Receivers to face tough corners

The Steelers offense will have their hands full this week, going against one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL right now in the Jets' Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis.

"Not a lot needs to be said about what they are capable of," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "They can shut down your number one and your number two weapon and they do it repeatedly just about every weekend."

And that means wide receivers Hines Ward and Mike Wallace are going to be in for a battle.

"They are dominant," said Ward. "Those guys are the best tandem we will face all year, such great talent. I am a big Revis fan. I watched him at Pitt. I remember going crazy when he ran all over West Virginia and had a big punt return. I am just a big fan of his. I have to do some extra studying. He is a great man-to-man player.

"If my number is called I have to be able to scratch, claw and do whatever it takes to help our team make plays. It's going to be a tough match-up for Mike and I, but it's the NFL. Every week somebody is going to be tough. It's a good barometer for us."


Linebacker James Farrior is expecting a classic defensive battle this week, with the Steelers the number four defense overall in the NFL and number one stopping the run and the Jets ranked third in the NFL and third against the run.

"Looking at the history and knowing there are going to be two good defenses out there, it's probably going to be a low scoring game, a tough defensive battle," said Farrior.

He then joked, "Every time you say something like that it ends up being a shootout. Hopefully it will be a shootout just on one end."


The Steelers defense top ranking against the run isn't something that players look at as being special, but rather expected.

"That is what we have been doing," said nose tackle Casey Hampton. "We have always stopped the run around here. Look at it over the past 10 years. That is what we do. Around here it's not new. We don't think we have been doing anything special because that is what we do."

One of the keys for the defense this week will be stopping Jets running back LaDanlian Tomlinson, the AFC's 10th leading rusher with 195 carries for 837 yards and five touchdowns.

"He looks like he is back to his usual self," said Farrior. "He is playing at a high level like he was a few years ago. He hasn't lost a step. I think he gained a step. He is playing as well as he always has."


The Steelers offense has scored only two touchdowns in the last three games and while panic hasn't set in among the players, they know it's something they have to improve on.

"We just have to execute better," said Ward. "When we get down to the red zone we have to pay more attention to detail. When your number is called somebody has to make a play. We are going to work at it. We won't hit the panic button.

"We as players aren't going to play a flawless game. We know we have to put up touchdowns rather than field goals, but at the end of the day we are winning ball games. To still win ball games and not be efficient in the red zone is a good thing. But to get where we want to be and win a Super Bowl we have to improve in the red zone."


Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes will make his first visit back to Pittsburgh after being traded by the Steelers prior to the draft this year.

"It will be a little weird," said Ward. "I am not excited to see him in another uniform, but it will be great to see him. I still love him. He is such a great talent. To have hands on experience with him and to have taught him things, I hope he doesn't come into Heinz Field and go wild on us. I hope we can contain him."

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