Steelers notebook: Miller sees majority of snaps in his return
By Alan Robinson
Published: Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, 8:30 p.m.
• Tight end Heath Miller played 39 of a possible 66 snaps in his first game since tearing two knee ligaments and injuring a third Dec. 23. He caught three passes. “Obviously I wasn't in good enough shape to play every snap,” Miller said. “So were able to kind of platoon it a little bit.” Coach Mike Tomlin wasn't happy with his offensive line, mixing in Kelvin Beachum for 16 plays, but LT Mike Adams missed only three snaps and RT Marcus Gilbert 13, according to Pro Football Focus. Tomlin said, “We're going to turn the stones over in an effort to find a winning formula.”
• This is a rare 0-3 start by the Steelers, but it's not close to the worst in their history. They went 0-10 in 1944, dropped their first seven in 1941 and their first six in 1939 and 1968. “We won't fold,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “We're not a folding-type group. We're going to keep grinding. We're going to get this turned around.” The last time the Steelers were 0-3, in 2000, they won nine of their final 13, then went 13-3 in 2001.
• After scoring each of their first two touchdowns in the no-huddle offense, the Steelers made scant use of it Sunday. “Coach(Todd) Haley or whatever coach felt like we were moving the ball with the regular offense, so we just stayed out of it,” Ben Roethlisberger said. Roethlisberger threw for 406 yards, the fourth-most of his career, but the Steelers are winless the last six times he's thrown for 300 yards-plus.
• The Steelers have committed nine turnovers in three games, but that's hardly a team record; they had 16 through three games in 1941 and 1961 and 15 in 1958. Their turnover differential over the last two seasons is minus-19 (39 turnovers, 20 forced turnovers).
• OLB LaMarr Woodley picked up his second sack of the season, giving him 54 and moving him into fifth place in team history. Greg Lloyd had 531⁄2. Sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982.
• Woodley played 60 of 63 possible snaps, while rookie Jarvis Jones played 40 and Jason Worilds played 26. On offense, rookie WR Markus Wheaton still didn't get on the field much, playing eight snaps; slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery played 33. With Miller back, David Paulson played only 13 snaps at tight end after being on the field for all but two of 58 snaps in Cincinnati.
• The Steelers have allowed four rushing touchdowns, nearly half of the nine they gave up all last season.
• Since rushing for 134 yards against Baltimore on Nov. 18, the Steelers have run for more than 80 yards only four times. Their nine consecutive games of below 100 yards rushing are a team record, according to Elias.
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