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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense2nd114.9 (13th)300.5 (2nd)
Defense20th99.3 (6th)255.2 (27th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

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

The Washington Redskins signed LB Curtis Gatewood from the Steelers practice squad. The Steelers signed LB Jimmy Williams to replace him.

PLAYER NOTES

--QB Ben Roethlisberger needs 379 passing yards over the final three games to break the franchise's single-season record of 3,724, set by Terry Bradshaw in 1979.

--SS Troy Polamalu will miss his ninth game of the season. He still leads the team with three interceptions.

--QB Dennis Dixon has apparently become the backup to Ben Roethlisberger. Charlie Batch came back from a broken wrist to find himself No. 3 last week and this week.

--K Jeff Reed is 18 of 19 in field goal attempts inside 50 yards this season. Among his four misses are attempts from 52, 51 and 56 yards. He also missed one from 49.

--WR Santonio Holmes has taken over the punt return duties from Stefan Logan, although Mewelde Moore might continue to field punts that are deep in Steelers' territory, as he has done much of the season.

GAME PLAN
Mike Tomlin laid down the law to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on Monday, and that could mean more runs against Green Bay. Tomlin was not happy with all the passes Arians had Ben Roethlisberger throw in Cleveland -- 32, with another eight would-be attempts ending in sacks. The Steelers ran only 22 times. The Steelers expect the Packers to throw, because that is their strength and Pittsburgh's defense has been vulnerable in that area.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Packers WRs Donald Driver and Greg Jennings vs. Steelers CBs Ike Taylor, William Gay and Joe Burnett. Pittsburgh corners have had trouble with average receivers, what will they do with good ones?

Packers RB Ryan Grant vs. Steelers run defense. Pittsburgh is ranked No. 1 in NFL against the run, even after yielding 171 rushing yards to the Browns.

Packers rookie OLB Clay Matthews vs. Steelers LT Max Starks and QB Ben Roethlisberger. Matthews has eight sacks; Big Ben went down eight times in Cleveland.

INJURY IMPACT
SS Troy Polamalu (knee) is out. Tyrone Carter again will replace him with lots of help from Ryan Mundy. ... G Chris Kemoeatu (wrist, knee) will not play. Rookie Ramon Foster will start.

--WR Hines Ward went through his first full practice Thursday. He has a hamstring injury that limited his effectiveness last week vs. Cleveland.

--C Justin Hartwig missed his second practice after having a knee drained of fluid. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said he is optimistic he will play Sunday. Doug Legursky backs him up.

--WR Limas Sweed, No. 4 on the depth chart, missed his second day, home sick. He has one catch this season, in the third game.

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

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