After the bye week , the NFL made us wait an extra day before getting back to Steeler Football. I have a feeling it will be worth the wait. Normally, the bye week is useful this late in the season because it helps injured players get back on the field. Unfortunately, that isn't the case for the Steelers. Our D will be missing 4 starters tonight. Aaron Smith we know won't be playing for the rest of the season. However, we weren't certain about his replacement, Travis Kirschke. It now looks like he won't be playing along with Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Clark. The bye helped one defensive player get back to near full strength, Troy Polamalu. Luckily for the Steelers, the Broncos offensive is not their strength. Hood, Eason and Sonny Harris will fill in the spot emptied by Smith and Kirschke and Keyron Fox takes over for Timmons. He has played well this season, especially his key pick six against Minnesota. Tyrone Carter will take Clark's spot.
Clark is an interesting story. The Steelers have been playing games all week, saying he might play but anyone who is familiar with what happened the last time the Steelers were in Denver, realizes there is no way he suits up tonight. On our last visit to Mile High, Clark, who suffers from sickle cell anemia, which was aggravated by the high altitude, had to have his spleen removed, lost 30 pounds and missed the remainder of the season (and nearly died). Clark has been practicing all week with the team. Officially there has not been any word from the Steelers regarding his status for the game tonight. It seems like, Clark really wants to play in this game, but ultimately the decision will be made by Coach Tomlin. I doubt that he would risk the life of one of his players for one regular season game. Ty Carter is a decent back up and I think his style of play is much more suited for filling in for Ryan Clark than it was for filling in for Troy.
Two Steezbros will be at the game tonight so check back for pictures and stories tomorrow. Sorry you can't join us Alex, we will miss you.
Here are some links to peruse until kickoff tonight:
The PG has a bunch of stories analyzing matchups for tonight and reliving games past. HERE
Pre-Game Zone Blitz from BTSC. Always a good read. HERE
A comparison of how Mike Tomlin and Josh McDaniels career paths are similar. HERE
A video preview of tonight's game from AFC Bloger, James Walker. HERE
5 keys for the Steelers. HERE 5 Keys for the Broncos. HERE
Enjoy the game tonight. It should be a good one. GO STEEZ!!!!