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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense19th86.4 (26th)251.1 (10th)
Defense13th115.6 (18th)221.6 (10th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

The Sports Xchange
 
Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes · Inside slant
 

The Steelers released backup LB Arnold Harrison and signed LB Donovan Woods from their practice squad, in the interest of improving their kickoff coverage. They signed LB Curtis Gatewood of Vanderbilt to their practice squad.

PLAYER NOTES

--SS Troy Polamalu did not practice again on Thursday and will not play vs. Kansas City on Sunday. He has a sprained left PCL.

--DE Travis Kirschke did not practice one day after going through a limited practice and is unlikely to play Sunday. Kirschke has missed the past two games with a torn calf muscle.

--RB Willie Parker will get every third series on Sunday if things go according to plan, said Bruce Arians. The Steelers' offensive coordinator admitted that was the plan the past two games, when things did not work out for keeping the planned rotation for one reason or another.

--TE Heath Miller will be used more on passing plays vs. the Chiefs this Sunday. Arians said Miller was kept in to block more often vs. the Bengals and that is why he had only 26 yards receiving, on four catches.

--WR Limas Sweed will dress for his third straight game and has worked his way back into the coaches' favor after three straight weeks of strong practices, Arians noted.

GAME PLAN
The Steelers hope to jump to an early lead and then grind away at Kansas City's 27th-ranked run defense. On defense, they will go after Matt Cassel, who has been sacked 29 times. The Steelers really do not want to give up cheap touchdowns because they believe that is the only way they can lose to the Chiefs. They've allowed touchdown returns of one sort or another in seven straight games.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Chiefs LT Branden Albert vs. Steelers ROLB James Harrison. Albert, a first-round pick in 2008, is struggling. Harrison has nine sacks.

Chiefs KR Jamaal Charles vs. Steelers kickoff team. Pittsburgh's coverage unit has allowed three TDs in the past four games.

Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall vs. Chiefs run defense. Mendenhall, who has 564 yards in the past six games, goes up against the NFL's No. 27 rush defense.

INJURY IMPACT
With Troy Polamalu (knee) out, Tyrone Carter will make his fifth start at strong safety this season. Left DE Travis Kirschke was limited in practice Wednesday but likely will miss his third straight game. Nick Eason replaces him.

Copyright (C) 2009 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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