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Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense6th113.0 (17th)289.0 (5th)
Defense19th174.0 (29th)182.0 (6th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

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

RB Frank Summers, a fifth-round draft pick of the Steelers in 2009, signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent. He was on Pittsburgh's practice squad in 2010. The Steelers re-signed S Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, another member of their practice squad in 2010.

Coach Mike Tomlin is searching for a secondary coach and is reportedly interviewing former Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil for the job.

OFFSEASON STRATEGY

There have been reports that LaMarr Woodley expects to be "franchised" but the Steelers may be reluctant to do that, first of all because they do not want to pay him more than $10 million that would require in 2011. Woodley may just be too expensive for them and they did draft Jason Worilds on the second round last year as an outside linebacker and he could step in for Woodley if he leaves as a free agent.

That may be their only decision before March 4 because they are a team of patience and with no CBA it requires even more patience this year.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Cornerback: Ike Taylor can become a UFA but even if they re-sign him, they need at least one more good corner because they do not have another good corner and the good passing teams exploited that the past season, including Green Bay in the Super Bowl.

2. Offensive tackle: Their two starters both were hurt and had surgeries - Max Starks (neck) and Willie Colon (ruptured Achilles). If both return in good health, the need eases but there is no guarantee they will and Colon will be a UFA. Flozell Adams will turn 36 and he's due a $5 million salary. The others are not deemed competent fulltime starters.

3. Defensive line: Ziggy Hood, drafted in 2009, played well for injured Aaron Smith but the Steelers need to find another starter-in-waiting either for NT Casey Hampton, who will be 34 before the start of next season, or DE Brett Keisel, who will be 33.

4. Linebacker: LaMarr Woodley may leave as a UFA, which would leave his spot to rookie second-round pick Jason Worilds but they have no backups on the outside and James Harrison will be 33 in May. It's time to get another linebacker-in-waiting.

MEDICAL WATCH
LB James Harrison had scheduled "minor" lower back surgery postponed on Monday because of a fever. The surgery will be rescheduled.

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