Steelers notebook: Packers RB Lacy unfazed by Tomlin's 'easy decision' comment
By Alan Robinson
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 8:30 p.m.
Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy, already over the 1,000-yard mark, isn't bothered that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said drafting Le'Veon Bell in the second round over him was “easy.”
“I don't have any reaction to it,” Lacy said. “Le'Veon is a great back. They picked who they wanted, and I landed in a great place. I'm happy where I am.”
Coach details block form
Special teams coach Danny Smith shows videos that illustrate how blocks can be thrown legally during returns, including those on kickers and punters.
“He tells us just to play the best we can and be smart, if possible,” Stevenson Sylvester said. “There were some incidents they showed us a couple of weeks ago of guys in positions to make a hit, and they did a kind of box-out technique. But it's hard.”
Keisel limited in return
Defensive end Brett Keisel has played only seven defensive snaps in five weeks because of a painful foot condition. But he practiced Wednesday on a limited basis, as did right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle). Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (shoulder) was held out.
Full participants were left tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee), nose tackle Steve McLendon (ankle) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot). McLendon missed the Bengals game.
Practice squad OT lost
Offensive tackle Joe Long, who had been on the Steelers practice squad all season, was claimed by the Bears. Replacing him is former Bills guard Bryant Browning.
LB Woodley grades high
LaMarr Woodley didn't have a sack during the second half of a season that was ended prematurely by two calf injuries. But he grades out as the second-best player on the Steelers defense by Pro Football Focus, a player evaluation service that is subscribed to by multiple NFL teams.
Defensive end Cam Heyward (13.1) is top-rated, followed by Woodley (10.8), cornerback Willie Gay (9.8) and linebacker Jason Worilds (9.6).
Bitter memories for Ben
What does Ben Roethlisberger remember about the Super Bowl against Green Bay three seasons ago?
“Losing,” he said. “That's all that matters. That's all you remember from a game like that.”
And, he said, winning Sunday wouldn't do anything to make up for that.
No looking ahead for ‘D'
The Steelers, as currently configured, could be down to their final two games together.
“We'll see what happens,” Heyward said. “I don't know what the team is going to look like next year, we're just going to take it (the last two games) for what it's worth.”
QB Rodgers still not cleared
Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked on a conference call if Aaron Rodgers or Matt Flynn would be his quarterback against the Steelers.
His response? “I'm not telling you who's playing.”
Rodgers (broken collarbone) was limited in practice Wednesday and still hasn't been cleared by team doctors, and he might not be ready by Sunday. He hasn't played since Nov. 4.
“This is a big decision. We want to do the right thing,” McCarthy said. “Everybody understands the stakes, what we have in front of us as a football team … (but) we have a protocol and a system that we could through with every player, and we especially want to stay true to that with Aaron.”
Draft snub still motivates Brown
Four years after being drafted in the sixth round, Antonio Brown remains bothered he went so low.
“I don't know, I'm not a scout,” he said when asked how he dropped into a late round. “I try not to think about that, either. It just stirs up more difficult thoughts.”
Brown, in position to break several franchise single-season receiving records, is drawing encouragement from Hines Ward, whose 112 catches in 2002 are one such record. “I think deep down he probably doesn't me to break it, but he is always encouraging me to break it,” Brown said.
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