Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense4th99.7 (23rd)281.5 (2nd)
Defense6th102.9 (9th)200.8 (4th)

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.


--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.

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.

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.


--DE Travis Kirschke did not practice for a second day after having soreness in his left calf. Kirschke played for the first time in four games last Sunday after he tore a calf muscle.

--G Chris Kemoeatu went through a full practice for the second day and likely will return to start vs. Oakland. Kemoeatu missed one game with a sprained MCL.

--QB Ben Roethlisberger is 89-of-144 for 885 yards, six touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the five games he started after missing the previous game. That comes to a 64.15 passer rating.

--QB Dennis Dixon will serve as the No. 2 quarterback Sunday for the first time in his two-year career after receiving rave reviews from coaches and teammates following his first NFL start.

--CB William Gay has come under flak for his poor pass coverage, which may be one reason he is second on the team in tackles. Even coach Mike Tomlin said teams are likely to continue to target him.

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