Steelers notebook: Offensive line still aching
None of the Steelers' five offensive line starters went through a full practice Wednesday.
Left guard Ramon Foster (high-ankle sprain), who is expected to miss the Detroit Lions' game Sunday, and center Fernando Velasco (knee) sat out practice. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (hip), right guard David DeCastro (ankle) and right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) were limited.
Defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) also did not practice.
Eye on Suh
The offensive line injuries are a concern given the physicality of a Lions' defensive line led by tackle Ndamukong Suh. Still, Detroit has only 15 sacks, one fewer than the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger's game plan against Suh? “Try not to upset him,” Roethlisberger said. “Obviously he's gotten penalties in the past and has been fined and things like that. I've never had a chance to play against him. After the game, we can talk about how I feel about it.”
No prizes for 2nd place
Asked about the Lions' relatively few sacks, coach Jim Schwartz said, “They don't give out trophies at the end of the year for the most number of sacks, or any other stat, other than who wins that last game (the Super Bowl). That's what we try to keep our eye on. You can't always affect how many sacks you get.”
Stafford settling in
The Lions protect quarterback Matthew Stafford (10 sacks) even better than Denver Broncos do Peyton Manning (13 sacks).
Stafford wasn't sacked during a 21-19 win over the Chicago Bears, who roughed up the Steelers, 40-23, earlier this season in Pittsburgh.
“He's probably one of the top five quarterbacks in the league,” cornerback Ike Taylor said of Stafford. “You want to talk about stats, he has stats every year: quarterback rating, throwing for yards and touchdowns. It's just now he's getting more comfortable, more confident.”
Ryan Clark was disappointed with the NFL Network report that Roethlisberger might ask the Steelers to trade him at some point.
“Winning football teams, (teams where) things are going well, you don't deal with those type of reports, situations,” Clark said. “When you're losing, those things happen. It's unfortunate it happened. It really dampened what was a solid win for us (over Buffalo) and a solid week.”
With the Steelers having three home games in December and four more games against the AFC North, linebacker Larry Foote is cautiously optimistic following the 23-10 win over Buffalo.
“We've got a lot of home games,” Foote said. “So we've just got to keep winning.”
Johnson in ‘league of his own'
Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said Detroit Lions star Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is the most imposing receiver he has faced in his 11 NFL seasons. Johnson has nine touchdown catches and a 17.1-yards-per-reception average.
“He's in a league of his own,” Taylor said. “There's no comparison.”
Not even with Randy Moss, who caught 23 TD passes for New England in 2007?
“Megatron is more of a jumper. Randy didn't get off his feet too many times,” Taylor said. “Randy outran coverages. Calvin will do the same thing, but with a 6-foot-5 frame, 230 (pounds), he doesn't mind going across the middle. Throw it deep to him, and (he'll) jump up and catch it at the high point, two or three people around him. That's what makes him Megatron.”
Brown reaches out
Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace is off to a rough start (41st in receptions, one TD catch) in the first season of his $60 million contract, so former Steelers teammate Antonio Brown texted him a good-luck message Wednesday.
“I think he's handling things well. I told him to have fun — and let him know he's one of the best when he's out there having fun and being positive,” said Brown, who leads the NFL with 67 catches. “I just reminded him to get back to that. He's a great player … a great dude to be around.”
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 notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- Stakes high as ex-Saints receiver Moore faces his former team
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Steelers notebook: Injury to RT Gilbert opens door for Adams to start
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Steelers realize that Brees-led Saints are always dangerous
- Polamalu, Taylor among Steelers starters returning for Sunday’s game vs. Saints
- Steelers notebook: Defense tasked with stopping Graham
- Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role