Steelers cornerback McFadden feeling way
It's been a frustrating season for Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden, who limped through the preseason before working his way into the lineup for last Sunday's season-opener at Baltimore.
Still, McFadden isn't at full strength. He practiced only sparingly Friday in preparation for Sunday's home-opener against Seattle at Heinz Field.
McFadden is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury and saw limited duty yesterday. There's a chance the seven-year veteran could be scratched from the lineup in favor of backups Keenan Lewis or William Gay.
"I was just practicing, so I don't know whether I was on the first or second team," said Lewis, in his third season. "I'll be ready because I've been preparing all week."
While McFadden didn't appear to labor as he headed toward the trainer's room, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau distributed reps almost evenly this week, working both Lewis and Gay.
McFadden remains optimistic.
"I feel pretty good, but I'm not back in the groove yet," McFadden said. "It was good getting the blood flowing and getting the real-game feeling last week.
"It was frustrating not being able to compete. I missed a lot of reps and practice time, but I was trying to stay in tune mentally."
McFadden, who missed the entire preseason with a groin injury, has been plagued by nagging injuries the past two seasons — including a right pectoral muscle injury during last year's preseason. He sustained a hip injury in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLV.
"(McFadden) is a veteran football player who understands that injuries are as much a part of the game as blocking and tackling," said coach Mike Tomlin. "He's dealt with the injuries in the past, and I didn't have any concerns about letting him play against Baltimore."
The Steelers' secondary is likely to catch a break against the Seahawks, who were largely inept offensively in a 33-17 loss to San Francisco. Seattle amassed 219 yards from scrimmage, including 197 yards passing from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who had an efficiency rating of 78.3.
"(Jackson) has been banged around a bit, but he's been hanging tough," said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. "He's been very effective when we've given him time to throw the football."
The Steelers are confident they can pressure Jackson. If the Seahawks can't get a spark from a running game that averaged 2.9 yards per carry against San Francisco, Jackson will have no choice but to air it out.
The Steelers' cornerbacks might not be pressed in man coverage against the Seattle receiving corps — including Mike Williams and Doug Baldwin, who caught a 55-yard touchdown pass last week — but McFadden suggested the secondary will be criticized no matter how it performs.
"We've had a lot of success with pretty much the same guys in the secondary," McFadden said. "I guess a lot of blame goes on the secondary, and that's the case with a lot of teams."
The entire defense took the blame for the 35-7 loss to Baltimore.
"I don't care how people characterize parts of this team and things of that nature -- that's not my business," Tomlin said. "We are a work in progress based on the video evidence we put out there last Sunday."
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 to bring LB Harrison out of retirement
- Steelers defense must replace three injured starters
- Steelers Lookahead: Struggling 0-3 Bucs come to town
- Steelers notebook: Running game kept Panthers guessing
- Steelers notebook: Rooney says owners support Goodell
- Game changers: Turnover leads to elusive TD for Steelers
- Offense awakens to lead Steelers past Panthers
- Steelers intrigued by athleticism of free agent Jones
- Steelers notebook: Big Ben sees increase in throwing out of shotgun
- Play to watch: Inside zone read slant/bubble
- Robinson: Study shows NFL troublemakers don’t get hurt in wallet