Notebook: Steelers feeling good


By Teresa Varley

After dealing with a rash of injuries early in the season, the Steelers find themselves pretty healthy right now. The only two players head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned in his weekly press conference regarding injuries were defensive end Brett Keisel, who could return to the field this week, and offensive tackle Marvel Smith who remains status quo with back problems.

"We came out of the game pretty healthy; we have our usual bumps and bruises that may require people to be limited in some form or fashion at the beginning part of the week," said Tomlin. "For the most part, this is as encouraging an injury situation as we have had here in a while coming out of a football game."

Running back Willie Parker made headlines last week saying that the team was getting away from "Steelers Football" by not utilizing the running game the way they did in the past. Parker and Tomlin discussed the issue and on Sunday against the Ravens it was all in the past as Parker was named a game captain.

"Willie is a very important part of our football team," said Tomlin. "This guy is a worker; he just wants to win. He has gone through a lot just like we have gone through a lot. I just thought that it was appropriate that we sent him out there to represent us at the coin toss in a game of that magnitude to let him know how we feel about him in light of some of the things that were said and so forth prior to the game.

"We go through ups and downs like a lot of people, but nothing is going to come between this football team. We are committed that when it is time to play, we are going to present a united front and battle our opponents. I thought that was an important thing to do."

    • The Steelers defense is getting plenty of praise these days, including being featured in this week's issue of *Sports Illustrated
      , with linebacker LaMarr Woodley featured on the cover accompanied by the heading STEEL CURTAIN II - DEFENSE - That Same Old December Song in the NFL.
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