Despite age and injuries, Pittsburgh defense still going strong

November 15, 2012 | Luke Jones

Despite age and injuries, Pittsburgh defense still going strong

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).

 

 

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5 Comments For This Post

  1. PghSteve Says:

    Despite all of the talk of the vaunted Ravens defense over the past several years, the fact is that since 2004 the Steelers’ defense has been #1 in total defense (yards allowed), #1 in rush defense, and #1 in scoring defense (this accorind to ESPN). What is the one thing that has not changed since 2004? The defensive coordinator. Mr. Lebeau is, IMO, the best DC in the business over the past 8 years.

    (L.J. – I wouldn’t exactly say the Baltimore defense has overshadowed Pittsburgh’s in the way you’re implying (both units have received plenty of media love), but I do agree about Dick LeBeau. One of great defensive minds in NFL history, no question.)

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    Unitas used to chew LeBeaus a** as a player in Detroit. He had some of his best games against them. Night Train Lane,Karas,and then Lem Barney where the stars on the Lions in the 60s not Dick. In fact he should not be in the HOF IMO.On the other hand Mike Curtis who was 3 times the player Dick was SHOULD BE!!!

  3. PghSteve Says:

    I am not sure how Mike Curtis figures into the discusion of Mr. Lebeau as a DC. However, Mr. Lebeau did have 62 interceptions (3rd all time when he retired, still tied for 8th, and 2 more than Mr. Reed has to date. He had 7 interceptions each against 2 HOF QBs, John Unitas and Bart Starr. He led the Lions in interceptions 4 times, played in 171 consecutive games, and was named to 3 Pro Bowls. Mr. Lebeau is one of only 12 players to return a fumble and an Int for a TD in the same game. Mr. Lane, who played 6 seasons with Mr. Lebeau, had 6 more interceptions than Mr. Lebeau. Sounds HOF worthy to me.

    Mr. Curtis had 25 interceptions and 22 sacks in his career. made 4 Pro Bowls, was named AFC DPOY in 1970, and played for 3 teams in his career. He was a fine player, perhaps HOF worthy, but certainly not 3 times the player Mr. Lebeau was.

    Unitas was the best QB to play the game. He chewed a lot of defensive backs’ rears. Don’t see why you feel the need to denigrate the career of a HOF cornerback because a linebacker on your team is not in the Hall of Fame.

    At any rate, not much argument that Mr. Lebeau is a better DC than Mr. Curtis.

  4. unitastoberry Says:

    @ PittstrollSteve I saw both of those guys play as a kid. LeBeau can’t hold Mike’s jock. Everyone in BALTIMORE knows Mikes not in the HOF because he was not fond of the players union and crossed the picket line when the first work stoppage occured during a pre-season in the late 60s.He was and is being BLACKLISTED. BTW Mike should have been MVP in Superbowl 5 not some scumbag from the losing team Dallas. Mike won a NFL championship in 68 and a Superbowl in 71.Bottom line is LeBeau was a loser as a player. The Lions are losers since Bobby Lane was there ok a few playoffs because of Barry Saunders. Mike was an OLB and MLB he had 25 interceptions many from the middle not the edge oh and Mike had more sacks than 22 because the league never kept statistics on sacks until 1982. His real ability was bone crushing hits and leadership on the defensive side of the ball. LeBeau was passed over on the intial ballot and had to wait until the veteran committee voted him in ironically at the same time he was winning Superbowls as a DC with the vaunted Stillers. I think if he was not in this position he would still be looking at Canton as a spectator. Now go back to Pittsburgh.

  5. PghSteve Says:

    @unitastoberry: Thanks for the rude comments directed at me. I can see how I deserved that for the many rude comments directed at you in my post above.

    I, too, saw both of these athletes play when I was in high school. Since I was living in Pittsburgh at the time and neither a Colts nor Lions fan, I don’t have vivid memories of either player. I do recall watching Mr. Curtis quite regularly when he played against the Steelers in the 70s. Quite a football player, indeed. HOF worthy, perhaps. I still do not see the connection between Mr. Lebeau being in the HOF and Mr. Curtis not being in. BTW, the sack total listed for Mr. Curtis are from records kept by the Colts and the Seahawks (Redskins do not have any records of Mr. Curtis having a sack for them.)

    Sad that you feel the need to disparage a fine football player and coach in order to put forth your opinion that Mr. Curtis should be in the HOF, instead of “looking on as a spectator.”

    And I think I will be staying in Baltimore for a while, as this is where I raised my children and hope to soon spoil my grandchildren.

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