The Steelers will practice from 115pm-315pm Eastern Time today as they prepare for the Carolina Panthers.
-Ben Roethlisberger admitted yesterday on his radio show that he is still sore from Courtney Upshaw’s first quarter hit Thursday night. Ben was not crisp throughout the game like he usually is and I have to believe that was a big reason why.
-Dri Archer (ankle) and Steve McLendon (shoulder) were the only injury mentions by Mike Tomlin yesterday. Both are considered questionable right now.
-The Steelers have 11 ‘long plays’ this season while their opponents also have 11 as well. These are classified as passes/runs/KO returns over 25 yards and punt returns over 15.
-On 10 punts so far this season, Brad Wing is averaging 44.7 yards per kick. Three have found their way inside the 20 yard line.
-Opposing quarterbacks (Hoyer and Flacco) have an average QB rating of 102.
-Some might consider this week’s game as “Old Home Week.” Mike Mitchell was of course a Panther last season while Fernando Velasco and Jerricho Cotchery were members of the Steelers.
-Pittsburgh and Carolina meet for only the sixth time in the regular season. Pittsburgh leads the series 4-1 with their only loss coming in Carolina in 1996. In that game, Kordell Stewart had an 80-yard touchdown run but also threw two interceptions in the 18-14 loss.
-All systems seem to be go for rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant. He should be active this week for the first time.
-Here’s yet another article on the leaky Steelers’ run defense.
-Mike Tomlin press conferences rarely produce anything interesting or humorous but yesterday was a bit of an exception. When asked about Marcus Gilbert giving up four sacks in two games, Tomlin said, “I expect him to come back fighting like Rocky.” I find this funny for two reasons; first, Rocky usually gets the crap beat out of him whether he wins or not and secondly, the Broadway musical ‘Rocky’ tanked.
-In terms of Gilbert losing his job, who is the alternative? Are they going to go with Mike Adams? Sure, he’ll help the running game, but he’ll be no better if not worse in pass protection.
-It’s really interesting when you think about the problems the Steelers have right now because they all come back to the most basic of fundamentals in football. Blocking, tackling and taking care of the football.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on Trib-Live Radio