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Steelers notebook: Locker's running ability troubles Tomlin

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By Alan Robinson
Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, 8:03 p.m.
 

• Titans quarterback Jake Locker sat out a 26-23 overtime win over the Steelers last season with a sore shoulder. He's healthy now, and his running ability concerns coach Mike Tomlin. “I'd imagine they've worked some on the read option, stuff that is in vogue in today's NFL,” Tomlin said. “He definitely has the skill set to do it.” Locker ran for 291 yards last season.

• Rookie linebacker Terence Garvin, an undrafted free agent from West Virginia, was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. First-year wide receiver Kashif Moore was added to the practice squad. Offensive lineman Cody Wallace was added because he can play center; otherwise, Kelvin Beachum — who hasn't played the position — would have been Maurkice Pouncey's backup.

• Newly added punter Zoltan Mesko is expected to replace Drew Butler as kicker Shaun Suisham's holder. Mesko's 2012 punting stats were similar to Butler's, but he is more experienced and is a proven cold-weather kicker. He punted in college at Michigan.

• Despite weight issues, Jonathan Dwyer didn't make it past the final roster cuts more because of the Steelers' depth at running back than his own liabilities, Tomlin said. “It was really about what we thought the other guys could give us,” Tomlin said.

• Antonio Brown will begin a third consecutive season as the primary punt return man, with rookie Markus Wheaton in the mix. LaRod Stephens-Howling and Felix Jones will return kickoffs.

• The Titans added a familiar face: former Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard, called “a natural leader” by Tomlin. “He is also the type of player that infuses a certain type of enthusiasm into a defense that I think is helpful to any group,” Tomlin said. “He plays with great demeanor and passion.”

— Alan Robinson

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