Steelers notebook: 7th-rounders playing big roles this season
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 1:03 p.m.
Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
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
- Coach Tomlin, Steelers facing plenty of questions as OTAs start
- Steelers rookie moves on after PSU scandal
- Steelers reach agreement with sixth-round pick Williams
- Steelers might be looking at a youth movement in 2013
- Ex-Steelers QB Batch learns new form of 2-minute drill
- Undrafted lineman Embernate hopes he can stick with Steelers
- Steelers ink fourth-round pick Thomas to 4-year deal
- Steelers’ Clark: Polamalu third-best safety in NFL
- Steelers hope they have ringer in running back Bell
- Starks prepared to part ways with Steelers
- Robinson: Steelers’ draft grades well ... for now
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
He blew it once and now we will prepare a game plan for him. Sure is looking like coaching failures to me.
Submitted by: W Michael on Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It's about time that Tomlin recognized what he has in Dwyer, the baby bus. All the guy does is perform. In all seriousness, they had better get Hoyer ready because we can't go through another performance from Charlie like last Sunday and we don't need Big Ben crippled for the rest of the season or a career ender by playing him early. You know that he would drag himself out there from an ICU unit. I was strongly rooting for Charlie who has always been a winner for us but it is obvious that he no longer has "it". Under threw the long range targets and over threw the close ones. He threw better on the run than in the pocket (hint, hint). For you to say that the coaches are preparing a game plan for him makes me wonder why they didn't do it in last Sunday's trap game.