Steelers notebook: Newly acquired tackle Brown goes on IR
In a reversal of form, the Steelers' offense — even without much of a running game — is outperforming the defense, according to the Pro Football Focus efficiency rankings.
The Steelers are 15th offensively despite a 30th-place ranking in rushing but only 22nd defensively, including 27th against the run. Based on yardage allowed, the Steelers are a much higher sixth in the league defensive rankings.
• Inside linebacker Sean Spence, whose career was endangered by a major knee injury even before he played in an NFL game, will come off the physically unable to perform list to practice this week. It's still not certain if he will play this season, something linebackers coach Keith Butler said last spring would require a “miracle.”
• Coach Mike Tomlin offered substantial praise to running back Le'Veon Bell, even though he managed only 34 yards on 16 carries against the Jets. “I thought he did a great job of picking (holes) and putting the ball where it was supposed to be and running with the type of demeanor that we desire,” Tomlin said. “Obviously the numbers don't exhibit great success.”
• Tomlin apparently isn't concerned that safety Ryan Clark recently critiqued Ben Roethlisberger 's performance during an ESPN appearance. Tomlin said, “Ryan is a very seasoned communicator, particularly with the media. I don't spend a lot of time worrying about those interactions.”
• Wide receiver Markus Wheaton (broken pinkie finger) will miss a second successive game, but defensive Brett Keisel (chest muscle) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (knee inflammation) should be ready. Tight end Matt Spaeth (foot) won't return to practice this week.
• The Steelers have all but shelved the offensive zone blocking scheme they began implementing with considerable attention last spring. Tomlin blamed the injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey and Bell. “We're going to lean to the strength of the men we work with,” Tomlin said. “If that means we're not going to run things that we've spent time executing, then so be it.”
• Roethlisberger cautioned Emmanuel Sanders about somersaulting into the end zone even before Tomlin banned his players from doing so. “Anything could have happened. ... It blows my mind when those guys flip into the end zone,” he said.
— Alan Robinson
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Steelers notebook: Defense tasked with stopping Graham
- Steelers realize that Brees-led Saints are always dangerous
- Steelers notebook: Linebackers on the spot against Saints offense
- Polamalu, Taylor among Steelers starters returning for Sunday’s game vs. Saints
- Play of nose tackles could have impact on Steelers’ stretch run
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth