TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Tomlin: Starting lineup changes possible for Steelers

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Scott Brown
Monday, Dec. 7, 2009
 

Major changes could be coming to the Steelers as they try to snap a four-game losing streak and salvage their season.

Coach Mike Tomlin said today he will evaluate all aspects of his team and strongly hinted that changes will be made to the starting lineup and particularly at cornerback.

"We can't stay status quo in terms of how we're approaching this thing and expect the pattern of behavior and outcomes to change," Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference. "That's unrealistic, that's hoping. I'm not a hope-mentality person."

Asked how changes would go over on a veteran-laden team, Tomlin said, "I think they understand it and I think to a degree they'll agree with me."

The 6-6 Steelers will likely be without veteran wide receiver Hines Ward Thursday night in Cleveland.

Ward sustained a mild hamstring strain near the end of the Steelers' 27-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders, and the injury will probably sideline him because of the short week.

"He's going to be very questionable for this game," Tomlin said.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu (knee) has been all but ruled out for Thursday's game though Tomlin said he expects defensive end Travis Kirschke (calf) to return to action.

Cornerback William Gay will take a battery of neurological tests this week after sustaining a concussion against the Raiders. Tomlin has not ruled him out of the Browns game.

Even if Gay is able to play in Cleveland, he may not start.

Tomlin said rookie cornerbacks Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis will be given long looks as the Steelers try to shore up their shaky secondary. Tomlin acknowledged that even veteran cornerback Ike Taylor's job isn't safe as he ponders significant changes.

"I don't like where we are," Tomlin said. "Obviously we are a very average football team as we sit here today."

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  2. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  3. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  4. Steelers notebook: Tomlin says Latrobe session won’t differ from normal practice
  5. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  6. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  7. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  8. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  9. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  10. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  11. Steelers unfazed by Patriots quarterback Brady suspension saga