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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense4th143.8 (5th)268.2 (8th)
Defense15th113.2 (15th)239.5 (16th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

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

A change in the practice squad was made Wednesday. Fan-popular rookie halfback Isaac "Redzone" Redman was released and two were brought back: RB Justin Vincent and DT Steve McClendon. The Steelers also released CB Corey Ivy and signed CB Anthony Madison.

PLAYER NOTES

--K Jeff Reed has made his past 11 field goal tries and is 15 of 18 overall since missing 3 of 5 in Weeks 2-3, both 3-point losses.

--CB Anthony Madison, who led the Steelers with 25 special teams tackles last season, was re-signed Wednesday. They released him before the season despite his exceptional play on special teams and he went on to play in Cleveland and Indianapolis, which released him Tuesday.

--RB Willie Parker and not Rashard Mendenhall would serve as the third-down back if Mewelde Moore cannot play because of swelling in an ankle.

--WR Limas Sweed will suit up for the remaining games after the Steelers released veteran Sean McDonald last week. Sweed, though, has played little even though he dressed the past four games as the fourth receiver. He has had one pass thrown toward him in that time with no receptions.

--CB Ike Taylor has one interception in his past 30 games, including playoffs, and that came against Dallas last Dec. 27, with no return yards.

GAME PLAN
The Steelers ran a season-high 38 times last week with Dennis Dixon at QB. The Raiders have the 31st-ranked run defense. Ben Roethlisberger may be rusty. Do the math. On defense, the Steelers will go after Bruce Gradkowski. They sacked Joe Flacco five times last week.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Raiders DE Richard Seymour vs. Steelers RT Willie Colon. Seymour has just four sacks but he can still crank it up.

Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha vs. Steelers WR Santonio Holmes. Teams normally try to stay away from throwing to Asomugha's side.

Raiders KR Jonathan Holland vs. Steelers kick coverage. Holland averages only 19.6 yards per return but good things can happen when returning against the Steelers.

INJURY IMPACT
SS Troy Polamalu will miss his third straight game and Tyrone Carter again will replace him. LG Chris Kemoeatu looks as though he will start after missing one game with a sprained MCL. QB Ben Roethlisberger went through a full practice Wednesday and should be fine to play after missing last week with post-concussion headaches. DE Travis Kirschke had soreness in his calf after returning to play Sunday (he missed three games). He did not practice Wednesday. QB Charlie Batch (broken wrist) will miss his second straight game.

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

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