Steelers notebook: Redman eager to face ex-teammate Harrison
By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 6:57 p.m.
Steelers running back Isaac Redman predicted things will be interesting Monday night in Cincinnati, partly because of facing former Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
“Obviously with James they have a nice corps of linebackers,” said Redman, who is expected start ahead of Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer. “We'll have our hands full this week.
“You see James on ‘Hard Knocks,' and they take him way too seriously than we took him here. I know he'll be pumped up, and there will be a lot of cursing on the field because I know how he is. I can't wait to go out there.”
Velasco a quick study
Center Fernando Velasco is listed as the backup on the depth chart but appears to have made inroads in taking over the job from Kelvin Beachum, who stepped in to replace the injured Maurkice Pouncey last weekend.
Velasco said he's getting used to the terminology and exchanges with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I have to get comfortable with the way he prefers it,” Velasco said. “I would never ask him to change what he does if I get in a situation where I have to play.”
If he does play, he is certain he can pick up the nuances of Todd Haley's offense.
“It's like the same schemes we ran in Tennessee,” he said. “It's a matter of getting the terminology down.”
Dwyer looks for encore
Jonathan Dwyer is back just in time. In Week 7 last season, Dwyer had a career-best 122 yards against the Bengals in a 24-17 victory at Paul Brown Stadium.
“This is another opportunity for me,” said Dwyer, who was added to the roster this week after LaRod Stephens-Howling was lost for the season with a knee injury. “I'm not sure if I'll start, but I'll be ready to play.”
Lewis impressed with Wilson
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis liked what he saw last week from Steelers linebacker Kion Wilson after Wilson replaced the injured Larry Foote, who is out for the season with a biceps injury. Wilson gets his first career start against the Bengals, and Lewis isn't taking him for granted.
“They've lost two of their stalwarts, but I thought Wilson stepped in and did a fine job,” Lewis said. “I was impressed with the way he put his face in tackles and how got off the blocks. He's watched everyone else do it. Now it's his shot.”
Odds and ends
Cornerback Cortez Allen missed practice for second day in a row Friday and likely will sit out Monday night if he misses Saturday's practice. Allen, who has an ankle injury, may be replaced in the lineup by William Gay. ... Running back Le'Veon Bell's sat out again because of his foot injury. ... Tight end Heath Miller (knee) was limited in practice, while cornerback Curtis Brown (illness), defensive tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring) and kicker Shaun Suisham (hamstring) returned to full duty.
Taylor eyes Green
Cornerback Ike Taylor knows Cincinnati Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green is out to prove no one can cover him the way Taylor did in the teams' first meeting last season.
Taylor held Green to one catch — an 8-yard TD. Green was unstoppable in the rematch with Taylor sidelined with an ankle injury. He had 10 catches for 116 yards in a 13-10 win at Heinz Field.
“I guarantee you they're going to throw the ball to Green at least 13 times,” Taylor said. “They are going to make sure that (one-reception game) never happens again.”
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis insisted the focus won't be primarily on the Taylor-Green battle.
“It's important we do a good job in the pass game no matter who's getting the football,” Lewis said.
Said Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton: “We expect him to follow A.J. around, but we expect A.J. to win (the matchup).”
Ben on Bengals' minds
Lewis marvels at the job Ben Roethlisberger has done against the Bengals: Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to nine wins at Paul Brown Stadium.
“He's a dynamic quarterback who has the ability to deliver the ball if it has to be timely,” Lewis said. “If he has to avoid the rush, he does that. We've watched him do it on one leg and watched him do it beat-up with a bad hand. When you have football team, it rallies around a guy like that.”
Ralph N. Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @RalphPaulk_Trib.
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