometowns.

“It's great now they will have a piece of the Hall of Fame in their hometowns,” said Steelers president Art Rooney II, the grandson of the late Rooney Sr.

Facing option-style offense

Defensive end Brett Keisel has been with the Steelers for 10 years, but this is the first time he has gone against an option-style offense like Washington's. The Redskins often line up Griffin in a shotgun formation with Morris behind him, an alignment known the pistol.

“The last time I played a team like that was when I was in college, and we played Air Force; they used to run the wing-T,” Keisel said. “Their offensive line does a lot of … turning and running, cutting you backside, Denver did it a little bit last year.”

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