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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense3rd127.1 (9th)291.1 (4th)
Defense16th107.8 (11th)250.1 (19th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

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

The Steelers signed former Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy on Tuesday along with veteran linebacker Rocky Boiman. They released linebacker Donovan Woods and veteran cornerback Keiwan Ratliff. They released running back Justin Vincent from their practice squad and replaced him with offensive lineman Jonathan Palmer. They signed QB Tyler Palko to the practice squad after he cleared the 48-hour CFL waivers.

PLAYER NOTES

--SS Troy Polamalu did not practice on Wednesday and while he is not officially out, he will not play in Baltimore. This will be the second game Polamalu has missed with a sprained PCL and the sixth he has missed this season.

--G Ramon Foster, an undrafted rookie from Tennessee, will make his first NFL start for injured Chris Kemoeatu a left guard. Foster has been ahead of third-round draft pick Kraig Urbik since training camp. Urbik has not dressed for a game.

--LB Keyaron Fox has a wide lead in special teams tackles with 19. Fox also has started three games for Lawrence Timmons at ILB.

--RB Mewelde Moore likely would be the emergency QB if both quarterbacks were hurt on Sunday. Moore completed his only pass for a 6-yard TD this season.

--DE Travis Kirschke went through a limited practice on Wednesday and could return to play after missing the past three games with a torn calf muscle.

GAME PLAN
The Steelers would love to run against Baltimore to keep Ben Roethlisberger out of harm's way as much as they can, but that may not be possible. The Ravens have the fifth-best run defense in the NFL and in three games last season the Steelers managed no more than 91 yards with an average of 71 yards per game. On defense, they will play it pretty straight because of the Ravens' ability to run. They also will play plenty of cover two because of Joe Flacco's arm and Troy Polamalu's absence.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Ravens rookie RT Michael Oher vs. Steelers LOLB LaMarr Woodley. In three games, Woodley had 3.5 sacks against the Ravens last season.

Ravens LOLB Jarret Johnson vs. Steelers RT Willie Colon. Johnson leads the Ravens with six sacks and Colon allowed a pressure that caused Ben Roethlisberger to throw an interception from the 10 last Sunday.

INJURY IMPACT
Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu is out with a sprained MCL and backup quarterback Charlie Batch is out with a broken left wrist. Undrafted rookie Ramon Foster will start at left guard and No. 3 QB Dennis Dixon moves up to No. 2. The Steelers will go with just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster with Tyler Palko added to the practice squad. Troy Polamalu will miss his second straight game with a sprained PCL and Tyrone Carter again will replace him.

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

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