Injuries: Moving closer to health. Troy was slowed during the bye week with some rib discomfort. They fully expect Troy to play. Big Ben has a fractured thumb, not as bad as someone like Cutler’s injury. They expect Ben top play this week. LaMarr Woodley has been back and working out his hamstring injury in a limited capacity. They are taking his participation day to day. Manny Sanders has been making a comeback as well, but again they are assessing his development each week. They are not prepared to rule anyone “out” officially at this time.
Due to the unique nature of the Chiefs’ current QB and his relationship to the Steelers, Tomlin spent a good amount of time talking about Tyler Palko and his abilities. Tomlin says Palko is a good QB with the ability to learn very quickly and study a playbook quickly. Palko spent some time with the Steelers, so Tomlin says he’s aware of how well Palko can play, even though last week and this coming week will be the only two starts in Palko’s short beginning NFL career. Palko is also sort of a Pittsburgh hometown hero in a way, since he was born and raised in Pittsburgh.
Both the Chiefs’ RBs average about 4.6 yds per carry, per Tomlin. Since they will be playing a young rookie QB, Tomlin is assuming they will rely heavily on their running back core. Stopping the run against Kansas City will be key.
Tomlin did his homework this week, and spent time memorizing everyone on the Chiefs’ roster, which he then names in order and lists each of their strengths. The Chiefs do have some weapons and great players on their team, they were supposed to be very competitive this year, but after the early loss of Jamaal Charles, the team really hasn’t been the same. Now, with a QB change, they’re looking as a long transition time until they can start fresh next season.
This really should be a relatively easy game this week, but we all know how the Steelers respond to games they are expected to win. They are always keeping us on the edge of our seats, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs make a game of it. The Steelers are coming off of a bye week and should have little trouble beating them to a pulp. You just never know.
Tomlin says Ben’s hands have been pretty strong in practice so far, and that he looked good while making some throws today in practice. Good news for Steeler fans.
Apparently Tomlin and the other staff with the Steelers had a sit down talk with the Commissioner of the NFL. It was a meeting born out of a talk Dan Rooney was having with the Commissioner. Tomlin wasn’t specific on the topics of conversation, but I have to guess that the frequent flags and fines of the Steelers players was on the table.
Despite Willy Gay’s ice cold pick last week, the Steelers’ turnover differential is still dismal. Tomlin says we’re lucky to be sitting at 7-3 based on how many turnovers we’ve committed so far this season. Ball protection and creating splash plays on defense, will be key to turning the playoff corner and possibly even winning out.
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