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Steelers notebook: Jones' punt return rare occurrence at Heinz

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Baltimore's Jacoby Jones returns a punt for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Steelers on Sunday at Heinz Field.

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By Alan Robinson
Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 8:20 p.m.
 

Jacoby Jones' 63-yard punt return touchdown for the Ravens was the first by a visiting player in a regular-season game at Heinz Field.

The Patriots' Troy Brown also had one in the AFC Championship Game during the stadium's inaugural season in 2001.

Since Mike Tomlin took over in 2007, the Steelers have allowed eight special-teams touchdowns — six on kickoff returns and two on punt returns. The Steelers have four themselves.

Byron Leftwich blamed the Steelers' repeated inability to sustain drives on them being in long-yardage situations on third downs. But they also converted only once on three third-and-1 situations and also failed to convert on a third-and-2. They ended 5 of 17 on third downs.

• LinebackerJames Harrison had what might have been his best game this season with eight tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss and a quarterback hit. He repeated afterward that his injured left knee that required surgery during training camp won't be 100 percent this season but that he's playing through it and is seeing improvement each week. “It's getting better,” he said.

Jonathan Dwyer's 410 yards are the fewest for the Steelers' leading rusher 10 games into a season since Amos Zereoue had 335 yards in 2003, when the Steelers finished 6-10.

• There have been a reported 150 concussions in the NFL this season, and Isaac Redman is one of at least four Steelers players who have had one. Ryan Clark has had two; Adrian Robinson and Chris Rainey each has had one.

• Linebacker Larry Foote said the Steelers needed to do more to pick up Leftwich in his first start in four seasons with the Steelers. The offense produced only a field goal in the final 59 minutes. “He had the one bad pick, but the defense has to help that guy out. He hasn't played in a few years,” Foote said. “We got to get some turnovers and make the field short. But he managed the game for us.”

• 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had a minor heart procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat last week. His brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, said after the tight win Sunday: “Whatever procedure my brother had, I think I'm going to need sometime later tonight. My heart's moving a little fast right now.”

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