Despite age and injuries, Pittsburgh defense still going strong

November 15, 2012 | Luke Jones

The Ravens remained quiet on the status of their left guard position for Sunday’s game as offensive coordinator Cam Cameron praised second-year lineman Jah Reid’s work but wouldn’t commit to him receiving playing time over veteran Bobbie Williams.

“He’s just doing some good things, [but he is] not where he needs to be,” Cameron said. “We’ll see how the playing time works out.”

With Williams still limited in practice this week as he deals with a sore ankle, it would appear logical for the Ravens to go with the younger Reid, who excelled in run blocking against the Raiders. Cameron made it clear that the Ravens’ decision to insert Reid for the third offensive series against Oakland before playing him the rest of the way was not an experiment, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll remain in the starting lineup.

“We don’t have time to just play guys and test guys and see if they can help us,” Cameron said. “Our program is not built that way. Jah practiced well last week, and he went in the game and played like he practiced.”

Rookie kicker at Heinz

Justin Tucker’s 17-for-18 mark on field goal attempts has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, but the Texas rookie will face his biggest challenge to date by kicking at Heinz Field, considered by many as the most challenging stadium in which to kick in the NFL.

An open end zone and swirling winds often give nightmares to kickers, but special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg has been preparing the young kicker for the elements ahead of time as much as he can.

“We know we are going to be playing in Heinz Field in November,” Rosburg said. “We train for that during the whole course of the year. When we get to the game and pre-game warm-ups, that will be a big aspect of it, too. As all kickers do, they go assess the conditions at that time. That will be the next step for him.”

The forecast for Sunday calls for temperatures to be in the mid-40s with winds at 5 miles per hour.

Game ball for Rosburg

After the Ravens executed a fake field goal for a touchdown and return man Jacoby Jones ran a kickoff back 105 yards for a touchdown, Rosburg received a game ball that was presented by special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo following Sunday’s game.

It was the first game ball Rosburg had received in his 35-year coaching career.

“We’re the first ones in meetings, the first ones out on the practice fields,” said Rosburgh, who gave all credit to his players and fellow coaches. “And the guys were working really hard, and you see the progress that’s being made on a daily basis. It makes your heart soar when you see the rewards come to those players, and that’s what I felt best about.”

Odds & ends

The 49ers announced head coach Jim Harbaugh underwent a minor procedure for an irregular heartbeat on Thursday, but the organization expects him to return to the team’s training facility on Friday. John Harbaugh was not made available for comment in Owings Mills on Thursday. … The referee for Sunday night’s game will be Walt Anderson. … In Pittsburgh, the Ravens are 6-10 all-time in the regular season and 0-3 in the postseason. A win on Sunday night would give them three straight regular-season victories against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, which would tie the franchise’s personal best against their bitter rival (1999-2001).